What’s the word for the particular heart-stopping terror induced by the realization that you’ve managed to lose your wallet, containing all the cash you needed for a week, and all the cash you needed for the next country you’re going to, plus your bank cards, your credit card, the ID cards for both the country you’re in and the country you’ve just come from, and the transit pass that you need to get home to at least tell your wife you’ve lost all those things?
I like to deceive myself into thinking I’m organized, or perhaps I just really love the adrenalin rush of upending my bag three times before being able to locate something I haven’t lost. There’s a lot of convenience to being able to fit your life into your pocket, but not so much when you put it in the wrong pocket, or drop it down inside an unintended compartment of your bag.
On the other hand, it did wake me up at the end of the day. As my heart slowly returns to its normal rate, I can count at least that blessing.
Then I realized I couldn’t find the four hundred dollars that I’d put in there at Changi Airport. Not four hundred Hong Kong dollars, the equivalent of a good drunken evening and a taxi hike afterwards. Not even four hundred Singapore dollars, several months’ train fares, but four hundred US dollars. You know, real money, real spending money for which I felt terribly (ir)responsible.
I returned home in a blue funk, only to discover we’d already decanted those dollars to other locations, to prevent just this sort of stupidity on my part.
Lesson learned: if you’re going to hedge against risk, remember that you’ve hedged against risk. After all those lows and almost highs, my brain was mush. I spent a few hours in the neon lit horror of Wan Chai, then went back to bed.