Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Of trivial things, and blessings in disguise...

This came via SMS this morning. Bits of it included "M @ Narita. Only fnd out flight wz 2335 n going to Tokyo (not Kobe!). Going to Ter**o fctory 1st thn tk shinkanzen to Kobe..."

That was from Ayah. He took the Airport Limo and left the house at 9:00p.m last night, informing me that his flight to Kobe was to be at 2355. Trust Ayah to not pay attention to all those irrelevant details...

He knew that he was going to a Cardiology Conference in Kobe, and he knew that he had to be the moderator for 3 of the sessions. He also knew that all expenses would be paid by Ter**o (a Japanese company which supplies medico-cardio equipments). That much he knew. And I guess that was why he thought that he would be flying straight to Kobe! Logically, THAT should be the case, right? And Ayah only dwells with logic, being a melancholic that he is.

What he didn't know was that his sponsors had arranged for a visit to their factory in Shin-Fuji, and that they would be bringing him and a few other cardiologist to the factory, and that they would be doing a demo and that they would be promoting some of their new machines to them. Luckily he was travelling with his sponsors and a group of other cardiologists. If not, AIIYOOOOO! Pengsan! I guess, all these 'little' details were rather trivial for Ayah to pay much attention to them? (Double Aiiiyyyooo!!)

Just like it was SO trivial to him to check whether his passport was still valid for travel or not. This was what happened three weeks ago. Ayah was scheduled to go to Ahmadebad, India on 17 January 2007 as a Faculty member for a Conference there and his sponsors had asked him to give his passport to them so that they could apply for his Visa to enter India. He did just that on 4th January 2007, only to be told 4 days later (i.e. on 8th January 2007) that they could not apply for the Indian Visa on his behalf because apparently his passport had expired in June last year ("apparently"?! Duuuhhh!!!) Anyway, as it was a bit of a rush, and it would be risky for Ayah to try to renew his passport then and apply for the Indian Visa, and as there was no guarantee that he would get his passport back from the Indian High Comm before 11th January, Ayah decided to cancel his trip to India. (YESSS!!!!)

Why did it have to be before 11th January? Well, he was scheduled to go to Surabaya on that date! So, off he went to renew his passport on 9th January at Pusat Bandar Damansara. Have to say that we were VERY impressed with the Immigration Department. No hassles, no queues. Only an ATM look-alike machine to deal with, and Ayah's passport was ready for collection after 2 hours (but he only went to collect it on 10th January,) and off he flew to Surabaya on 11th January.

And guess what? You guys wouldn't believe this - that was NOT the first time that this happened. Check this out - way back in 1992, Ayah managed to fly back to Malaysia from London Heathrow without ANYONE realizing or noticing that he was in fact travelling with an expired passport! It was quite mind-boggling that the security and the check-in counters had not noticed this when they were (supposed to be) doing their job at the airport! I guess security at Heathrow was pretty laxed then. Ayah was only told about this by his Arwah Daddy when the latter was going through all the passports belonging to the entourage, while he was waiting for the next boxed meal to be served on the flight! What can I say? That was just pure luck!

In a way, this is somewhat a blessing in disguise.

If it was not because Ayah had to apply for his Visa to enter India, he would not have discovered that his passport had expired.

And if he had not discovered about it then, he would have probably ONLY found out about it just as he was about to check in at the airport on the morning he was to fly to Surabaya, and chances were - he would not have been allowed to leave tanah tumpah darahnya to go to tanah seberang that day!

And if he did not leave the country that day, he would not have come back from Surabaya with all the batik tenun for me (Hahaha!), and the 15 kilos of keropok Indonesia.

It is also of course, a blessing in disguise as because of that, he had to cancel his Ahmadebad trip. Remember in my earlier posting in which I wrote that I was hoping and I was trying very hard to persuade him to cancel at least one of his trips abroad because of his slipped discs? Well, God is Great and truly works and moves in mysterious ways. My prayers were answered... So, his trips abroad were cut down from three to two this month (Lucky me! Happy me!)

I guess Ayah had been pretty lucky with all things which seemed trivial to him. But, I hope he would at least try to make an effort to dwell on seemingly trivial issues from now on. Who knows how "UNtrivial" and how life-changing they could be? But, for now, let's pray that Ayah's lucky stars are here to stay. Amin. :)

22 comments:

Mior Azhar said...

Shana,
Sempoinya hidup. Passport dah expired pun naik jugak plane. Lepas lak tu. Sometimes miracle do happen, right?
Wheneever I have to travel, I'll normally be highly agitated because I'm always confused with the departure and arrival timing and dates esp those at 2345 or 0120. Even more so after my colleague went to san Francsico airport to catch his flight back to Malaysia only to be told that the flight has left the USA the day before. That friend and Ayah could be good friends, you know. And Hope his back is a okay?

kudo said...

how's his back?

oh, by the by. a little birdy told me that nik has moved on to greener, but busier, pastures. :D

Helena said...

he sure is one lucky guy..... boss-boss ni, mmg harap secretary/PA check for him.... hehe WIfey jadi back up secretary/PA.

Mr Engineer said...

Yes Shana, Allah works in mysterious ways. Due to last minute arrangements, I am supposed to fly to Jeddah this Sunday and fly back to KL on Wednesday, reaching KLIA about noon Thursday. The problem was that I am supposed to drive the whole family to Penang that Thursday morning. Hotel rooms have been booked for Thursday and Friday.

Alhamdulillah, due to some technical problems in Saudi, they couldn't issue my visa in time. So the trip has been postponed. I know that I have still to go to Saudi in the very very near future but, at least the kids can go to Penang this CNY.

WANSHANA said...

Mior,

Memang sempoi...

I think it's because he travels a lot, and somehow travelling out of the country pun macam nak pergi ke Banting aje kot - dia terlupa he needs his passport. Hahaha!

I pun sometimes gabra when it comes to the military's system of time, sebab my Maths is SO tak boleh pakai! Nak kira campur tolak segala...Aihhhh...

I think you should introduce your friend to Ayah - boleh start a club. :)

His back is much better, thank you. But, to be on the safe side, he has brought with him two different types of lumbar/back support with him to Japan.

Take care, Mior.

U.Lee said...

Hi Wanshana, couldn't help grin from East to West read of your Ayah's passport, flight misadventures, ha ha.
I bet it made you kelang kabote, huh?
Standby your man, like the song goes.
You have a nice day, Wanshana.

WANSHANA said...

Kudo,

His back is much better, thank you. But he still goes for physio/traction/hot-pack treatments right until the day he flew to Japan. Apart from the 2 lumbar supports, he also bawak bekalan Arc*x*a and Celeb**x with him.

Yes, Nik has moved on to greener and busier pasture, but according to Haizal he still goes back to PP*M every now and then. I guess because mentally he was not prepared to leave the service so soon, but circumstances dictate otherwise.

We wish him all the best. Amin.

WANSHANA said...

Helena,

He sure is lucky, alright!

He doesn't have his own PA/secretary. So, most of the time I jadi multipurpose wife, and being his PA is one of my job description.

Masalahnya, PA yang sorang ni tak boleh diharap sometimes! Hehehe!

Take care.

WANSHANA said...

Mr. Engineer,

Yes, indeed. HE knows what is best, and HE knows how hambaNya can best handle a situation.

So happy that you, On*ir and the kids dapat gi holiday together over CNY. Trip to Jeddah tu, of course lah cannot be avoided, but at least (hopefully) it'll be better organized, and tak terkejut-terkejut lagi next time.

Believe it or not, both Haizal and I totally forgot about CNY holiday and we have not planned anything for the kids! Boleh kot tumpang sekaki ikut you all gi Penang? Hehehee!

Please convey salam to On*ir. MIGHT be seeing her tomorrow - Ladies Night Out :) But, have yet to confirm whether I cld join or not...)

Take care ;)

WANSHANA said...

Hello U. Lee,

Yes, I don't know what it is, but, there's something about Ayah and travelling tales. He has A LOT of those, I tell you.

One of which include the time when he was stranded halfway, for (6 days!) between London and Washington D.C somewhere in a little town called Gander in Newfoundland, Canada on 9/11! I think I'll save that story for another more appropriate day. And he was also once stranded in Mumbai for a few days enroute to London Heathrow from KL due to some flight technical problems.

Hmmmmm...I think he should start his own blog dedicated to all his travelling tales, no?

You have a nice day, too, Uncle Lee :)

Ayah said...

Hi there!

Wow...Mommy dear...u blog about my travels? Even I gelak baca your story. Betul ke ni? Hahaha... Btw, you have perfected the art of multi-tasking. No choice...when you have a husband like me! Arigato, my dear :)

Back at the hotel..still thinkg whether I should sleep or not. Takut terlanjut sampai miss the Faculty dinner tonight (like how I missed my bfast today.

Btw, my back is ok. It's still there! ;p I try not to think of it too much takut jadi sakit pulak. I miss my nasi lemak and nasi goreng USA (err..I miss u too, of cos!). Had nasi goreng jepun for lunch...somehow oklaa.. I have to have nasi apa. Last nite's dinner wz so..err..fishy! I've never had so much fish in 1 go before! :D My hosts tau I ni boleh makan seafood je, but when I asked them for sea-chicken or sea-cow they stared at me... ;p

Oh Kudo, Nik has indeed moved to greener pastures..n bluer skies. How dare he did it...before me!!! Haha..Oops ;p

3 days n I'm home. Lamanyer.... Kiss2 to the kidz ya?

Ayah

afsi said...

Dear WS

I laughed out reading on what happened to Ayah.... Sounds like me a lot... Same here my wife will fuss on all these things.. passport, itenary etc etc

regards

WANSHANA said...

Ayah,

I say...I forgot to also mention the story Mak related to me about the time you got lost in Sydney Zoo when you were 8(?) years old, and all your kaum kerabat initiated a search party to look for you! That's another classic on your travel tales for sure.

Sigh...What is wrong with you, dear?! Hehehe!

Anyway, I hope you won't get on the wrong plane pulak Sunday ni coming back to KL.

We look forward to having you back home with us :)

WANSHANA said...

Afsi,

Elok lah tu... You, Ayah and Mior's friend can form a club. Hahahaha!

Seriously, I just cannot understand how you guys don't check your flight and passport details like 1001 times, etc?!

Manja sangat dengan wives ni...

(By the way - please convey my birthday wish to Mama, ya...)

Take care ;)

MAMAMIA said...

Sounds just like my hubby. Maybe they all ni banyak na fikir pasal more complex things, that they just can't be bothered with all the details.

My hubby, naik the wrong flight pun pernah.. Nasib baik plane tak take off lagi. He only realised he was on the wrong flight bila ada another passenger with the same seat no. Bila checked balik boarding pass & air ticket, baru lah perasan...

WANSHANA said...

Mamamia,

Eloklah tu...one more member for the club. Hehehe!

But, that just goes to show that security kat airport is not tight at all, kan? If not, they would have discovered that he was getting on the wrong flight masa nak boarding tu.

Anyway, I guess, you're right. Banyak lagi masalah dunia yang lebih besar yang perlu difikirkan oleh mereka....

Take care ;)

Ayah said...

Hi dear...

Ohaiyo gonzaimas! In the lounge with the whole jing-bang from Msia. Riuh habis!!!

So far flight is on time...so arriving KLIA at 5.05pm, insya-Allah. AND...I will be on the right plane flying to the right destination!

Gotta go. Boarding very soon. C u tonite!

Ayah

P.S. I'll reply ur sms when I c u nanti ya... ;p

idham said...

wanshana...:)
hehehhe...kudos wanshana for keeping ayah on the right flights throughout ur marriage....!
wife's prayers ni power! be careful therefore what you pray for....hehehehe ( also a note to LiL )

ayah - enjoy Kobe ( and Narita ). How is winter there.....judging from what is happening in China, must be freezing cold!

Tulis buku la - pasal ayah's adventures, sounds like a candidate for a best-seller!

God BLESS!

Idham

WANSHANA said...

Ayah,

Yes, see you tonight, insya Allah :)

I'm cooking my special Briayani for you - I know just how much you miss your chicken and your beef everytime you travel out of the country. Hehehe!

WANSHANA said...

Abang Id,

True - a wife's do'a memang power. Do'a seorang suami pun power jugak. But, kedua-duanya tak boleh menandingi do'a ibu kita...

I'll surely convey your suggestion/proposal to him. The problem is, I just can't imagine when he will have the time to do that... Some days he has to take his breakfast, lunch and dinner at one go coz' he cannot get away from work. Unless he takes that as his post-retirement project?

(Hmmmmm, I can just imagine being his proof-reader and editor, his typist, his tukang buat air, his tukang urut, etc while he writes the book...)

Take care.

Idlan said...

My friends would say this, of me. "Benda-benda abstrak, bigger picture, dia fikir. Kunci kereta letak kat mana pun tak ingat; nak save document terlupa; sign cheque pun tarikh letak salah tahun."

Of the latter, I think I would have been forgiven had the month been January. But with it being June and me still thinking it was 2006.. I got quite a (friendly) rollocking.

wanshana said...

Hi Idlan,

Thanks for hopping by :)

Oh great...another member for the club. Hahaha!

It was already June, and you still got the year wrong?! Hmmmm....Tak dapek le den nak nolong... You sure masa sign the cheque tak terlebih tulis 'zero' kat the amount ke? :)

Take care, and keep warm over there.