Sunday, 23 December 2007

Perseverance

Have you been in a situation where you got to the airport a few hours early and found out that all tickets are booked and got your name on number 26 in the waiting list? Well, I experienced it and believe me or not, I managed to get a seat on the flight.

It was the 21st of August 1980 and at about 8.00pm I made my way to the public phone opposite a restaurant next to Sekolah Menengah Tok Janggut in Pasir Puteh Kelantan. The restaurant was about 400 meters from my house. It was a Thursday. A week earlier, I left my wife in Penang. She was very advanced in her pregnancy and since we decided that she should deliver in Penang, I left her there with a heavy heart.

As my 2nd brother realised that it was me on the phone, he congratulated me. He broke the news that I got a girl. No we didn't scan. I don't know if they had scanning then but if the did it must have been expensive and I surely couldn't have afford it. I was shocked. She was actually due in 2 weeks time. I broke down on the phone. I couldn't control the joy and the extreme loneliness. I wanted so very badly to be with them.

I walked home feeling happy, elated and missing my wife so much. I decided to go home the next day. Nothing could stop me. If I were to take a bus, the journey would be about 24 hours so I decided to fly. I don't have much money but nothing was going to stop me from rushing home to see my wife and daughter.

The next morning I was at the airport at about 9.00. As I got to the counter, I was told that all tickets were fully booked. The best they could do was to put me on waiting list. I asked what were my chances. They staff was very frank. He said that my chance was very slim since there were already 25 names before mine.

The flight was scheduled to depart Kota Bahru at 1.00pm and there I was sitting like a bloody fool at about 9.00, on number 26 in the waiting list and hopeful that I would be able to see my newborn girl and also hold my wife's hands in the afternoon.

After about 10 minutes of waiting, I went to the counter and asked about the possibility of getting a jump seat. The staff was friendly and told me politely that if I could produce a telegram proving an emergency, he could try to help me. He also said that 1 is reserved for VIPs only.

I told him my story but he said that he couldn't help me without the telegram. I did not sit but chose to stand near the counter. The staff asked me to sit because there was nothing he or I could do about the situation.

I took my seat but was at the counter about 10 minutes later. I think I must have gone to the counter about 10 times enquiring about whatever that crossed my mind. I guess he could see that I was genuinely desperate. He told me to sit and that he would do what ever he could to help me.

The moment check in time was up, the staff waved at me first. Although I was on number 26, he called me first since after check in time there were a few seats available. I paid the RM49 plus RM2 airport tax and thanked him profusely for helping me out. I was thinking, had I not bother him so much would he had given me the top priority that I got?

The flight took about 45 minutes and I was home before 3.00. When I got home, I headed straight to the maternity ward and was told told that my daughter had jaundice and was under UV in another room. I went to the room and was in tears as I saw her small 6lb oz body under the ultra violet light in a small crib. They had to cover up her eyes. I think it was about 3 days later that my daughter was released. I took a whole week off.

After about a week, I left Penang for Kelantan. My wife and little girl were to follow me there in about a week's time.

The following week I was at the airport waiting for them. The Boeing from Penang arrived but they were not among the passengers. I was shocked. I called my house but there was no answer. I called my SIL's house and no answer also.

Panicked, I went to the counter and enquired if there were any ticket to Penang available. This time there was plenty. I immediately bought one and in T-shirt and slippers, I boarded the same plane and was in Penang in no time.

When I reached home I realised that they couldn't make the trip because there was a flash flood. Two days later, I accompanied them personally to Kota Bahru.

Update
My alarm reminded me this morning that today 23-12-07 is the 3rd anniversary of my daughter's Akad Nikah. That 6lb 6oz jaundiced baby girl is today married 3 years.

19 comments:

monsterball said...

Good Morning ...kata tak nak and all!
There was a period...where seats are always full..inspite of one having a confirmed air ticket...especially from Penang to anywhere.
My travel agency suspected one need to bribe to get a seat.
I did experienced same thing...and yes got a seat immediately with the magic finger into my pocket...hahahahaha
How else do you think MAS got 'Man Ada System" name.
Either..over staffed..doing nothing....or very rude staffs talking away while you wait to get a ticket...they could not care less....luggage bags frequently got lost...company politics...favoring one from the other...and the list go on and on.
All the looses are done my the ground staffs...not from the air.
Yes..being a teacher with a small salary...you are much to be admired to bring up a bundle of joy healthy and well....now some have their own family too.
Have a nice Sunday.

cakapaje said...

Salam Cikgu,

MasyAllah! Perhaps the counter clerk saw the earnest and honesty in you, and Allah s.w.t. opened her heart to give you priority. This is a heart warming story and should be treasured.

Please convey my heartiest regards to you daughter and her husband. May their marriage last in happiness and iman, and that they are reunited in the world hereafter.

cakapaje said...

ps. Since you mentioned about you playing a baddie in a movie, I'll be dedicating an entry for you sometime today and hope you will like it.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

When I first read the few paras, somehow I knew its gotta be about your first daughter. And oh, what do you know, she married a kop…hihi…

This entry reminds me of a movie Meet The Parents. In one scene, Ben Stiller was seen standing near the departure counter and got the flight attendant irritated that eventually she had to give in. cant imagine you tho..hahaha…

Hey, I wonder if its an offend to wear a pair of flip-flops on board.

Kata Tak Nak said...

Monty,
Well I consider myself lucky because that staff was friendly and helpful. My only complain though was that I had been asking for playing cards every time I flew but never got them. Once when there was no ticket I had to fly 1st class (paid for by my brother) I asked for them again and they gave me 3 decks.

Kata Tak Nak said...

Shah,
My daughter said thank you.
I wonder what kind of a baddie I would be in your post. The suspense is killing me.

Kata Tak Nak said...

Kerp,
Yes, and he was smiling away after their 4-1 drubbing of Portsmouth last night.

I don't know myself but when I wore those slippers, no one gave me a second look.

monsterball said...

First class got 3 decks?
That shows....even our so call National airline class distinctions.
And if they are smart...it is the economy class travelers that give them the profits. And for the playing cards...I always travel economy class and do get a pack of cards plus book and color pencils for my kids.
I guess I got a more pathetic face than yours...hahahahahaha
kerp...Liverpool can now concentrate to be amongst the top five of the League..to qualify foe eufa small cup....thus bets will go on and on.
Saw how the Kean mussed the penalty for Totterham and immediately taken off from the pitch? Go view how he took the penalty....like given signals to the goal keeper when he is going to shoot.
Actually it was supposed to be a draw game planned by bookies...but I guess some other bookies have other ideas....hahahahahaha

tokasid said...

Salam che'gu:

1- Having the first baby is definetly exciting,anxious,proud,glad,syukur all in one feeling.What more if yu are faraway from them.

Yes,perserverance does pay. But it all depend on the counter staff too. Some might get irritated by you going frequently and will just ignore even if your name is second on the list. That guy who helped you have a good heart and is a very patience person.

Back then, not many preggies did ultrasound scanning unless ordered by an obstetrician.Back then not many doctors(esp GPs) can do ultrasound scanning,and the machines were very-very expensive.
But with advancement , the machines are cheaper( from Taiwan or China, but you still can buy a brand new MyVi with the Taiwan or China products) and more GPs have learned the scan.( I only take btwn RM 20-25 for preggies ,but I'm a kampong doc kan? Kalau big cities it'll be much much more).But personally, without knowing the child's sex is more thrilling don't you think so?

Selamat Annivesary ke3 utk si-jaundice dan tahniah.Saya doakan kesejahteraan depa dan che'gu sekeluarga.

Kata Tak Nak said...

Doc,
You charge 20-25 bila nak balik modai?

Yes, its more thrilling if you do not know the sex. A neighbour of mine just had a baby and I was surprised when he told me that he did not scan. He said its more thrilling. Everyone one else I know will go for scanning the moment the pregnancy is advance enough.

Mat Salo said...

A story that touched me through and through. Why? Because, unlike you, there are some things I've resigned myself to. Like never to get to see my daughter 'nikah-ed. Why? I'm 46 and she's only 18 months old. Unless, of course, God grants me a long and fruitful life. Imagine, when she takes her PMR I'll be 60!

Nah kau! Plenty can be said for late marriages... But better to have loved than never to have loved at all...

Hi&Lo said...

Sir,

Am exceedingly happy that your bundle of joy of 27 years ago is now into her 3rd wedding anniversary. Heartiest congrats to your beloved daughter and son-inlaw. May their love for each other be strengthened and deepened from anniversary to anniversary.

Sir, you have a touch of class and drama in your writing. The proof is in the emotions it evoke in me.

Kata Tak Nak said...

MS,
Insyaalah, you work hard and so health wise you should be okay. If we go by that I would say you would live till at least 80. Mark my word. I am usually accurate.
My daughter and SIL said thanks.

Kata Tak Nak said...

Hi&Lo,
During my walk home after receiving the news I just couldn't control my emotions. That was the time when I felt so very lonely and longed so much to be home with them.

My daughter and SIL said thanks.

ali allah ditta said...

cikgu,

If its MAS then its mana ada sistem & if its Air Asia,where everyone can fly but only a few gets home on time...

My son had jaundice too& had to undergo what they term as blood exchange because the bilirubin level was too high. Anyway with the ultra-viloet light & sun theraphy everything was fine. Now he is happily married.

The cause of jaundice as one doc told me was due to mismatch of blood of the father & mother of the child. So its advisable for newly wedded couples to undergo blood test before they romen!

Shoooh...I didnt know that then.

cheers.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

MS bro,

you're freaking me out mannn...

but amin to what cikgu had said, insyaAllah.

monsterball said...

Mat Solo....God does work in a mysterious way.
I have a 15 year old child and I am much older than you.
Try not to think too much negative thoughts that taxed your brain for nothing. It's one kind of natural selfish sign ...we all have....especially on matters concerning love or things close to us....afraid to let go or cannot do enough for them.
The more you are afraid....the more you are getting un-necessary bad vibrations to your mind.
It's so natural to worry day in day out....especially when money is limited. Why worry worries ..when worries don't worry you? Your little daughter will never blame you....if you have done your utmost best....and her good future really do not depend on education alone. It's her character and personality that will be most important. Afterall...as parents...we like to see our children have wings to fly.....meaning get married and be happy. Make sure she can cook....as that is the way to a man's heart ......hahahahaha
kata tak nak...can testify to that....I am sure. May I take this opportunity to wish all my Christian friends and my love ones...a 'Merry Christmas & Happy New Year"

Mior Azhar said...

Cikgu,
Delightful. True story somemore. And congratulations to your daughter on her anniversary. More to come, InsyaAllah.

Kata Tak Nak said...

Sdr Mior,
Anything for love. Love for children is very2 different. Memang betul, Kasih ibu membawa ke syurga, kasih ayah berkorban nyawa.

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