All My Little Words

I <3 The Internet

Posted in Uncategorized by nickchristian on August 9, 2011

Of the many many many* things I’m good at, keeping track of my passport is not one of them. The price of a fast-tracked, queue-jumping replacement is therefore something I am obliged to factor in to the potential cost of any foreign holiday.

This flaw of character reached a zenith when, upon application of the last one, the kindly folks at the passport office – Jen and Luke to their friends – followed up with a stern letter informing me that, if I applied for another within two years, I would be required to prove that I have not been passing them onto terrorists and/or that I was not involved, in some way, with organised crime. No one could be THAT stupid. While I cannot prove that mein immigration documents have never ended up in the hands of terrorist, no-one who knows me well would ever accuse of being organized, so lol @ that and yes they can be.

Regardless, the consequences sounded like a massive faff so I vowed to keep an eye on this one. A vow which I was able to keep for all of eighteen months and three trips abroad – not exactly a great record. passport facebook

It was all going well, mainly because the gradual declining frequency of disputes over my maturity meant I had little use for it and could keep the bugger in a drawer. Always the eighth drawer that I looked in but nonetheless a drawer.

That is, until about two months ago when, for reasons that escape me, I found myself carrying my passport around in my back pocket. This is hardly a good idea at the best of times but, for most people should not actually prove a risky activity. I am not most people.

I didn’t, in fact, realise I had lost my passport until I after I discovered that it had been found. I had a vague sense that it was no longer about my person when I arrived at work on the Friday morning. I phoned my flatmate, asked him to have a look in my room: no joy but no bother. He was crap at hide and seek as well. So,being a busy and very important bee I move on with my working day aaaaaand Facebook. Whoda thunk it:

No need to explain how he tracked me down but the fact that he did and could is, I think, a nice reminder to us that people are not always total dicks and that technology can be used for good as well as nefarious purposes. As he lives in Cambridge I wasn’t able to arrange with Lawrence to collect my passport until Sunday and when I met him he told me that he’d tried a few different Nick Christians and I was, as you’d expect, the only one to reply. He told me that he had found it on the road in Kennington (on my cycle route home) and that while he had considered asking a few security questions, ultimately he decided that he could have just deprived me of the document if I hadn’t resembled the photo.

In the old days Lawrence might have taken the passport to the police station who might have made some effort to track me down or, instead, they might have just waited until I phoned up asking for it. The passport. Which I might have done. But probably not.

As it was, thanks to my moderately public online presence, for him to return and for me to retrieve the passport was barely any effort at all. I’m not sure I’d have thought to do it that way but I’m glad he did. For saving the passport office a futile fraud investigation and for  saving me from an improved mugshot, I salute the Facebook. And, of course, Lawrence.

*no, not very many

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