Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Don't Cry For Me Argentina, Part One.

So I missed my flight to Buenos Aires.


My brain’s up my bum at the moment, hence the first missed flight. I was sure I was flying on Friday and in spite of checking the itinerary twelve hundred times, well, needless to say I was flying on Thursday. The penny only dropped when I was on the phone to United, having attempted to check in online for a flight I had missed. I was about to get a bit snippy with the customer services executive as she asked me “why are you in Calgary?” for the fifth time and was resisting the urge to respond “because I did something terrible in a former life and am forced to pay for my sins by living on the ice planet of Hoth for a while”, when I realized what day it was.

Luckily I was rebooked, for Sunday, which was great because it meant that I was able to do all of the stuff I hadn’t got round to doing to prepare for the trip. Like pack. Get my inoculations. Do some Christmas shopping. Buy some summer clothes, because all of mine are in Sydney.

Of course it’s impossible to buy summer clothes in Calgary in December. It has been -35 for over a week now, a hitherto unknown temperature for me (and judging by the way that life in Calgary has crawled to a halt, an unknown temperature for it too. I had worked on the assumption that Calgary would continue to function in the cold, what with it being like Narnia here for about six months of the year, but all of the cab companies have just switched their lines to engaged and it’s impossible to get anywhere). I made the mistake of saying that cold all feels the same once you’re past minus seven, but once you’ve attempted to walk the six blocks to the office in -35, you feel like a fool for saying that. Your nostrils stick together. The air is knocked from your lungs. If you don’t have a wee before leaving, it freezes in your bladder.

And if I hear one more person tell me “but it’s a dry cold”, I will stab them through the heart with an icicle.

So I hired a cab driver for the day and went off to do my shopping. It was while I was purchasing some swimwear (at Commitments Lingerie in Dalhousie. I highly recommend them) that I realized my passport wasn’t in my bag but my work permit was. At this point I wished my wee had frozen in my bladder, because this was a disaster.

Is this the right time to mention I decided to give up smoking last week? After twenty years on the evil weed, I had decided enough was enough and wanted to use the trip as a chance to break my habit. Do you have any idea how much you want a cigarette when you think you’ve lost your passport? I was like some two dollar crack-whore, jonesing for a smoke, clawing at the cab windows as we drove back downtown.

My brain was telling me I must have left it in the office, when I was photocopying it for my friends’ PR application. Or it must be on the side at home. It cannot have just been whisked away by the Universe.

Of course it had.

It took me one online prayer to St Antony, two knots in hankies, three spirit guide messengers and four hours kicking through snow drifts and retracing all of my steps from the last time I saw it to realise that my passport was gone.

My passport. My most treasured possession. The thing that means I can split this joint with a second’s notice and go where my heart desires. This was really bad news.

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Blogger The Glynja said...

Hoth indeed! Like the icicle zinger too. ;o)

10:49 AM  

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