The Passport

“Excuse me. Did you drop this?” I hear an unfamiliar voice ask from behind me as I lock my bicycle.

Wondering what it is they could be referring to I slowly start to turn around to face the owner of the helpful voice. Whatever it is I have apparently dropped I’m very lucky that it has been found by an honest and upstanding citizen. It’s nice to know that in this day and age there are…

“I think you dropped this! Did you drop this? I saw you drop it! Is it yours?”

Before I can say anything I am caught off guard by the sudden appearance of a passport mere inches from my face. It happens so fast that it actually takes a moment for my eyes to refocus and work out that it is a passport and that it is being held at arm’s length by the owner of the voice. It takes another moment for my brain to catch up and process his rapid line of questioning.

“Er…” Is the best response I find myself able to come up with.

The whole situation is already slightly odd but it is the passport itself that makes the whole thing really bizarre. I have no idea how to react but there is one thing I know for certain… the passport is not mine.

There are two main reasons why I know this to be true. Surprisingly the first reason (the fact that I know my passport is safely at home) is not the most compelling out of the two reasons even though under normal circumstances it should provide enough evidence.

The second and yet most compelling reason why I knew that the passport now being held inches from my face is not mine is because he is holding it open at the photo page… The face staring back at me from the page is not of myself… it is of him.

“Err… No. It’s not mine.”

“Are you sure? I saw you drop it… over there.” He points in the direction I’d cycled from moments ago.

I look from the passport, to the cycle path and back again as my brain tried to work out how that scenario is even feasible.

Possibly taking the look of puzzlement and confusion on my face as an indication of uncertainty on the subject of ‘my’ passport he slowly stretches his arm out even farther so I could get a closer look at the photo, as if questioning my eye sight too.

I am so confused by the whole situation at this point that I checked the photo again anyway… just in case. It had been almost ten hours since I’d last seen what I looked like in a mirror (while brushing my teeth that morning) but I was still fairly certain that I did not have black dreadlocks.

“I’m really sure it is not mine.”

“But I saw you drop it.”

I’m still not entirely sure what is going on but I’m starting to suspect that the stoned expression on his face (which is not included in the photo) has something to do with it.

“Sorry. It’s not mine.”

“But…”

“I think you might want to check the photo.”

And I slowly start to back away as he looks at me confused and puzzled, unable to understand why I would not want he believes to be ‘my’ passport back.

You meet some strange people in Amsterdam.

19 responses to “The Passport”

  1. M. Verhoef says:

    Did you check your pockets afterwards and if you still had your watch?

  2. Brandon says:

    That was my first impression, as well. This dude was distracting you while a colleague riffled through your pockets.

  3. Jennifer says:

    I think I would’ve taken the passport, waited a couple minutes for him to walk away, and then ran after him screaming “I think you dropped this!”

  4. Invader_Stu says:

    M. Verhoef & Brandon – That was my thought too. It seemed like a trick maybe to get to empty my pockets (to check) so he could grab stuff. But if that was the case he’s the dumbest trickster I’ve met. Don’t show me the photo if you want me to fall for it.

    Jennifer – I so wish I’d done that or just said thanks and left with it :p

  5. Koen Havik says:

    HAHA Great post as usual!

  6. Lopa says:

    Yeah, take it, say thanks and walk away. Don’t argue so much. :D
    Later ofcourse you can do reverse role play ;)

  7. Terri says:

    On the other hand, taking the guy’s passport leaves him free to chase after you screaming “thief.” Who knows what scenario was percolating in his stoner brain…if there was anything in there at all.

  8. Invader_Stu says:

    Koen – Thank you :)

    Lopa – I so wish I had now just to see how he reacted.

    Terri – Owww… That’s a good one. That might have been his plan all along.

  9. Either he was crazy, stoned or he genuinely thought you were a tourist (as opposed to someone who has lived there for, oh, TEN YEARS).

    Maybe you should adopt the Amsterdam look of sporting red trousers and apply an entire tube of hair gel to your locks to prevent such innocent mistakes from happening again.

  10. VallyP says:

    You do get to meet some very strange people in your journey through life, Stu! This one takes the cake!) Perhaps he was trying to get rid of his own passport for some reason and thought bullying you into taking it was a good plan!

  11. Deepa says:

    That is so freaky!

    I’ve actually found a passport on the ground near my bike, Googled the owner, got in touch with him via LinkedIn, and returned it. He thanked me by buying me a lottery ticket, which I thought was a really creative and sweet way to say thanks (I would have been mortified if he had tried to foist money on me).

  12. Alison says:

    This encounter seemed ripe for lots of unpleasant outcomes, so I’m glad you made it out ok, simply with a strange story!

  13. Likeahike says:

    Ultimately a harmless guy, but still a scary experience. But I think you can count on him not remembering it if you should by chance ever meet again.

  14. Brilliant story – was the guy Belgian by any chance?

  15. Invader_Stu says:

    Barb – Hhhmmm… I think I’d rather almost be mugged then wear red trousers.

    VallyP – Maybe he was trying to switch identities.

    Deepa – Did you win anything?

    Alison – Thanks. It did seem like there was something untrustworthy going on but he just was not very good at doing it.

    Likehike – I think he forgot the moment I stepped away.

    Unexpected Traveller – I would not have been surprised :p

  16. Jansen says:

    It’s always funny after meeting the crazies to have a laugh but at the time it can be just freaky. ‘Black dreadlocks’ ha ha..

  17. Invader Stu says:

    Jansen – It was too confusing to be freaky. If he was trying to catch me out in some way or trick me he was not very good at it :p

  18. Deepa says:

    Unfortunately, I didn’t win anything. I’m still waiting for the universe to reward me for being a good Samaritan!

  19. Kyle says:

    Im a stoner and I can totally imagine being in the guys position haha. He simply took the idea that he saw you drop it as a fact and therefore wouldnt even consider the possibility of it not being your passport.

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