G for Gate. Wrong!
This was a past unhappy event that I just want to script down, and thank goodness it's over.
It happened two weeks ago, started with a phone call from mom at freaking 3.30 a.m.
The first thing she said, "FF, I am now in Narita. I missed my flight. I went to the wrong gate. I missed the "G". A ghost must have covered my eyes!!" Gosh, a ghose must have covered her eyes? Got to love her expressions sometimes.
My sleepiness just poof the moment I heard that. It was definitely the last thing you wanted to hear from your mom, at that hour.
16 hours ago, we were still bidding goodbye emotionally in LAX, I was praying her journey home would be a smooth one, and now she told me she went to the wrong gate in Narita. For the next 5 min, she tried to squeeze everything that would have taken 20 min to explain.
"I want you to change my ticket from Singapore back to Kuching. The staff in Narita changed my ticket from Narita to Singapore, but I have to deal with the Singapore to Kuching ticket by myself. You need to do it for me. Okay, I have to hang up now. Remember, don't tell anyone in Kuching! I don't want them to know." *Click!* That was the last thing she should worry. Before I could even ask her which hotel she was going to stay and her ticket confirmation number, she hang up. Gosh!! I really don't understand her obsessionw with "hiding embarrassment".
For the next couple hours, we were trying hard to settle the problem for her, without involving anyone from Kuching. I was so glad Eddie was beside me. He calmed me down. We called Singapore and Japan. The office in Singapore declined to change her ticket by us, simply because when did not have her confirmation number. Due to personal privacy, the staffs in Narita were forbiddened to give out any personal information. It was after office hours, not the best time for dealing stuffs like this.
I opted for the last option, to call my sister. Screw the "embarrassment". I admit I was quite angry with my mom at that time. She created quite a panic situation on the way to U.S., and now she was creating a more panic situation on her way back. I just wanted to get the travel agency's phone number from my sister. Of course she was panic too after knowing what happened. Little did I know, she was with my other family members at that time. Great, more people have to worry for mom.
That morning, I had to go to the DMV to get another temporary driving license. I was stucked there for 4 hours. However, I was so glad they finally gave me my permanent driver's license last Friday, after 7 freaking months I passed my driving test. People really are not exaggerating at all about the service speed of California DMV. Imagine my Permanent Resident ID only took four months! Seven months for a simple Driver's License??
By the time I reached home, I was so glad to hear a message from mom, telling me the right hotel name and wrong room number. Thank goodness she left the right phone number. There were actually more than 30 hotels with the name like that. She was in Chiba, yet she told me she was in Tokyo, as she did not realize how different they actually are. I would not be able to get her in time if not because of the power of internet. When she found out that I actually called my sister to reach her travel agent, her reaction was, "Great, now whole Kuching people will know." Once again, I really don't get her obsession with "Not letting people know something embarrasing".
I was so glad it ended well, albeit all the troubles.
She finally reached home three days later. It was a hard lesson for her. Things could have gone much worse. She could have ended up paying extra US$2300 to get another ticket from Narita to Singapore, thanks to her "Voluntary Stopover". Instead, she just paid 6000yen for overnight and RM650 for buying another ticket from Singapoe to Kuching. She was lucky to even get a ticket from Singapore to Kuching as it was school holidays, only one ticket left. Her luggages could have been a mess to deal with if they had not took them down when she did not board the flight. The lady did not want to check in for her from Narita to Kuching, as according to her it was a "New Rule", which was of course a bulls***. She only checked in them from Narita to Singapore, and expecting my mom to drag her three luggages to check in again in Singapore. Mom did not know her right to have luggages check-in directly from one destination to another destination as long as it is less than 24-hr transiting time. I should have taught her to use the phrase "I want to see your manager and the guideline that stated your new rules". Luckily, she managed to check-in again her luggages in Singapore without having to pull them out. It was a close call. I dare not imagine how much they will charge her if they treat her luggages as flying from Singapore to Kuching. Not a single item in her luggages was missing. She brought back two full luggages of souvenirs, and I was so glad she went through the immigration without personal checking, thanks to the newly installed scanning machines.
I don't know if to laugh or to cry with my mom's after reaction. Normally, she would create panic situation when things don't go right, and when she found out how people have helped her to settle it (especially her own family), she would say something like this, "Ai yah, you all don't worry lar. I have everything under control. I dont even worry about it. I just wanted to inform you beforehand mar." Yeah right mom, under control meaning people were busy dealing for you worrying while you just wait for our good news. Little did she know everytime she did that, there were people taking the efforts to settle the troubles for her.
This was not the first time things like this happened, although it was a more troublesome situation.
Seriously mom, if next time you are going to travel by yourself, no more mahjong for you the day before. Also, it does not matter if you think I am over-cautious, too long-breath and keep reminding you about tickets blah blah blah... because I really don't want this to happen again.
Still, I love you mom.
Okay, back to my jobs hunting.