He immediately ran downstairs, but the taxi was long gone. Of course it was! It was 1:30 in the morning and we were probably the driver’s last fare from the airport.
We hadn’t asked for a receipt so I had no idea what taxi company we’d used. Fortunately, there are only a handful of taxi companies licensed to pick up fares at the airport. Immediately, I methodically called each one and spoke to their dispatcher. Had I been able to accurately identify the make of the car I might have spared myself a lot of subsequent problems but, seriously, at 1:30am, all taxi cabs look pretty much the same — black. One of the dispatchers suggested that I phone my cell from the landline, hoping that perhaps the ringing would alert the driver to my purse that was still in the back. Nada. Now I was running out of time. We’d come in on one of the last planes; the airport would shut down for a few hours and the taxi companies as well.
So I began the sorry task of cancelling my bank cards, my cell phone and my passport. My driver’s license, mercifully, wasn’t a problem; we’d applied for replacement cards with our new address on them just before we left and they had come in the mail while we were away. The credit and debit card people were lovely, as were the telephone company and the passport office peeps.
I finally went to bed at about 4:00 a.m. I lay awake staring into the dark, feeling disoriented and strangely lost without all my stuff. Then my heart clenched as I remembered that the gold necklace my husband had given me for a special event was also in my bag—I’d only taken it off on the plane and tucked it safely in a zipped side pocket. I mourned that loss most of all and wondered how in blazes I was going to tell him!
Twenty-four miserable hours passed. At six-fifteen the next morning, I heard the phone ring and my husband answer it downstairs. When I came down to get my coffee, he said that the taxi driver had called, he had my handbag and wanted to return it. The driver had been clever enough to look at the last number on my cell phone, and call it. After some to-and-fro during the day trying to connect with the lovely, lovely man, I got the bag back, completely intact, including all my cash and the necklace. He got a most excellent tip!
I’ve said above that I had the solution with me all along. I’d developed a new system back in November when I went to Austria. I call it …
The No-Handbag Solution
I used to travel with a computer bag, a purse, and sometimes a small carry-on bag. This tied up both my hands and/or put unequal dragging weight on my shoulders and neck. It was a trial going through security at the airports! Last November, Rene had the bright, and very sweet, idea to bring me home this:
I keep my carry-on toiletries simple but comprehensive: deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrush, intense fragrance-free and hypo-allergenic serum, travel-sized moisturizer, BB cream, sunscreen, mascara and eyelash curler, and lipstick.
My aim is to be able to survive for at least twenty-four hours without my checked-in baggage if necessary.
My knapsack holds everything and I’m balanced (no more neck and back pain!) with both hands free. Any purse(s) that I think I might need go into my checked baggage.
As you can see, I now easily carry (from back to front): (1) Laptop (2) A clean top and underwear (you never know when checked in baggage is going to be lost, damaged or delayed. Stuff happens). (3) Power cords and charger (4) My iPad (5) & (6) Compartments for my wallet, passport, phone, pens, highlighters, and my journal
1. A system, no matter how efficient and effective, only works if you use it!
2. Always get a receipt from the taxi driver.
I’m off to London next Monday. Let’s hope I don’t screw it up again!
“If we figure out how intuition works, we can intentionally use it to make better decisions, feel safer in the midst of uncertainty, and create more interesting lives for ourselves. Not understanding why or how a certain resource or talent works is not a good enough excuse to pass up an opportunity to improve your life.”
~ Alina Bas, Skeptics Guide to Intuition: How Developing Intuition Can Improve the Way You Live and Work
Join me as I review Ms. Bas's book and have the opportunity to ask her a few questions.