This happened: 23:34 (we do Military Time is Sweden) at Doha International Airport. I stand at a urinal with my passport in my mouth. I think of how fun and cliché it is that the first person i meet, except for the two probably Bangladeshi cleaners (also cliché), is an Arabic business man in a white caftan looking big and business man like while talking on his cell phone. He is wearing two large golden rings on the fingers that is holding his business man phone. What is most impressive with him is not his attire however, it is the natural presence that he transmits. He owns that toilet.
So, I stand at the urinal, slightly mushy in my head after my six hour flight from Stockholm, thinking about the situation. I begin to smile, something which in hindsight is clearly not recommended while carrying a passport ones mouth. Suddenly it falls from my lips. Shit! Since my hands were occupied with whatever they are occupied with when using a urinal i helplessly watch as it makes an emergency landing in the urinal next to me. Thankfully no one is using it, but since Qatar seems to have mistaken urinals for fountains which constantly spray water it is immediately soaked together with my boarding pass to my Bangkok flight. I figure that the constant flushing in the urinal should at least minimize the risk of too much urinal residue from unknown Arabic business men.
With a swift move I grab my wet passport and boarding pass, which is slowly disintegrating into the the folder where it was suppose to be protected from, well, probably not from urinals i suppose, and race out rightly feeling like an idiot. I enter the terminal area holding my dissolving ticket and passport which look like they are crying on the floor.
“Will this still work, I accidentally got it wet” I ask the Qatar Airways woman by the gate. She looks at my sad looking documents, takes my ticket and tries to scan it in her machine.
“It still works” she says with a smile. She asks for my passport and seems genuinely upset when she realize that I have also managed to get this wet. It is no wonder that the airline was voted best in the world by travelers in a recent Skytraxt survey. I refrain from informing her of the likelihood of urine stains which she might have been confronted with during the handling of my dematerializing documents and immediately escape towards the waiting airplane holding my wet passport while thinking that the caftan business man in the toilet never would end up in a situation like this.
He is probably still standing in the sanitary space of low-cost Bangladeshi cleaning, his golden rings shining as clearly as ever.