You could say that my Dad’s last earthly trip to Asia was a disaster. No, he wasn’t killed or robbed. But he did have a memorable trip.
Dad and I both were planning separate trips to China. I already purchased my tickets and had my itinerary. Dad, however, was also traveling with a business partner, a pharmacist named Frank. Frank had never been to China and was interested in checking out business opportunities in that country. We were to meet in Hong Kong before heading to China.
I flew first. A day later Dad and Frank were scheduled to arrive. I was to meet them the morning after their arrival.
I called their lodge and asked the staff to connect me to Dad’s room. I was expecting Dad to answer since I figured Frank would be uncomfortable answering a phone call in a foreign country.
Frank answered. I was not expecting him to answer.
“Oh! Hello Frank,” I replied. “May I speak with my Dad please?”
“No, you may not,” was the curt reply.
Perhaps Frank was just jet lagged. But I wasn’t expecting such a shocking reply But that was just the beginning of his tale.
“You Dad is not here,” Frank continued.
“What?” I shrieked over the phone. “What happened?”
“He’s stranded in Tokyo without a passport. He thinks he may have lost it somewhere between Honolulu and Tokyo. He suspects it slipped out of his pants pocket.”
This is not the first time Dad has misplaced his passport overseas. Years earlier he was in Shanghai and he had called Mom to fax over his birth certificate and other U.S. government I.Ds to his hotel so that Dad could get a replacement passport at the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai.
“So is he coming?” I asked still not believing what I had just heard.
“Not unless he can travel without a passport.”
“So where is he now?”
“Last I saw him he was in Tokyo trying to purchase a ticket back to Hawaii.”
Well Dad, you are finally making that trip to China. Rest in peace Dad. Rest in peace.