Thursday, 23 October 2008

The title of the post says it all.

Last week I found a shiny red Japanese passport lying idle near Piccadilly Circus calling out to whoever might pay attention. It was around 6 in the evening and the area was absolutely choked by the usual stereo typed well suited purposeful looking filthy rich stiff lipped hedge funders, camera touting tourists who don't care if they trip you while clicking a stupid photo or trip themselves or worst yet drop their camera which results in a shriek of horror from the person who dropped the camera followed by a mad scramble by the stupid grinning posing idiot and a few concerned passerby.

Anyways so here I was with a bright big "I am going back home after a tiring day get out of my way else I will elbow you" written all over my forehead when suddenly my eyes catch the reflection from this bright shiny thing lying next to the bus stop. Amused at something other than puke, urine, rubbish or empty beer can that is on this famous British road my curiosity got better of me and I stooped to pick it up triggering an almost nuclear chain of tripping people. I knew was causing the most heinous crime that you can at this time and place in Britain still I stopped and picked it up valiantly punching back the hard stares I knew were stabbing my back. Then I did the most amazing thing you can do at 6:00 pm on Piccadilly Circus on a weekday, I stopped to examine my find!

Yes people I completely and truly and pointedly stopped even after picking up something from the street and I started examining it! Do you realize what this means! I was now almost an island that mysteriously rose out of a maddening swarming ocean and proclaimed his place and stood to defend it. I was the statement, the embodiment of the fact that humans can still act on impulse without following a monotonous repetitive robotic life. I was the person the leader the rebel who said NO! Enough is enough! This is the moment when I stop. This is the moment when I don't care I will miss my train back or come last in a stupid race in which I don't even know how many people are running. This is the moment when I wield my free will as my blade slicing through this veil of monotonicity that has been draped over my conscience.

Piccadilly Circus

What absolute load of crap. I had actually stopped because a passing woman had noticed me picking it up and has promptly skipped over to my side trying to look over my shoulder at what is it I might have picked up. I had to fend her off saying I am going to return this which I fully intend to do (after ahem maybe checking some prices on!?)

So I come back with this passport in my pocket and fire up my laptop. Here is what follows

1. Open up Mozilla
2. Go to
3. Type Japanese to English online translation.
4. Get excited seeing few hundred thousand clicks.
5. Realize you haven't achieved anything so far. Shut up and carry on.
6. Navigate to the first link in the result set.
7. Wait for the page to load.
8. Curse O2 broadband.
9. Curse the ISP of the site.
10. Curse O2 again.
11. Curse DARPA for coming up with internet.
12. Page finally loads up.
13. Open up passport quick!
14. Realize your laptop is 1800 BC model that can only type in English and though you have support for other languages built in it would be a momentous task to get even a single character in this script printed on the online translator.
15. Curse Gordon Brown and close the page down.

Hey come on. In GB, Mr. GB is your dart board in the pub. Whenever you are pissed, you are allowed to go in, have a pint or two while throwing darts. Given the current economic climate and his stewardship of the country this is completely allowed.

So here I was sitting and twiddling my thumb thinking of what to do next with this passport when it hit me. Facebook! OH YEAH! Let us track this babe down on facebook (now you know why I was so keen on returning the passport eh ;). No complicated steps this time. I know I know. Go to, open your profile, go to search people, type in her name and hit Enter. Voila! Just two results and one of them is what appears to be her!

Bingo! Jackpot! Yatzie! Goldmine!

Try to open her profile and realize hers is "friends only". Quickly send a message saying I have your passport and I shall guard it with my life until you can come and meet me over a coffee or maybe a drink in the bar with a dart board or maybe over a candle light cruise over a cerize evening sailing over Thames..I mean take your pick I am not really a fussy guy here.

Thames at night

Get whacked over my head with a book by the Mrs bringing me back to my reality...Doh! I am married!

Well anyways the message has been sent, my work here is done. Now as soon as I get her details I would dispatch the passport by Royal Mail pronto!

If only things were this easy. Two days and no response. I thought maybe she was so distressed over losing her passport that she didn't bother logging over the internet. So I did what any sane person would do. I

1. opened up Mozilla.
2. navigated to
3. searched for Japan+embassy+london
4. few results. No adrenaline, no excitement. I don't focking care.
5. whack on the head again by the Mrs. Why? Marriage rule number 2. you never ask why. rule number 1. always follow rule 2.
6. click the first link.
7. page loads, magic!
8. curse Gordon Brown...its so become a part of me
9. scroll to contact us, note down the email id.
10. close the browser, write an email. Job done.

What next? Nothing. Tomorrow I should get an email saying what a great, kind, noble soul I am for taking this trouble for returning a passport. To show their gratitude they are giving me a completely paid royal holiday in Japan for 4 people (2 tickets going on ebay!) for 15 days starting when I want. And I shall also meet His Highness the king of Japan and the Queen of England who shall present me with knighthood. Oh the things I must do for humanity.

Tomorrow comes and goes. Day after tomorrow comes and goes. 3 days after tomorrow comes and goes. No email. Not even a bloody automated email stating a crappy message like "thank you for your email. We have recorded your email. Your case number is XXXXXXX. Someone from our we don't give shite deptt will contact you whenever he/she feels like it."

So here I am. A week since finding the passport. No leads, nothing. Maybe I should just hand it over to the next police personnel I come across on the street. Maybe I should just take it back and leave it next to the same bus stop and forget I ever found it. What do you suggest?

So much so for Japanese efficiency.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

This is so awesome!

This is one of the videos in a campaign by the UK government to promote road safety in the UK. Please see the video and leave us a comment telling us if you did it or not!



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