Missing Passports

And the resulting outcome

By Goldie Chong

Jasmine, our daughter and her family had left the De Vere Beaumont Hotel in London where our family reunion was held. We were to leave two days later so that we could spend some time with my sisters, Adoree from Switzerland  and Sansan from Hongkong.

After breakfast, we arranged to meet in Adoree’s suite but first we went to our own room to change. While in our room, we got a call on the house phone. It was Jasmine’s husband, Andrew, informing us that they had left their passports in their room safe. I immediately went to their room a few doors away to check.

I knocked on the door repeatedly but received no response. After a long time, I heard a man and a child’s voice from inside, but the door remained closed. While not knowing what to do, a staff in uniform came by. He tried to help me by also knocking on the door, and receiving no response, decided to use his master key to open the door. He was surprised to find a child standing there. “Are you the only one here?” he asked. “My daddy is in the toilet,” said the child. Asked if there was anything in the safe, the man replied through the toilet door, “Nothing was inside. The safe was open and I put my stuff in there already.”

Next, the staff checked with Reception and Housekeeping to see if anything had been handed in. Nothing. “I will have to get a hold of the cleaner who cleaned the room. She is usually very good at handing in left stuff,” he said. But the cleaner was not on duty. It took a long time but he could not trace her. Finally, he went to the room again. Just as he was about to knock, the door opened and the man who had come out of the toilet, opened the door holding two passports. “They were at the back of the safe,” he explained.

We marvelled, not so much that the passports were found but the process of finding them.

 Had Jasmine not required her passport to sign some official document, she would not have realized their passports were missing. They might have discovered it missing only at the airport!

Fortunately, we were still in the hotel to help to retrieve them.

Andrew could not reach us on our mobile so he called Sansan in her room. She almost did not pick it up thinking it was someone from Hongkong.  But good thing she did so she told Andrew to call us in our room.

 Had we not been in our room at that moment, (having gone to Adoree’s suite), Andrew would not have been able to reach us.

 Had the staff not have by chance come by at that precise moment to deal with the situation, we would have had to go and look for a staff, which would have taken a great deal of energy and time because the hotel was so huge.

 Had the guest not been in his room we would not have known where to look for him.

 Had Jasmine’s departure been imminent, a trip of a few hours would have been necessary for us to bring the passports to her, because the hotel was far away from where Jasmine was staying.

As it was, we were able to keep to our plan and stayed in the hotel for the extra day as planned, and came back to London the next day with the passports. We still had plenty of time to spare before Jasmine and her family were due to fly.

Although we all experienced stress and panic, for losing passports would have been calamitous, we cannot but see God’s hand and thank Him for His help in arranging each step of retrieving them.   

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