The passport

Marita and I were walking along the Centre Road shops on Saturday when we saw a passport on the ground. We picked it up. From the cover, photo, and identifying marks inside, it appeared to belong to an Australian-Canadian boy of Asian (perhaps Chinese) appearance. Looking around, we couldn’t see him. A couple of bystanders suggested asking in the travel agent, which was next door. Maybe he’d dropped it after visiting them.

The travel agents didn’t know, but they said they’d hold onto it (and presumably send it into the authorities).

Ten minutes later, walking home, we passed a young guy, walking along slowly, looking a little sullen, eyes to the ground.

I had one of those light bulb moments, and ran after him. “Excuse me! Did you lose a passport?”

His eyes lit up. He had. He’d been visiting his father (who lives locally) from his home in Vancouver (where his mother lives). He made it clear his dad hadn’t been delighted to hear the passport had been lost. “He was shouting…”

Yeah. Sigh. I probably would too.

We led him back to the travel agents. He seemed very relieved. Good deed done for the day.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

5 replies on “The passport”

Oh good work! Can’t imagine the cost of going to see his dad however :P Man, those airline flights sure aren’t cheap.

Well done on the good deed!

I wish you had been walking around Bayswater (London) a few months ago… My bag was stolen while I was in a pub with a bunch of friends (it was hanging on the arm of the chair between my wife and I – very game crook!).

I was feeling very smug about getting off lightly – my wallet was in my pocket, and I had just used my camera and hadn’t put it back in the bag yet. Until the next morning when I realised the passport was in there. The really annoying thing is that I went to the Aus passport website and it advised that you cancel the passport immediately – so I did it online. I then booked an appointment to go in and submit the paperwork to get a new one. When I got there and started going through the rigmorale, a person in the backgound says “What’s your name?… We got a call about your passport yesterday”.

Unfortunately, they had not bothered to try and contact me. And because I cancelled the passport online, they couldn’t un-cancel it. If I had called the Embassy to cancel it, there is a chance they would have caught the name, or the slower processing would have meant it wouldn’t be cancelled… That’ll learn me for being too efficient!

So, the net gain that the thiefs got was:
– prescription sunglasses, useless to anyone but me
– mobile phone, sim and phone locked within hours
– passport, cancelled and useless to anyone else
no profit for the thief, but a huge waste of time and money for me!

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