Shanghaied in Shanghai

25 May

And so this is where it all goes badly wrong. Having fought off the street vendors trying to take me to the market, to sell me copy watches and handbags, to take me to massage parlours, and all manner of other invitations, I realise that somewhere, I have had my pocket picked. My wallet is intact, fortunately…. but in a dramatic moment of deja vu… I have lost my passport. Again.

So, here’s how it goes over here. I go to the police station just round the corner, who get rid of you as quickly as possible. I then go half way across town to the British Embassy. I then go back to my hotel to get a copy of the residency report, and go across to the other side of town to the Entry – Exit bureau. Apparently, I can pick up documents from them on Wednesday, and then go to my embassy on Thursday for Emergency Travel Documents (no messing around waiting weeks for a replacement passport this time). Which means I might be back on schedule, if a little bit pissed off.

So, what am I thinking now…. well, fortunately, I am still smiling. Eventually. I’m going to be honest with you – I really did find myself plunged into moments of despair. First of all, just sheer anger at whoever took my passport (and partly the futility of it – what are they actually going to DO with it now they’ve got it). But I can’t hold anger against someone for very long – that’s just not who I am.

And I’d like to share some of my thinking with you, if that’s OK. Because it’s part of this adventure….

So that anger morphs into a real fury against the person who seems to be the real culprit here – me. Why didn’t I take more care of my passport this time (well, it was in a zipped and secured (I thought) pocket?

Yet as Epictetus put it “Whenever any chance befalls you, remember to ask yourself how you can put it to use”. And I remind myself, as one of my new programmes will put it “You’re not broken”. There’s nothing ‘wrong’ here – there’s just what is (as my youngest son put it when he was quite small (but quite wise) “There’s no such thing as a mistake. There’s just what’s happened”.

So the question is, perhaps, what is there to learn here? Is there a message for me in all this? I go through all sorts of possibilities. Is it about my identity? Is it about making a new start? Is my subconscious desperate to go home?  Do I need to slow down? Am I wanting to create more excitement in my life?

I’m confused, I guess – I have a belief that everything that happens is an opportunity to learn and to grow – and I also know that at a fundamental level we create everything that happens to us. So why did I create this… again? Am I being too dim to listen?

I think there is something about this journey being part of Jung’s ‘Heroes Journey’ – that part of the journey that I am on is about transformation, about leaving one thing behind and becoming another. Perhaps that really needs to ‘stick’. I’m not who I was… I’ve become truer to the real truth about me.. as they put it in Thailand (on a thousand tourist T-Shirts) “Same Same – But Different”.

It can’t be a co-incidence that two of my heroes post insights on Facebook: Neale Donald Walsch reminds me “Right now, in this moment, your soul has again created opportunity for you to be, do and have what it takes to know Who You Really Are. What will you do now? Your soul waits, and watches with interest, as it has many times before.” And Marianne Williamson chimes in with “Every situation is a lesson in how to respond to life more perfectly”

So there it is, clearly. In the end, the question is: “how I will use this experience to define Who I Am more clearly?”

So here’s what I am choosing to be: Calm. Joyful. Resourceful. Bold. Positive/ Full of faith. Peaceful. Expectant. Excited. Determined. Flexible. In the flow. Accepting of myself.

And so, as the wizard that I know I am (and as I know we all truly are) – I can bring something hugely positive out of this experience. Because I know that in my life, magic keeps on happening – even when it doesn’t look like it. So I find myself asking myself, in the maelstrom of craziness and confusion that’s all around… “just who do you want to be in the face of all this ‘stuff’? Just how do you want to create an amazing and positive experience out of everything that’s going on for you? What can you do to turn the chaos into something great?”

And, you know – I have a feeling that a lot of this is going to end up in one of my workshops, too….


But there’s a coda to this. When I got back to the hotel (from going BACK to the entry-exit bureau again) there was a message for ‘Tim Hodgson in room 601D’. Now, the ONLY way someone could have that information (apart from the hotel staff) is if they have my room key. And, therefore, my passport.

So, I have an appointment in McDonalds this evening to be reunited with my passport. Now that’s quite exciting…

3 Responses to “Shanghaied in Shanghai”

  1. Nikki Rose May 25, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    Oh, Tim!!!
    My heart sank when I started reading your latest post. I think I would have just cried with utter frustration and rage!!! …

    And then your passport is reported as found!!! Hallelujah and much gratitude!!

    Do be careful when you go and collect your passport (I am mindful of something that happened to me many years ago, when I was “set up” in the crowded main sqaure of La Paz in Bolivia – in broad daylight!)

    Glad you are able to find the positives out of this one!:o)

    N xx

    • timrhodgson May 25, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

      Thanks, honey – it’s not over yet, as the guy didn’t show… so still a little nervous….

      T xx

      *Timothy Hodgson* /Author, leader, teacher, adventurer, visionary/**

      Mobile: +44 (0)7704 267869 Web:


      “You are alive.That means you have infinite potential.. You can do anything, make anything, dream anything.If you change the world, the world will change.”The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman

      *****Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail – emails save time, but not printing them saves trees*

  2. mandy May 25, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    Tim, I love you. I continue to be in awe and just smile at your utter amazingness.

    (Also confess to missing you loads and will be glad when you’re home) xx

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