Like Tom Hanks in “The Terminal”

Remember that movie, “The Terminal”? In a nutshell, it’s about a man (Tom Hanks) who gets trapped in New York’s JFK International Airport after being denied entry to the U.S.

I don’t mean to imply that Stefano and I are trapped in an airport somewhere. Nope. On the contrary, we are safely back in Florence, at home with our beloved kitties. So, apart from a major, beastly case of jet lag (we are having so much difficulty sleepingzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…), we are absolutely fine…zzzzz.

Now that I’ve cleared that up, I can go ahead and tell you what happened just a few days ago… ;-)

Late Saturday evening, as we were checking in at Logan Airport in Boston, I realized I’d forgotten my Italian “permanent resident” visa at my parents’ house on Cape Cod…

Oh no!!! Now what?!!! Without that precious document, I doubted I’d be allowed to leave Germany (the first leg of our journey). But Stefano said, “it’s too late to freak out now. There’s nothing we can do about it. Let’s get on the plane and see what happens when we land in Germany.” “But,” I squeaked, “won’t I be deported or, worse, kept forever in the airport, just like Tom Hanks?” “No, of course not,” he said, in a reassuring tone, “and don’t worry, I’m with you…”

And so, after my first “TOTAL PANIC, FREAK OUT!!!” nano-moment, I calmed down and, for the first time ever!!!, was happy that we’d have a five-hour layover in Germany…That would give me plenty of time to explain what happened and deal with any ramifications…I stopped worrying (sort of) and managed to watch three movies on the plane…

We landed safely in Germany and proceeded to the airport security checkpoint. With a winning, bright smile on my face, I chirped “Good morning!” and handed my U.S. passport to the customs official. He smiled back at me, then noticed my surname, which happens to be German (= my “maiden” surname, that is). He asked if I spoke any German. I answered, “Ah, I really wish I did…but no, I don’t.” Then, faster than you can say “Tom Hanks,” he stamped my passport and waved us on.

Ehhhh???? That’s IT??? All that worrying for…NOTHING???

It would certainly seem so…

Sigh of relief.

We celebrated my “no muss no fuss” re-entry into Europe with a yummy organic carrot and orange juice…No kidding, an organic juice place in the airport…how civilized! :)

I now have a 3-month tourist visa. That gives my parents plenty of time to send me my permanent Italian visa, which they found safely tucked away in a drawer…you know, those blasted “safe” places where you put important stuff so you won’t lose it (!)…those places you forget to check when you’re busy with a million other pre-travel things/errands (!)…

Yeah, those places…uff!!!

Before my next trip, I’m going to have my visa tattooed on my forehead…