This article was first published in the Euro Weekly News 23.08.18
We can truly say we are at the height of the summer; sweltering temperatures, people everywhere and enough traffic to make those of us who live here wish it would all come to an end.
Even so I thoroughly enjoy the heightened sense of expectation in the air even if working throughout the summer; it’s simply contagious.
Unfortunately we can also catch that “left my brain on the plane” feeling as we join in and commit the same silly mistakes, as do many tourists, with number one stupidity on the list being losing your passport. Something I nearly did, for just this week.
I was looking for change in my wallet and took a bunch of receipts out that were blocking my view and must have popped them down on the counter top whilst I fumbled around. I then picked up my shopping bag but as I turned to go thankfully the cashier called my attention to the papers I was about to leave behind. It was only when I picked up the receipts that I realised that my passport was beneath them!
I have to say I was mighty relieved; albeit I wouldn’t have had to go to Málaga to get a replacement now that almost everything can be done on-line it still would have been an unnecessary cost and the hassle of making the “denuncia” to the police. Even if you just lose your passport as opposed to having it stolen, it is always advisable to make the “denuncia” report to the police as according to recent articles it would seem that the British passport is in the top 5 desired by terrorists and criminals.
Ironically it is at the airport where we are most likely to lose our passport: we take them out to show at Passport Control and then like me at the shop, forget to put it away whilst fumbling with stuff and being distracted. It could be days or even weeks before we even notice it’s missing, or until it’s time to return home and a simple oversight becomes an emergency.
The British are not as fortunate as other nationalities like the Spanish for example; we have no other form of valid ID in Spain. Our passport is the only legal form of proving who we are here so well worth looking after very carefully.
If however you do find that you need to replace your passport at short notice you can apply for an emergency travel document but is going to cost you the best part of 100 euros and will only be valid for one return journey home. You will still have to apply for a full validity Passport which will cost another eighty odd pound. Perhaps by giving our passport this financial value will help us appreciate how lucky we are to have it just a little bit more!