Saturday, November 12, 2005

Passport Paranoia

Editor's note: We're still on the ship. Jason had time to write another guest entry.

The last time I travelled I took my passport with me everywhere. It sat in my security belt, and I didn't worry about it. When I was in a hotle I just put it down wherever and didn't feel the least bit concerned. Whatever happened, I would be fine.

This trip is a little different. From moment one, they told us that we should be terrified about losing our passports. I got on the ship, and they asked for it, and I didn't see it again for days. They're so afraid that we're going to lose it or get it stolen or possibly both that we're not allowed to have them unless we absolutely need them.

We don't carry them around in port, which is strange to me. My passport is my only ID, the only ID I ever breing when I travel, but now they tell us to just carry a photocopy. So far, that's been good, but what if some official looks at me funny? I think that's a bigger risk than carrying my passport. I'd rather have to use my photocopy for a few days than have to spend time in detention. But maybe that's just me.

But when I do have it now, I'm actually catching their paranoia. I feel a little worried. I think that maybe something is going to happen, that some clever pickpocket with get it, or that it'll just vanish someplace. But that's ridiculous. Like I'm going to just lose it somewhere. People do, but then, people also don't read books, and vote Republican, and other stupid things. Despite that comforting notion, the notion that I'm not a idiot, it has spread to me. I am partly convinced that it's a bad thing to have my passport. My rational mind knows that's moronic, but I can't help it. It's like a mob mind thing. And I want it to stop, but I can't.

Hopefully, I'll get over it. There will come a day when can I carry it safely but without concern again. Just not on this trip.

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