Wedding in Prague
Nico and I was going to Czechia for our big brother's wedding. We had been planning the trip for months, but now the day was finally here, and we left for the airport. This was before airport security got crazy, so Nico didn't realise his passport had expired until we landed in Prague and queued up for the airport security check.
In a slight panic, we started strategising. What should we do if Nico was stopped and not allowed to enter the country? At the very least he would miss the wedding due the next day. We decided to try distraction; maybe the officer wouldn't notice that his passport had expired. Of course it didn't work. Now what?
We started pleading with the officer, who swiftly called for airport security. While waiting Nico managed to convince me that he would be fine all by himself.
And then Nico was taken away in handcuffs.
Later he told me he was placed in a holding cell while waiting for the next flight back to Norway. With very little time left he had to act fast! He asked for a phone call to the Norwegian embassy. The ambassador was travelling, but thankfully he got hold of his wife - and convinced her to come to his aid. She had the authority to issue a new passport.
When she arrived Nico was allowed to leave his cell to get the new passport. The challenge however, was that the airport didn't have a photo booth. They spent some time desperately stopping travellers asking if they had a polaroid camera, but no luck. Eventually she ripped the old photo from the outdated passport and put in the new one (I thought the entire purpose of updating a passport was to get an updated photo).
By this time, it was getting late - we were all long gone and he was getting hungry, but he didn’t have the address to the hotel, just the name. Nico figured he could take a taxi to the hotel, except he didn’t have any money.
So he left the airport and somehow got himself to a pub where he found a patron speaking English. After explaining his predicament, Nico proposed a wager: he would make a coin disappear from a glass of water. Little did the patron know that Nico always carried a glass coin in his wallet for this exact purpose. If successful, Nico would get some food, a beer and the money needed for the cab ride to the hotel. If he failed however, he would be on his way.
The trick is simple, but it worked. The patron was amused. He declared Nico the winner and paid what was agreed.
Nico had his food and beer before spending the money to get himself to the hotel, where he eventually caught up with us. Ready for the wedding the next day.
Airport Prison Legacy
Nico was handcuffed when put in the airport holding cell. The bench he was sitting on was a cracked up wooden bench. Nico managed to reach into his pocket and get out a pink golf peg with our fathers name printed on it. With all his power he managed to jam it into one of the cracks in the bench - and I wouldn't be surprised if it's still there today.