Ireland Part 1: The Lost Passport

19 Nov

I lost my passport almost immediately upon arrival.  Remarkable really.  We had taken a bus from the airport in Shannon to Limerick, and from Limerick we were to take a train to Dublin and somewhere along the line my passport wiggled its way out of my pocket and into a seat cushion of the bus.  I did not realize it was missing until we were in Limerick preparing to board the train to Dublin. I was sweating profusely as I dug through my backpack, knowing full well that it was a fruitless endeavor.  I tore every article of clothing out of my pack and made a glorious spectacle of myself, flinging boxer-briefs and an assortment gear across the train station floor.  Sweat was gathering on my brow, prepping for the plunge down my face.  Finally, accepting defeat I meandered over to the help desk to see if I could get the number of the bus company, and possibly head back to Shannon.  The sense of absolute dread overwhelmed me.  It was college all over again; where I dismissed my father’s warnings only to do every possible action he had suggested I avoid.  What was it that my father had made such a point of about this little endeavor? Yes, keep track of your fucking passport. He had even told a long, painful story of his plight after having his travel-pack stolen while hitchhiking in Israel.  I dismiss these things as too unfortunate to happen to me.  Most people use this mentality towards such things as death, rape or mugging but not I.  I expect everything to work out perfectly and things should go astray, surely it will result only in hilarious and life-affirming stories of adaptation and cool-headedness.  It’s a beautiful sunshine and lollipop attitude to bring into a trip but it is also reckless and dumb as shit.

I was directed by the unpleasant and unsympathetic lady at the help desk to the bus dispatcher’s office in the back of the train station.  There I met some of the most humorous and benevolent human beings I have ever met.

Inside the small, sheet-metal outcrop of the bus-garage was the dispatcher’s office.  I strolled right in with my head down and my proverbial tail between my legs.  Depression had lowered my inhibitions and at this point I simply did not give a damn about much.  My friends were on a train to Dublin, and I would be spending my month abroad talking to the embassy, trying desperately to get a new passport in time to come back home.

Suddenly startled by my brazen entrance I scrambled to explain myself.

“Hey there, I, uh, I’m pretty sure I left my passport on one of your buses,” I spoke meagerly and with palpable shame.

“Aye, son, you went and fucked up didn’t you?” the eldest in the shanty chuckled jovially as he sized me up.  There were three men in the room; the eldest who was the dispatcher and two middle-aged bus drivers killing time between trips.

“Yes I have.  Looks like I may be getting to know Ireland pretty well over the next month,” I said as I forced a sort of smile onto my face.  No one likes a Debbie Downer after-all.

Just as I finished my clever little joke, one of the busdrivers sitting in the corner released one of the dankest and most offensive acts of flatulence I have ever been unfortunate enough to witness.  The thin metal walls shook and bulged outward and the tin roof jumped into the air before resting back atop it’s perch—or at least that would be the cartoon depiction of the event.  Silence blanketed us all as we mulled over what had just happened.  Then came uproarious laughter.

“My God, Have ye shit yourself?!”  Screamed the old man as tears streamed down his cheek.

The guilty culprit was in the fetal position in his cheap plastic chair, laughing so hard I worried about his ability to take in oxygen.  I could not help but get swept up in their hilarity, three grown men driving buses in what I’ve been told is one of the more troubled cities in Ireland laughing their asses off over a fart.  What happy people, I thought.  Who was it that told me Limerick was the stabbing capital of Ireland?  Why had I believed him?

The Old Man eventually gathered himself and looked at me through tear-soaked eyes, “don’t worry about your wallet, boy, we’ll find it.”

“Passport actually…But it may not even be in the bus, it could be in the airport…I already told my friends to go on without me so I might as well check…”  Before I could finish the Dispatcher interrupted me, his face changing from post-laughter recovery to genuine concern.

“Off with out ye?  No, No get on that train, if it’s in the airport we’ll find it, if it’s on a bus we’ll find it…what number can I reach you at?”  At this point he was all business.

I gave him the number of the home we were staying at in Dublin and reluctantly agreed to put my faith in his hands.  As I was leaving I turned around, “are you sure…”

“Yes I’m sure now go on with your friends, you’ll be hearing from me in no time.”


2 Responses to “Ireland Part 1: The Lost Passport”

  1. Jeremy Gradney November 19, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    An unexpected adventure. Thanks for sharing. Made me laugh.

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