10 August 2011 was a hectic day, wrapping up almost three great weeks of summer holiday, leaving the wonderful island of Serifos and heading back to the UK.
By 4pm we had reached Piraeus and the entourage (2 adults, 3 children, 5 suitcases, 5 pieces of rucksacks and other hand-luggage) was maneuvering from the ferry boat to the bus stop: a 20 minute walk in scorching 40 degrees with the sun blazing right on top, meandering between the port traffic, rushing to make the next bus connection to the airport.
Arrived at the bus stop, everyone and everything accounted for. The bus arrived, the entourage tried to board, the bus was too full, the entourage retreated and decided to just take a couple of taxis to the airport instead. Let’s afford ourselves that last bit of luxury before the holiday is finished.
Somewhere between the rushing, the sweating, the taxi negotiations, the carrying and the loading, disaster struck: One backpack was missing… mine. Some eagle-eyed port vermin must have spotted the camera backpack and in between the hustle and bustle made off with it, right under our noses.
And life just became a lot more complicated… Gone was most of my gear: three cameras, four lenses, memory cards, one camcorder, filters, accessories, my work laptop, my iPhone, my iPod and various other personal items. By some thankful miracle, my passport and ticket was in my wife’s handbag and my wallet in my pocket.
The end of a relaxing holiday became the start of a two week administration nightmare: Police statements, insurance claims, new driver’s license, claims for a replacement work laptop, SIM card replacements, phone blockings, etc. etc.
I’m grateful that most of what was lost was material and can be replaced.
I’m extremely annoyed that all my personal stuff still exists out there somewhere.
I’m happy that most things were password protected so my information is not compromised.
I’m gutted that the little holiday video footage of the kids is gone forever as well as a lot of personal pictures on my little point-and-shoot camera that was lost or, worse, in someone else’s hands.
I’m happy that most of my holiday photography was backed up a couple of days before the end of the holiday, and the backup disk was safely in my suitcase.
I’m sad that the camera body that I painstakingly converted to InfraRed is gone, and with it a great set of Infrared pictures that I shot the last day of the holidays.
I am relieved that just before going on holiday I backed up my work laptop.
I am mortified that all the effort we spent editing my daughter’s book while on holiday and the couple of extra chapters she wrote, are lost.
A gut full of emotions from a moment’s lapse of concentration…
Next: The recovery begins…