“Bond, James Bond.”
“Lucky, Michael Lucky Hodson.”
Just doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as easily. But given that one of those is a fictional character and the other seems to describe my actual real life, I think I win.
I have written a good bit before about my random good luck around the world and the many manifestations of it:
- My getting across the Kenya/Ethiopia border with no visa.
- The random guy on the internet that got me on the only ferry I could take in Norway.
- Hell, I dropped my camera out a fourth story window… and it survived.
- My random cabbie in Addis Ababa who saved me a few times.
- Being in Victoria Falls during the full moon, to see the rare Lunar Rainbow.
- The cabbie in Uruguay who drove me to Brazil to catch my bus.
- The random kindness of people who picked me up hitchhiking in New Zealand.
- And just a whole lot more than I can’t think of off-hand.
Today was yet another in the long list of examples that I think prove that I am the luckiest man on the planet, save on one topic which we shall not discuss.
I lost my Eurail pass this afternoon.
Now, the wonderful folks at Eurail have been very good to me multiple times in the past, present and soon-to-be future. They were one of the primary sponsors of the Ultimate Train Challenge last September. They have given me a pass before to make it to a fun party in Venice. They gave me a pass a month or so ago to cruise around Europe for a couple of months this summer. And they are sponsoring the new Ultimate Train Challenge this November.
I love Eurail. Plain and simple.
This is a big deal. First, the pass is like cash. You can’t get it reissued. You have it or you don’t, so losing it basically meant it was just gone forever. I love the Eurail folks, but doubt they were going to just send me another to make up for my idiocy.
Second, I am all the way down in southern Italy right now, in Bari, and need to get back to Girona to pick up my new computer, then up to France to do some stuff next month, then back to Portugal by September 1st, when my pass runs out, to get ready for this year’s train challenge and a couple blogging conferences.
So I was checking my pockets a couple hours ago. My Eurail pass had been in my left pocket this morning, since I wandered over to the train station to check out tickets for tomorrow. I got back up to my room and it was gone.
Simply put, without a Eurail pass, that would cost me a good bit of money. Off the top of my head, I’d say about 800-1,000 euros.
That’s a good bit of cash for being an idiot and letting that pass drop out of my pocket.
So I retraced my steps. I went to the coffee shop that I went to this morning. Closed. Went to the train station and tourist information booth where I had earlier picked up a map (found in my left pocket during the frantic search in my room and therefore my most likely candidate for a good luck find). Nothing. Then I went to the kebab place that I got my late lunch today.
As I walked in, the guy behind the counter sees me and immediately lights up with a huge smile, reaches down under the counter and pulls out my pass. “You should really write your telephone number on here, in case you lose it. I think these things are expensive, aren’t they?”
Once again, random good luck shines down brightly on me. Not sure why I’d ever deserve this sort of thing to happen all the time.
He was beaming. I was smiling. I wanted to go back around the counter and give him a hug.
And by the way, if you want a good place to eat in Bari, Italy — try Kebabberia at Via Toma 95. Tell them I sent ya. And also…. tell them thanks for me. Kindness and thoughtfulness to strangers should always be recognized for the gift that it is.