Years ago my passport fell out of my pocket on a National Express bus overnight from Newcastle to London. I had a gig in Amsterdam with the flight booked 24 hours after I realised it was no longer with me. “So few people know what to do with a stolen passport,” said my best friend. “It’s much more likely that it’ll show up, but you need to make yourself easy to find.” I left a message on an answerphone at the National Express bus depot in Portsmouth or wherever that particular bus finished its journey – I forget. I got a call from a cleaner at about 7am. She gave it to a driver in an envelope, and I picked it up at 11am at Victoria Coach Station. My flight was at 4pm. I made it, made the gig, made some money. Phew.
My best friend’s wisdom was my guide this time around. Nobody knows what to do with the fucking thing. I kind of knew it had to be somewhere.
I had tried every single place I had been to or even walked past in St Brelade. It’s pretty easy. There’s fuck all in St Brelade. I made myself a right pain for the staff at the posh hotel there – it was the most likely candidate. The only place I couldn’t try yesterday was The Crab Shack. It was shut when I went round.
This morning I tried the coffee shop in St Helier. I tried the bus depot. I went to both the main Jersey police station and to the St Brelade parish hall, inexplicably located in St Aubin. Nothing. I was not going to be deterred. Thank the lord I had given myself all this time.
Once again I walked down the St Brelade strip. One by one I stopped everywhere, even places I had not been into. You’d remember if a passport had been handed in. Nobody remembered.
Finally, The Crab Shack. I go in there thinking to myself that if this is fruitless then I’m honestly completely out of possibilities.
“Excuse me, do you have a lost property / department or…”
” / we’ve got it. It’s safe. You came. Yes. Your passport. I recognise you.”
Ten years ago. No beard. Still got it.
He had my passport. They ran out of the place to try and find me after I left but I was too quick.
“We rang the number you gave when you filled in your form. It was a dead number.”
“I never fill those forms in correctly.”
Nobody stole my passport. Minnie was right again. It HAD to be somewhere and likely there was a person who wanted to return it. And it was somewhere. And it was returned. And now I can get back to the UK and renew the damn thing in peace.
Thank you for your prayers and chants and positive energy. Maybe this time I’ll learn to stop walking around with my damn passport in my pocket. Particularly not if I’m going to a beachfront cafe at 8pm in order to consume a carafe of wine and six oysters.