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Carefree Caribbean

Joanne 2007-09-27

We said our goodbyes the night before, and once again packed our tiny backpacks. To give you an idea of their size, my Mother exclaimed in disbelief that one of our backpacks would fit her toiletry kit and nothing else! My friend Karen claims it is the size of her diaper bag. While there may be some exaggeration to both of their comparisons, we have patted each other on the back for leaving the everyday luxuries that we grew accustomed to behind allowing us to travel unencumbered.

We went to bed relatively early to be somewhat rested for our 6am flight, 4:15am at the airport (who schedules these things?) All was smooth, no last minute crazed rush, we had vowed to do it differently this time around.

We landed in Miami International airport at 10am, a little groggy having been in and out of sleep the entire time, no matter, we weren't the ones flying the plane. We went to the bathroom, asked about where to get some food, and then, in what I would imagine to be in true Caribbean style, unhurried, hand in hand we gradually shuffled our feet as we made our way to get some grub.

Not a care in the world, with all of our belongings stuffed into our backpacks and plenty of time to spare before boarding the flight to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, we were dreaming of what lay ahead, until... Paul realized his wallet was GONE!

Our hearts sank. Not again! Not so soon after beginning out travels. We are all too familiar with the reality of theft, but hoped it would be delayed, at least until reaching our first destination?!

Paul remembered being bumped in the bathroom, but at the time thought nothing of it. Looking back, it appears obvious that he had been pick pocketed. What a horrible way to start our trip. O.k., so the unhurried Caribbean mindset would have to be put on hold, but only temporarily.

What are the chances of recovering Paul's wallet in a busy international airport having not even made eye contact with the pickpocket himself? Clearly an avenue not even worth exploring. The only logical thing to do was cancel our cards.

Well maybe there's one other thing. What if the bump was just a bump and the wallet fell out in the plane? Before cancelling our cards, we realized that neither of us checked our seats before getting off the flight, something I always do when leaving a restaurant, a cab, a hotel... well, almost always.

We went nervously back to our gate which was now closed to ask if we could go back on the plane and see if one lonely black wallet was left behind.

We were not allowed back on the plane once the gate was closed, the woman working the gate went and checked for us. As expected, she came back empty handed. Maybe it was our look of dispair that made her feel for our situation, she invited Paul to go on and check for himself. Sadly, the result was the same.

We stood in front of the gate evaluating our situation. We took out our back up cards and were figuring out what cash we had on us, we needed to get to a bank machine to take out money, and of course we needed to cancel our cards. Ugh!!

While standing there figuring out what we needed to do, the woman had called maintenance to see if anyone had turned in a wallet. No one was responding. By this time we had both come to terms with the fact that the wallet was gone and it was time to move on, do what we needed to do and get some food in us.

We looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders in disappointment gave a nod and began to walk away. At that very moment a man from maintenance walked up to the counter holding in his outstretched hand one lonely black wallet. A wave of relief ran through our bodies, it took everything in me not to wrap my arms around him and hug him with all my gratefulness. Not a thing was missing from it.

The wallet had fallen out of Paul's new linen pants. The very linen pants that were bought specifically for the Caribbean's hot and humid weather. It was this very moment that we realized if we were to maintain the Caribbean unhurried stress free mindset for more than a few moments a day, Paul would no longer be putting his wallet in his back pocket of these pants.


Permalink by Gug   |  September 28, 2007 08:19 PM

Oh boy, guys one never gets used to this "sinking heart feeling" I cross my fingers that this will be it on this trip now.

Permalink by Jess   |  September 29, 2007 11:30 AM

AGAIN!!! These stories never get dull, just hope you don't have to tell it again any time soon ;)

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