The Mystery of the Breadboard (or Losing Things when You Travel)

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May 31st 2010
Published: May 31st 2010EDIT THIS ENTRY

Fishing boat at KochiFishing boat at KochiFishing boat at Kochi

Not all the photos are directly relevant to the post.
A couple of weeks ago we were trundling along the Puglia coast and decided to pull up by the sea for lunch. And that was the last time either of us saw the cutting board (we are both of the pre-slice bread age and therefore tend to call them all “breadboards”). It was a good breadboard - actually it was one of those square things with a short handle you use to take pizzas out of the oven - made of bamboo, and bought in a French hypermarket after a bit of searching and quailing at the high prices asked for the pine or beech versions.

The disappearance was noticed that evening when dinner preparations were about to begin and, after a thorough search of every box, bag and nook and cranny in the car, we had to admit that the breadboard had gone. Yet another item to add to the list of things lost so far on this trip, and a catalyst for me to resume a post I started about a year ago. Had I finished the post quickly, it would have been a lot shorter. But now is a good time to get it done; further delay
Working on the banks of the Kerala BackwatersWorking on the banks of the Kerala BackwatersWorking on the banks of the Kerala Backwaters

Another one that has nothing to do with losing things.
might result in a novel-length post.

Shower gel: this was in one of those refillable travel containers and I found it easier to carry around than a soap case. Hopefully it was a useful find for the next person to use that particular cold water shower in the campground north of Whangarei.

Wrist watch: I left this in the camper van we hired in New Zealand. There was no response to my email to the company about it so I suppose someone else is wearing my nice blue-face Lorus watch.

Little wind-up torch: this was promotional keyring from a government department, just right for attaching to a loop on my bag, and very useful. I left it with the taxi driver when we went through security at the Taj Mahal (no torches allowed), and forgot to ask for it back. It seems the taxi driver also thought it might be handy.

Earring Number 1: in Jaisalmer I noticed that only one, not both, of my ears was wearing a nice red, lacquered paper, African earring. In a discussion about this, David recognised it as the one he had picked up on the hotel stairs, and handed
Storm over Kerala BackwatersStorm over Kerala BackwatersStorm over Kerala Backwaters

We were on the water.
in to the hotel office. The staff (new shift) couldn't find it though.

Swiss Army Knife: after six weeks on the road in India, I neglected to clean out my daypack properly before we went to Delhi Airport, and had completely forgotten the knife was in there. Naturally the security people found it, but not until there had been a 15 minute search for the 'lighter' picked up on the scanner, and which I denied having. While I was right - there was no lighter - that wasn't really any consolation for the loss of a Chistmas present from David, to replace a cheapo knife that Narita Airport security had taken away from me (in 1990, well before the general ban on sharp objects).

Travel pillow: I mentioned in an earlier post that I really like my semicircular Spinifex travel pillow, which doubles as a lumbar support. The truth is we used to have one each, but then I left mine on a bus in Turkey, and our connections meant there was no time to negotiate the labyrinth of the bus station to find the Metro Bus lost property office. So David's pillow became mine.

Hiking pole:
Camp at ChamonixCamp at ChamonixCamp at Chamonix

The plastic cups and wine glasses appear here, and you can just see the lost breadboard
one of these was also left on a bus, but this time by David in Cappadocia. Luckily our hiking poles are cheapos which we bought on special, mainly to see if they were useful (they are).

Food bag: continuing with the theme of leaving things on buses in Turkey, this one concerned a bus arrival in Goreme at 4.30 in the morning, after an all-night journey. The food bag was overlooked as we scrambled to manage the unloading of ourselves, rucksacks, daypacks and pillows, without undue delay for the bus which needed to keep to its schedule. Although the bag belonged to our travelling companions, Trish and Tony, we also noticed its loss as we shared many of the goodies they kept in there.

Earring Number 2: one of my nice Turkish engraved copper earrings that went with nearly everything - dropped in a carpark in Bratislava. It must have become unhooked from my ear when I took my coat off and, like Earring Number 1, it was so light I never noticed until we had driven some way, in heavy traffic, from the central city car park.

Toe ring: missing soon after walking along a beach
Beach at Ripairo di GiobbeBeach at Ripairo di GiobbeBeach at Ripairo di Giobbe

Down to one toe-ring
in Norway. It was a very gravelly beach and we had been for a fairly long walk, at times even venturing to put our feet in the water. So there was no point in looking for the toe ring.

Soft shell jacket: although this jacket had seen better days, I quite liked it as it was warm for its weight. After I realised it must have fallen off my bag (I'd hooked it around the strap), we retraced our steps through the streets of Goteborg but there was no trace of it. Of course, the loss was also a good excuse to buy a new fleece/soft shell, which I did a day or so later. But since then I haven't hooked any item of clothing around the strap of a shoulder bag.

Disc 1 of a Leonard Cohen CD set: we went to play it on the road from Brisbane to Darwin, and realised we'd left it in the CD player of the leased Renault in Europe. Of course the lost CD had to be the one with the good songs on it.

Undies: we have developed the habit of always (or almost always) washing our undies
Village in SapaVillage in SapaVillage in Sapa

This was similar to what I had done with this fleece when I lost it in Goteborg
as part of our normal morning ablutions. There is, however, the resulting problem of what to do with the wet undies if you happen to be on the road that day. David solved the problem several times in Western Queensland and the NT (few other road users) by jamming his undies in the car window so they would dry as we drove along - a sort of small scale Priscilla effect. (BTW mine usually hung from the back of my headrest so they would dry with the sun coming in the back windscreen of the ute). All went well until, one day somewhere on the Barkly Highway, David opened the window for some reason - and you know the result. But when we stopped to camp for the night, there were his undies, tucked in amongst the folds of the tarp over the tray. So really a lost and found story.

Water bottle: I remember using it at Wadi Halfa, so I must have left it there. Turned out not to be such a bad thing though, as a fellow traveller kindly passed on her better water bottle when she left.

Hat: this was nothing special. Bought from
In the street at Wadi HalfaIn the street at Wadi HalfaIn the street at Wadi Halfa

The hat is in almost new condition and the water bottle is there too.
a street stall in Luxor, it quickly looked pretty bedraggled. After a particular level of bedraggled-ness though, it didn't get any worse, and it did its job. When we finally left the truck in Capetown I couldn't find it - only to learn it wasn't really lost. David had given it away to someone who expressed a liking for it. I hope you're looking after it well Patrick.

Shampoo and conditioner: in matching refillable travel bottles! No idea really what happened to them but I do recall using them in the Punto Sabbione campground. Maybe I left them in the shower but, if so, why were they not with all the other left-behind bottles of shampoos, conditioners and shower gels which were waiting on a table for their forgetful owners?

I'm not sure how this list stacks up against most travellers, even though David has been crowing that he takes more care of things and so contributed just a little bit to the list!! So I won't include the external hard drive that fell off the table in the campground bar in Dar Es Salaam and hasn't been accessible since, or the computer that was rained on the
Jesus with an umbrellaJesus with an umbrellaJesus with an umbrella

In Kerala, it's not just the people in the ferry who need shade
other day.

And I'll just mention in passing the things David hopes will be lost: our espresso pot which doesn't seal properly; the plastic cups which came with the cooking pots; and the seemingly unbreakable plastic wine glasses we bought before we found glass ones in lots of 2 rather than 6 (one of the glass ones broke last night).

Finally, if you've made it this far, you deserve to know that the only explanation for the fate of the missing breadboard is that someone left it on top of the car … and it was still there (for a few seconds) when we drove off.

Additional photos below
Photos: 19, Displayed: 19


Simien MountainsSimien Mountains
Simien Mountains

David with hiking poles
Simien Mountains againSimien Mountains again
Simien Mountains again

This is not the hat and not the water bottle. The blue poles replaced the original red ones.
 Sikkim  Sikkim

Note two pairs of red hiking poles. This was before we went to Turkey

Earring no. 1 was lost in here

That's Trish and Tony with us at part of the Taj Mahal complex, where security includes no torches
Samburu National ParkSamburu National Park
Samburu National Park

The hat appears again.
Nakuru National ParkNakuru National Park
Nakuru National Park

The hat at its most bedraggled
Eating a mango Eating a mango
Eating a mango

at Mto wa Mbu, Tanzania
Victoria Falls Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls

The hat reshaped but I don't think that's what Janet was talking about
Near Conondale National ParkNear Conondale National Park
Near Conondale National Park

David in his work hat (which now looks newer than his town hat)

1st June 2010

You need to be more careful with those government keyrings, you know. No matter, I reckon I can find a few spare.
3rd June 2010

I Like It
I enjoyed reading this post. Patsy, as I enjoy reading all the posts you guys put up. Hope the breadboard didn't do too much damage as it flew off the roof of the car. We did that years ago with a pizza - it was still edible when we found it sometime later.
4th June 2010

But it didn't make a sound
Just as well it wasn't edible - we would have been really upset.
4th June 2010

They are really useful - just make sure the PR people include them in promotional packs. Or maybe you could ship a box to India.

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