It was Monday around 9.45pm at Cologne-Bonn airport. I gave my boarding pass to the flight attendant, received it back, got in the plan with a big smile, helped two ladies to put their luggage in the storage and suddenly noticed that I had lost my passport together with the boarding pass that was between its pages.
A Brazilian lady who was by my side didn’t stop talking to me while I tried to concentrate and to think of where I had left the most important document of a foreigner abroad.
The flight captain came from the cabin saying to the passengers that we would have a delay of about 30 minutes because of unusual air traffic. After a couple of minutes looking for my passport and with the Brazilian lady screaming into my ears: “look for it here, look for it there, do you remember if…”, I asked her quite gently to stop talking because I was trying to remember where I had left my stuff. I opened the luggage storage for thousands times and didn’t find anything.
With no alternative, I decided for the complete shame: “I’m sorry but somehow I lost my passport”, I told to a flight attendant.
Fifteen minutes after, all of the passengers were asked by the Capitan to look for the Brazilian passport of Mr. Marcio Pessoa. While I was observing the people looking for my pass, I seriously thought of stopping to be a ‘gentleman’, stopping to help elderly women, young ladies… I should say to stop being civilized.
“We won’t take off until we find your passport, sir”, it was the last words that I heard before one passenger screamed: “I found it”. The other passengers’ reaction was enthusiastic clapping hands like we used to see when planes arrived safely at the airports in Northeast of Brazil.
The applause sound provoked an unusual reaction in my heart. It was a full injection of adrenaline and a natural shame sensation. What happened there? When I was helping the ladies to put their luggage in the storage, I left the passport in the storage for a while and someone put their luggage over my documents, shifting everthing to another point. That’s why I didn’t find them before.
I made people clap their hands in a flight from Cologne to London. It does not happen everyday.