Tuesday, 30 October 2012

For everything else there's Barclaycard

What's that? Last minute change of plan?

Well that was a morning. It all started rather promisingly - I was up on time at 4.55am with everything ready to go. I just had to get dressed and put my backpack (backpack) in its baggy. This is usually folded up and put away, but I only had a short transfer so stuffed it into my hand luggage. My hand luggage which I had smugly reduced to the one backpack, bird bag stowed in the side pocket for later. (Unfortunate event number 1)

I got to the airport about ten to 6, plenty of time for the half 7 flight. I made my way to check in and SHOCK HORROR couldn't find my passport. I 'lose' this sort of thing on a regular basis but it's usually lost in my black hole of a bag and a bit of excavating usually locates it. I emptied my bag and it definitely wasn't there. I then rang the hotel to check if I'd left it in my room (I was sure I hadn't) and they couldn't find it. At this point I started to flap a bit and went back outside to see if I'd dropped it when getting the baggy out, which in hindsight I must have done. It was very dark and I didn't see. About 10minutes/an eternity of quite impressive flapping later a small man called raj in a brown shirt appeared as if by magic with my passport, 'miss, miss, this you? This you?'. Poor Raj was rather taken aback when I hugged him enthusiastically and declared a fair amount of love. (Unfortunate event number 2).

So enormously relieved I headed back to check in, passport firmly clasped in hand. I scanned all my bags (again) and got back in the check in line. My booking reference was saved on my phone so I fished it out to be ready. No phone. I checked my big bag in, got out of the line and emptied my hand luggage for the third time in about 20minutes. No phone. I hooked my iPod up to the free wifi and skyped it. Ring ring, ring ring. About 3 calls later it was turned off.
No phone.
Flapping returned with some mild hysteria thrown in for good measure (it was early and I'd already filled my stress quota by then). I went into the airport police bit to see if they could help (unfortunate event number 3). They were as useful as a chocolate teapot. When it was clear they couldn't help find it (thee CCTV people on the phone said 'we can see you, but we can't see your phone') I asked for a bit of paper to show my insurance company. I kept pointing out that my flight was soon but they assured me all was ok and I wouldn't miss it. Eventually I said I had to go, ran through security, immigration etc all the way to the gate. In big letters it said TUTUP. Apparently this is the Malay for 'closed'. Bugger.
I rang Sophie in more substantial hysterics asking (cough demanding) that she cancel my phone and my debit card...again. As luck would have it she had sent some photos of it over the previous evening so I could Internet bank etc after losing the last one. The photos saved on my now stolen phone (unfortunate event number 4). At the same time I was attempting to find a member of staff to help. I found a member of staff, but they didn't help. And so I missed my flight (unfortunate event number 5). Apparently Malaysian efficiency means your checked baggage can be removed from the plane in no time at all!

SO back to departures I went to think about what I'd done. The next flight to Laos wasn't for two days so I looked for other routes - all expensive, round the houses and involving random overnights. Flights to Singapore, however, were almost hourly and pretty cheap plus I'd promised cousin Lucy a visit at somepoint, so Singapore it was!

I had to go back to arrivals to collect my backpack (backpack) again and was greeted by the same person who'd let me back in the last time I forgot my bag. He thinks I'm an idiot. Check in this time went smoothly (what with no phone to lose and my passport clamped firmly in my sweaty palm), I got the necessary paperwork from the po-lice and then followed my heart. Keep calm and have a Starbucks. One iced beverage and one muffin later I headed back through security and boarded my plane - in plenty of time.

So now I'm in Singapore. Where next? Oh who knows, it probably won't go to plan anyway!

Big thanks to:
Sophie, for dealing with a 20second, poorly connected shrieking phonecall at midnight (did I help bring on labour?)
Apple, for your most excellent iPods
James, for my power monkey
Barclaycard for funding all the mishaps
And Lucy for living in the pore and having a keyless entry flat.
Oh, and Starbucks.

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