Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Lost my passport in Singapore!

I know this is sudden. After all this long, I came back with a horrible story but anyway there is no problem on starting a new thing, right?

It actually happens couple years ago when I was planning on joining a program called TISFIP (Thai-Indonesia Friendship) in Prince of Songkla University, Phuket, Thailand. I booked my ticket with the lowest price which forces me to transit in Changi airport, Singapore. Not a bad thing, I guess. I was actually quite excited to see how Changi Airport and Singapore since I have never been there before.

My flight time-table was quite annoying. I have to depart in the afternoon and arrived in Changi by (almost) mid-night and next flight to Phuket was 8am in the morning. After I arrived in Changi by midnight, I was thinking so hard to decide, should I go out and see Singapore or just stay in the airport till morning. After long way of thinking, I finally decide to go out and see how Singapore looked like at night.

After my passport got stamped, I was looking around to think how am I supposed to do to go out from this airport to the city. My plan was quite dumb: go with MRT to the merlion statue, taking pictures, and sitting around the park there till morning and go back to airport. So I was trying to find the MRT station but turns out it was already closed. I was trying to go with bus but it was all the same, closed. Finally, I went to the taxi line and took a taxi from the airport to the merlion. Oh wait, not a line, I was cut the line and the security guy let me in directly as he knew I was new and stupid stranger in Singapore.

As the taxi driver asked me where I wanted to go, I said "Merlion statue" but I was forgotten the name so I said "the statue with the lion on its head and fish on its body". Well, do not judge me. As he was started to realize how strange I was, he asked me "your hotel nearby the statue?" and I said "no". " I just want to take some pictures and sitting on the park till morning. My next flight is in the morning." I continued. He was shocked enough to hear my plan and said "you cannot do it. The police will be checking your identity and put you into jail".

Wow, I have never thought Singapore is going to be this strict. So, I changed my plan to stay in the hostel I found from Claudia Kaunang book named ABC Hostel and we looked for it together and we found it! I payed the taxi as it was so expensive and get out from it.

While I was about to check-in, the receptionist asked for my passport and turns out I cannot find it anywhere in my wallet. I was panicked. So panicked. I open up all my backpack and cloths, It's nowhere. I open up my laptop and trying to look for information for what should I do if I lost my passport in Singapore. It said I need to go to the embassy, pay some money and go back to Indonesia. Unfortunately, it was Friday and the embassy was closed in the weekend. I needed to wait for two days  or three for that. I cannot do it. I certainly not.

Then I have this idea pop up on my head to call the taxi I was taking fro the airport to check whether they can help me or not. unfortunately, I was completely forget the name of the taxi. I only remember the color of it. So I browse the Changi airport website and looked at the taxi lists with color and phone number information. Voila! I get it. I called the taxi with my Indonesian number and told the girl who was speaking what happen and she replied "wait a moment". I have no enough credit to wait for her so I ran into the seven-eleven store nearby to bought a simcard number and called her back.

On my way there, the taxi I was taking crossed by and I was trying to stopped him. He was stopped right in front of my hostel and I greeted them with "Is that my passport?" and he asked me "what is your name and where do you come from" I answered all of his questions and he gave the passport to me! Oh uncle, you have no idea how much I love you.

It has not finished yet. After I was trying to check-in for the hostel, my money on my debit card was not enough to pay the hostel with the deposit fee. As the receptionist already feel so pity on me, he said "okay, pay only for the room. You don't need to pay the deposit but I will hold your passport with me until you check out." I was quite relief to hear that and replied him with "okay. just make sure it won't lost again"

By morning, I was walking to go to the nearest MRT station. well, It was not so far actually. I just need to walk around 10 minutes to go. It was 5 am in the morning and the sun still hiding somewhere. I met an Indonesian girl while waiting for the MRT to open and coincidentally she was on a trip of Claudia Kaunang-the author of a book that help me find the hostel information.

We talked a lot there until the MRT station open. It was quite making myself panicked because I needed to wait until 6.30am for the train to come and arrived at Changi at 7.30am while my flight will be departed at 8am. I was running all trough the gates and find waiting in the line. I was lucky enough there still a line to get to the plane. I get into the plane and waiting for my TISFIP program in Phuket, Thailand started.

Regards,

Imam