When I lost my passport!
We reached Madinah airport in the evening. Small airport. Walked out and took a taxi to the hotel. The ride was long, but pleasant. Madinah does not feel like a desert surprisingly. I will possibly describe Madinah in another post. When the receptionist at the hotel asked me for my passport while checking-in at the hotel in Madinah, I realized that I had left my passport in the taxi. Not having the passport literally meant all movements blocked. It would have been tough for me to even get out of this country! A couple of episodes of ‘Jailed Abroad’ flashed across my mind. I definitely didn’t intend my story to feature in one of the episodes!
Usually I remain calm and composed while in such situations and there was something from within which assured me that things would get alright. But how?
The taxi had left. We obviously didn’t note the taxi number. No identifier whatsoever. Out of thousands of taxis in the city, how would one track it down? Someone suddenly came up with a ray of hope! We had taken the receipt. I quickly checked the receipt and realized I should have learnt some Arabic. It was all in Arabic! Anyways, not a big deal. We asked our friend at the hotel reception to demystify it for us. And to our surprise, there was absolutely no identifier. No taxi number. No phone number. No address. Nothing at all. Apparently all taxis here carry some kind of a generic receipt. The taxi drivers just write the origin and drop points, the time and the fare and pass it on.
All this time, I was just thinking that the passport would be of no use to the taxi driver. So if he finds it, he would definitely return it to the hotel. But the question was, will he find it soon enough? My stay in Madinah was just for a couple of days.
So I had to track down the taxi somehow. There didn’t seem to be another option. I guess I would stop here. The rest of the story deserves another post!