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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Excitement before departing to France

It was perfect, we’d arrived early at the airport, I’d packed all my things, my luggage was just within the allowed weight limit, I managed to bring everything that I really wanted, and I had most of the important documents with me. Well, all except the JPA agreement, but maybe it’s not really that important. It seemed like everything was going smoothly, and that nothing could possibly go wrong.

And yet, somehow I managed to get into such excitement, shock and horror as I’ve never experienced before.

I arrived at the airport at 5.30 pm today, after heading off from Duta Vista at 4.15 pm. Before that I received an sms from one the of the MARA sponsored students who had flown to France the night before, telling me that he’d left some things behind, and asking me to help bring them with me to France for him. He’s one of the students from another group, and he is to be one of my classmates in the IUT in Nice. So I met his mother at the airport and she handed me the things in a small bag; just a hand phone charger, spectacles and some stationary.

It’s a good thing I packed lightly because the weight of my luggage came to just over 20 kg after adding those things into my bag. But in any case, it turned out that MAS had given each student another 5 kg’s each, for free.

I had dinner with my daddy, abang Fadhil and abang Faruq at burger king, then I hung out with them and took some photos around the departure level, until 9 pm when I had the briefing from the JPA officers. After that I had another 5 minutes to spend exchanging goodbyes and taking more photos.

At 9.30 I received my passport and boarding pass, and I went through the gate to the departure hall. Then we all took the aerotrain to gate C26, where we were supposed to board the flight at 11.20. At the terminal I walked around a little, just having a look around, and then I went to pray at a surau. Afterwards, as I was walking back to gate C26, I heard an announcement calling for a Mr. Luqman Hakim to go to the information counter. For a while I was worried, thinking that perhaps something was amiss, but then I thought “it must be someone else, my name is Hakim Luqman. The name of the person they’re looking for is the other way around.” I promptly and conveniently ignored the announcement, even when my friends waiting near the gate animatedly told me that I was wanted. “No lah, my name is Hakim Luqman, not Luqman Hakim. They’re looking for someone else,” is what I confidently told them.

Just a few minutes before the gate opened, I checked in my blazer pockets to get all my travelling documents to get ready and to have them at hand before passing through to the gate. 

“Holy crap! Where’s my boarding pass?” were the unexpected words I uttered at that suddenly crucial moment. Farid immediately replied with “Don’t even joke about that.”

I frantically rummaged through all my pockets, I even went through all the compartments in my oversized wallet. I couldn’t find my boarding pass. It was gone. “I’m not kidding. This is not funny. I’m fucking serious!” is what I remember saying next. That, and probably a string of expletives I cannot reproduce here (not because I’m censoring myself on my own blog, but rather because I can’t for the life of me recall which four letter words I strung together creatively at that riveting moment)

The other passengers had begun queuing up by now, and I knew there were only a few minutes left before they would board. Mere moments before the plane would leave without me, leaving me with nothing to show for my 20 months of preparation in MFI.

“Quick, someone please go with me to the information counter to find my boarding pass!”

Zulfarid accompanied me as I walked hurriedly ran to the information counter. All the while I was thinking “Holy shit, this can’t be happening! Oh my God, where the hell did I put my boarding pass? Oh no! What do I tell my daddy?” When I think about it now, it’s interesting how when I lost my boarding pass, I was more afraid of telling my daddy than I was for my own future.

Finally we got to what I thought was the information counter, and I desperately informed the ladies at the counter that I’d lost my boarding pass. “Good evening. My name is Hakim Luqman, I believe I was summoned to the information counter in one of the announcements earlier. I’ve lost my boarding pass”. One of the staff asked me about my flight details. So I told her “I’m supposed to fly to Paris tonight, flight MH20, at 11.40” 

The other staff picked up the phone, and said something into it, then told me “You have to go to the information counter, go on straight, and turn right”. Well, I can’t remember the exact directions, but it was something like that. (I suck at directions anyway).

Both the ladies seemed really calm, so I asked “Is it very bad that I’ve lost my boarding pass?” All they did was shake their heads calmly, as if this was just standard procedure, and nothing was wrong at all.

Then the staff who had asked my flight details said “Print baru je la”, hit a few keys on her keyboard, and within seconds printed a new boarding pass and handed it to me. I was so relieved. Suddenly I was overjoyed that I was actually going to France! I took the boarding pass, thanked the staff profusely, and ran like a madman to counter C26.

Thank God I got my boarding pass in time, and thank God I didn’t miss my flight to Paris. That would have been terrible. Oh well, in any case, I haven’t even reached France yet, and it looks like I’m already having such great fun and so much excitement! I can’t wait to see what comes next.


Fadhil Luqman said...

Told you they call people by their last names first in Airports.

Hakim Bin Luqman said...

Right. I was just worried that is was something else. You know how you pretend that everything's fine when you'd rather not deal with it? That's what I did. Hahaha. Oh well, it made for a nice blog post huh.

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