Sometimes things don't go as planned – and those moments often make for the best stories. Tripping columns offer readers a chance to share their wild adventures.
Before I left for a tour of Bavaria last spring, I made sure to book a rental car. The Ford Fiesta was in my name, but the driver would be Kim, my daughter-in-law and travelling companion. At 90, I'd rather look at the scenery than navigate twisting highways.
We arrived in Frankfurt and, after dragging our suitcases from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2, finally located the car-rental counter. Then the fun began.
The following conversation ensued between the rental agent and me.
Looking at me, he said: "I need to see your passport."
"My daughter-in-law will be the driver, and she will show you her passport," I replied.
"I need to see your passport," he insisted.
"But I am not the driver."
"I need to see your passport because you rented the automobile," he persisted.
My passport was in my money belt, and my money belt was safely secured to my backside. "Please, you will have to wait a minute while I retrieve it," I explained.
"I need to see your passport," he said, once again.
I eyed the door to his office: "I will have to take down my pants. Is there a room where I can do so?"
"No," he said, following my gaze. "The office is private."
And so I edged my way toward the side of the booth – in full view of the amused crowd of waiting customers. There I proceeded to remove my trousers, all the while laughing hysterically. Kim was in stitches, too. She told me later that, as a Crown attorney, she had visions of having to bail her elderly mother-in-law out of jail on a charge of public nudity!
After some searching – and much to my embarrassment – I discovered my passport was not in my money belt. I shot a pleading look at my daughter-in-law and she started rummaging through my carry-on bag. Eventually, she found the elusive document and handed it over, while I, still giggling, pulled up those damned pants.
And the persnickety car-rental agent? He upgraded us from a lowly Ford Fiesta to a luxurious BMW with a great deal of aplomb.
Needless to say, we explored Bavaria in style.
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