I was reading the now famous Stieg Larsson “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” most of the way from Sydney to Singapore so I placed my everyday “distance” spectacles in their little orange case in the “safe” cubby hole in the seat in front of me.
|Singapore Airlines A380|
You guessed it. I walked off the plane in my “readers”. I soon realised my mistake, (as I nearly tripped down the escalators to Immigration at Changi), and rushed back to the gate where passengers were still being disgorged from the big A380. An attractive young lady offered to go on board but didn”t return. With all the passengers now on their way, another escorted me on board. There was a conflab of crew around my seat and all I could see was an empty cubby hole where I know I had carefully placed the orange case.
One of the bossier stewardesses (in a “red” sarong kebaya that denotes seniority), whom I had observed during the flight as a possible casting choice for “Madame Lash” with a well preserved figure but painted iron mask for a face, was clearly of the opinion that I had misplaced them elsewhere. “Check in your pockets! Put your case over there. Open it!” – all the time peering over my shoulder. I could almost feel the woosh of the whip.
I was then told that I had been observed during the flight wearing only the “readers” that I now had on, and I got the impression that they thought I was making the whole story up. The cleaners had not come on at this stage, and the purser came on the scene and asked a few more questions. He called an engineer to pull the seat apart; we checked the pile of newspapers that had been taken away from around me; and then asked for my business card.
I was of the firm belief now that one of the crew was attracted to the little orange case (of a ritzy brand of spectacles that my optometrist in Sydney had given me to help me locate it more easily in my man bag), and “lifted” them. In retrospect, it could also have been the scruffy guy with hairy legs or girlfriend in shorts and bare feet in the seats across the aisle who saw an opportunity while I was at the loo to souvenir them.
Anyway, I reported the loss to “Lost and Found” after Immigration and their main interest seemed to be to give me a piece of paper for an Insurance claim. There was no question as to how they would get them to me (like a lost suitcase) if they turned up tomorrow! I was given a number to call but after ringing it 10 times before leaving for Beijing next day and it never being answered, I gave up!
The concierge at the hotel directed me to a local optometrist and it will take 5 working days to make my prescription. I will not be in a hotel in a city for another 4 weeks so I”m in a “right pickle” as they say.