Writing 101, Day 4: Write about a loss

Dateline:  Easter Saturday, March 2002

Two hours before I leave for the airport, to fly to the UK for my nephew’s wedding.  Suitcase packed, travel insurance arranged, tickets received from airline, all ready to go.  Just need to get passport from usual hiding place (the cash tin in the cupboard in the bedroom), and it’s A for Away.

Go into bedroom, open cupboard, find cash tin, open cash tin and …. no passport.  No passport?  NO PASSPORT?????  NO PASSPORT!!!!! 

Breathe, lassie, breathe – deep breaths, that’s right, steady the nerves, look again.  It must be in there somewhere, that’s where I put it back after my holiday last year … didn’t I?  No?  I didn’t?? Are you sure???  OK, maybe it’s still in the travel wallet which is ….  Scrabble through drawers looking for last year’s travel wallet – not that one, that’s the year before – no, not that one either, that’s from two years ago (why on earth have I kept all these old travel wallets???!!!).    AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!!

Turn house inside out and upside down.  Passport nowhere to be found.  Suspicious thoughts start to occupy my mind about other half hiding it because he doesn’t want me to go …  Stop it.  Don’t panic.  Deep breaths.  More deep breaths.

Ring British High Commission in Wellington.  “Currently we are closed for the Easter weekend, and will re-open on Tuesday blah blah blah.  Should you require a replacement passport urgently this can be arranged in 1-2 days blah blah blah.” 

Quick calculation.  High Commission re-opens Tuesday.  New passport issued by Wednesday, received by Thursday, fly out Friday ….  Stop.  Wedding is on Friday.  And wedding is in Durham, several hours by coach from London …  Whimper.  Sob.  Guess who never made it to the wedding …

Dateline:  2012

Long overdue clean up of corner of lounge:  found, buried in box of papers, one travel wallet from 2001 – inside, one lost passport …

DSCF5574 cropped


Making connections

I had a wonderful spirit-lifting experience yesterday evening at Subway.  Subway???  That “We Bake Our Own Bread” Subway, that fast AND healthy food Subway?  Yup, that Subway.  Let me explain.

Up until a couple of months ago, Subway was my regular choice of eatery on a Tuesday evening, some time between finishing work at 5pm and starting bridge at 7.30pm.  Too far to go home for something to eat, so I’d spend a bit of time in one of the city libraries first, or take a wander in the park with my camera, and then head down to Subway at Bush Inn, on Riccarton Road.  And being the creature of habit that I am (and – gulp -become even more so the older I get), every Tuesday I would place exactly the same order:  “I’d like a 6″ Chicken and Avocado Sub on Honey Oat bread, toasted, with cheese, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and carrot, honey mustard dressing, and no salt and pepper, please”.  And to go with it I’d have a 600ml bottle of Coke Zero and two macadamia cookies, which they’d kindly ‘bundle’ into a meal deal for me, even though they weren’t supposed to because I was getting a bottle of Coke, rather than filling one of the paper cups.  Lovely people!  Over time the staff came to recognise me and, I’m sure, wait with bated breath to see if  – just once – I would order something different.  I wouldn’t.  (Apart from sometimes chosing a different type of cheese, that is.)  Week after week we’d exchange pleasantries, I’d place my order, they’d put it all on a tray, I’d swipe my loyalty card and pay and then sit down at a table with my book and my meal.

However, when things went mad and bad in my bridge world just over two months ago I stopped playing bridge on a Tuesday night, and also stopped going to Subway for my evening meal.  Somehow the two were linked in my mind, and once one part of the link – playing bridge – was broken, the other part – eating at Subway – fell by the wayside as well.  Until last night, that is.  Because I’ve cautiously returned to bridge playing on a Tuesday night, and last night I decided to return to Subway as well.  And do you know what happened?  The girl taking my order not only recognised me, but as soon as I said, “I’d like a 6″ Sub …”, she came back with, “Chicken and avocado, right?”  I was way impressed, I can tell you!

So here’s three cheers and hats off to the lass behind the counter at Bush Inn Subway, who made my night by recognising me and remembering my favourite order – such a little connection but, oh, it did make me feel good! 🙂