26th March 2005

Pitcures from today

Schiphol

While sitting and eating breakfast I noticed a small bird.
I took a photo of it.
It looked a little confused and dirty.
Strange that in one of the most controlled man-made environments there is, an airport, such a small and innocuous creature obviously does not require a boarding pass, and probably did not even pass through passport control.

12:00 LHR

Sitting in “The Bridge Bar” in LHR, getting a steak dinner for lunch and a pint of Murphy’s Stout.
A nice last taste of home before my big flight.
Will have a quick look at the bookstore before flying, although I doubt I will have room for anything.

14:00 LHR

It has not really been real that I am going to Japan until I went through LHR security surrounded by about 40 Japanese schoolgirls in sailor suits! かわいい!

15:00 LHR Takeoff

So. It was 14:30 and the gate opens.
I am near the front of the line and I put my hand in my pocket for my boarding pass and find an empty space …
Not my boarding pass. No. That is there.
So is my passport.
But there is an empty space where my aluminium credit card holder should be.
Panic sets in.
I rifle through every pocket.
I step out of the line and empty them onto a chair.
It is notthere.
“When can I remember last having it?”
The Bridge Bar!
I paid with a smile and signed the receipt as I was downing my second pint of Murphy’s Stout.
I run like a possesed thing across LHR, dropping my flight bag with the gate attendant, and almost being rugby tackled as I run the wrong way through security.
I make it back to the bar.
They have found nothing. No one has reported finding anything.
The people sitting in my vacated spot also claim to know nothing.
And to make things worse the shift has just changed.
My waitress has gone home.
As I am running back to the gate I am thinking, “Must cancel Fukuoka and get parents to wire me cash. Get Zo to cancel all my cards”
As I am going through security for the third time it suddenly dawns on me that I could have dropped them here.
I get directed to the chief of security, who is on the telephone … leafing through my credit cards.
Showing him my passport I utter the following, “my cards … prove identity … passport”
As he returns the cards he says in the phone, “Don’t fucking bother.”
I return to the gate, totally out of breath, to find I am one of the last five people left to get on the plane. I pick up my flight bag.
As I get to the gate and hand over my boarding pass the woman says,
“Sorry Sir but we have a full flight and I am afraid we have given your seat to someone else …”
My heart sinks yet again.
” … so we have moved you to business class.”
I guess it pays to lose your credit cards.

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