Our magical Christmas was ruined by my mum’s pesky dogs when they decided to chew up my passport, leaving me in tears at the airport as security told me I couldn’t fly, writes Nichi Hodgson
Six years, when my then-new boyfriend Ferdie and I had been dating for a couple of months, we decided to spend Christmas together in Bali.
This was to be an extravagant romantic trip and given that I was first visiting my mum in Brisbane, Ferdie arranged to travel to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur with a friend first, then wait for me in Bali. It felt too soon for him to meet my family.
On the day of my evening flight, I nipped out in the morning, taking my passport out of my handbag and leaving it in the back room of my mum’s house ‘because I’d never forgive myself if I lost it!’ But I had forgotten that this was the room my mum’s two dogs, a pair of sweet maltese shiz tzu crosses, slept when we went out.
Two hours later, I returned to see the passport on the floor, and the serial number on the outside edge neatly nibbled away. We laughed about how bad it would have been if the dogs had ‘actually eaten it’ and I went to the airport, texting my boyfriend on the way about the hilarious near-miss.
Even the stewardess of the airline check-in desk laughed with me. And then I reached Security. “You’re not going anywhere, love,” came the bark from the guard. “But my boyfriend is waiting for me!” I replied and started to cry. To no avail. I was turned away from the flight.
Devastated, on the train back to my mum’s I dared to ring my boyfriend to tell him what had happened. “You’re never going to believe this, but…” He was equally devastated. “But I’d upgraded the room and everything!” He sent pics of a forlorn-looking him in this beautiful Balian hotel room and I started to cry again.
Back at the house, my mum had bought me a bottle of champagne as a sorry from the dogs. After many more tears, I went to bed at 7pm that night, having not touched it.
On Christmas Day, with no chance of me getting a replacement passport while the Embassy was shut for the holidays, my boyfriend made a bold decision – he would buy a ticket to Australia and we would spend the rest of the Christmas holiday here.
Feeling so bad about the ruined Bali trip, I then proceeded to book us the best accommodation I could find along the coast in Queensland to make up for my carelessness, wiping out my own bank account in the process.
Between us, my ‘oops’ moment probably cost us more than three grand, not to mention the stress of Ferdie meeting my mum for the first time, in her our house, no less!
But we all laugh and laugh about it now, particularly as it turned out to be the holiday that sealed our romance and we celebrated our first wedding anniversary in November.
So my advice if your dogs ever eat your passport? If it’s that little serial number along the edge? Brace yourself.