Since I’ll have sporadic email access for the next little bit, and since spammers are bad people (I was going to use the word evil, but I’m reserving that for human and civil rights violators, of whom there is depressingly little dearth at the moment) I have turned commenting off entirely at my old site. In the past several months I’ve received approximately one genuine comment on the stuff over there, and that one was actually left on this site. All old entries are still over there, for anyone who cases what I was doing on this date five years ago. (Choosing boat colors, apparently.)

Yesterday, I had about the scariest scare that you can be scared by, when you’re living in a foreign country and about to travel to a home country which has grown notoriously paranoid about international travelers. We were going to the CBR (Dutch equivalent of the DMV) to turn in our competency assessment forms. We didn’t know if they’d need to see any other paperwork, so we took our residence permits, job contracts, etc, and I was shuffling in the messenger bag I carry to work to find my passport …..
…and it wasn’t there.


After some examination of my memory, I realized that I could not have lost it in Paris, thankfully, because I’d had it the day I went to the City Hall to try the first time to get my Dutch driver’s license. I remembered the I’d carried all my paperwork in a folder that day, one that had pockets.

Meanwhile, we went to the CBR, where it turned out we didn’t need anything except those competence forms, droped them off, and drove home. On the way, I was in that irrational state where you’re convinced that only total concentration will prevent disaster (“no atheists in foxholes” mode). Rudder was chattering away about somethigng considerably less important and I spent the whole ride gritting my teeth and thinking “Shut up / please be there /shut up SHUT UP / please be there PLEASE be there please / shutupshutupshutup / please please PLEASE”.

It wasn’t there.

But then I remembered something else about that day, the last day I definitely remembered seeing my passport: I’d had a few things to carry and it was convenient to switch to a difference purse, smaller than my messenger bag but bigger than the little wallet on a string I generally carry around. I rushed into the bedroom, dragged it out, looking in the pocket, and saw the most welcome color in the world: the navy blue of a US passport. Phew.

And if you’re wondering, I didn’t tear Rudder’s head off in the car, either.