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Nathaniel's No Fly Zone

Are you rushing to plan an international jaunt days before said jaunt? I can't recommend!

Last week I realized that TIFF was upon us and realizing that I hadn't at all planned for it (the summer was bumpy) - no accreditation requests, no tickets, nothing, I attempted to course correct.  I thought I'd pop up to Toronto for the last four days of the festival and scrambled: line up premiere invites, find lodging, buy new premiere outfit, order first pair of glasses ever (for long nights staring at my laptop). I closed my eyes tight-shut and hit "purchase" on the expenses as my card buckled in protest. Then Tuesday evening whilst packing, I realized that my passport had vanished. When was the last time I'd used it? Iceland??? Seven hours later my apartment, looking like Dorothy had just been violently whisked off to Oz, still refused to give the sacret document up. I brought every document of my existence with me to the airport last night (expired passport, birth certificate, you name it) and was unceremoniously turned away. I was offered the option of driving with one caveat -- Canada would let me in with my current documents but the US would not let me back in.

The worst part of the whole experience? The Boyfriend said "You're like Nasseri in Charles de Gaulle". And just when I had managed to forget all about the existence of Steven Spielberg's woeful The Terminal, too! Argh!!! and thanks a lot.

The bright side? (Always make lemonade, people.) The airline and the hotel did not rob me blind on cancellation fees but merely pickpocketed. Amir is still there to cover the fest. And now that I'm not in Toronto there's time to catch up on posting, hit some screenings right here, share my Lizzy Caplan interview, and tell you the story of how I met Kristen Stewart and Gabby Sidibe. Stay tuned! Yes, Fall Film Season, and Starry Oscar Campaign Trails are already upon us. I'm thrilled despite being grounded for the forseeable future.

May your September travels be smoother!

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Reader Comments (13)

I had a similarly bad experience 2 years ago when I was about to go to London with my mom and then that stupid volcano erupted and the flight was cancelled!

Anyway, it's good that you'll at least have time to do the things you wouldn't be able to do if you had gone to Toronto.

(I suspect Monty hid your passport. He hates being left without you to care for him. The Boyfriend calls him names when you're away. There, I said it!)

September 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames T


September 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSquasher88

Sorry to hear about that. I've had close calls with passports, too. I've learned, whether you're traveling or not, but especially before and during travel, you should know where your passport is AT ALL TIMES.
Thanks for the podcast this weekend, by the way. Made my travel that weekend go faster.

September 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

James T might be onto something with Monty. He's always gnawing your cords. You need to find out whether or not he's really rooting for your success.

September 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNick Davis

You shoud've just drove into Canada and illegally came back to USA via that unmanned crossing we learned about in Fahrenheit 9/11. Forget which state its in. ha

September 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

I've already expressed my sadness about this, but on another note...

...I really, really love 'The Terminal'. ;)

Spielberg in Capra Mode. The two go hand in hand.

September 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeau

Have you ever covered an international film festival before? I was thinking that your perspective would be interesting to read mixed in with the usual suspects on Twitter.

September 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbia

What a nightmare! If only you'd realized it was missing just a little earlier you could have spent about 7 hours and $500 on Varick St. getting a replacement. Me, I carry my passport with me all the time. I don't have a driver's license so it's my photo i.d.

September 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAR

I once lost my passport in Thailand, luckily it was returned to the embassy and I was able to pick it up about a week later but I got a lot of trouble from the staff.

September 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterthebitchismoi

holy crap, what a bummer! i am always terrified that i will lose my passport or some other vital document right before a trip - so much so that i very consciously keep my passport on a shelf next to my computer all year 'round just so that i will know, with absolute certainty, where it is when i need it. anyway, my sympathies. since i also am paranoid about losing my tickets once i get in toronto given their cost (amont other things), i hope you didn't stock up on *too* many tickets.

September 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

Roark -- the damage to my pocketbook could have been MUCH worse. so I'm just going to chalk this up to a learning experience about preparedness.

September 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

Nathaniel, we would have gladly kept you here in Canada :)

September 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterG.ShaQ

And then there's that wretched moment where you find the missing item in that 'good place' where you safely stowed it away. Next to the missing Christmas presents...

September 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteradri
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