May 7, 2010

All's Well That Ends Well

So. On Wednesday Alva and I flew out to Wellington to get her travel documents done. The mission was to obtain them by 2.30 pm so we could get back to the airport for our return flight to Christchurch. The plan was simple. 

We landed at 7.45 a.m. and we were way ahead of time. Our appointment was scheduled at 9.30 so we had an hour and 45 minutes to spare before our meeting with the consulate. I initially wanted to get a cab and go directly to the MHC office but I was told that the office doesn't open until 9.00 a.m. So in the interest of saving money and killing time, I decided to take a shuttle bus to the city centre and then get a connecting bus to Brooklyn, where the MHC office is located. Since I've been to Wellington last November, it was quite easy for me to get around the city and get a bus to Brooklyn.

The journey to Brooklyn took less than 20 minutes. By 9.00 a.m. I was already at the gate of the MHC headquarters and I was the first visitor. I made my way to the reception desk and was greeted by an Indonesian receptionist. She told me to write my name on the visitors' book and wait at the waiting lounge. At 9.35 a.m. the consulate came to see me and we proceeded to her office. She examined all our documents and made sure everything was provided. There was also a short Q and A about our trip in July; why we needed the emergency travel documents, why we're flying to Melbourne, why this why that..bla bla bla. After all the yakking, she finally took Alva's thumb print and got me to sign the application form. And then it was done!  

Happy that it all went smoothly, I asked her what time the documents could be released. Her answer was "Come back at 3.30 pm". WHAT?!!!! I almost went balistic when she said this but I calmed myself down by blinking my eyes repeatedly. I explained to the lady how crucial it was for me to catch the 4.00 pm flight. When I finished, she smiled and said "Ahh...I see...I will tell my superior and we will try to get it ready by 2.30 OK?" It wasn't reassuring at all but I just had to suck it.

The time was 10.30 a.m. and I had 4 hours to kill before the documents would be ready. I looked around me and sighed heavily. The office environment was not family-friendly at all.

To stay around and wait would be suicidal. First of all, there was no Parents room  for us to relax in. Secondly, I was starving and there was no cafeteria at the premise. And thirdly, there were quite a number of visitors at the waiting lounge, so there was no way I could feed Vava without exposing my boobs to all these strangers. I had no choice but to head back to town.

I took bus number 7  to get to Lambton Quay and headed back to Willis street. By the way, I haven't been talking much about Alva in this entry because she was asleep most of the time. She was so settled and well-behaved during the entire trip. Lucky me :)

So. Back to the story. I strolled along the streets of Lambton Quay and saw Starbucks at the Old Bank Arcade. As planned, I ordered a Frappuccino to celebrate our small success, which was the submission of Vava's application form.

After a short break, I headed back to the street for a little sightseeing and photo taking. As I was walking aimlessly along Willis Street, I saw this nice boutique.

The moment I saw the word Sale I stopped dead on my tracks, my heartbeat quickened and I had this uncontrollable urge to walk into the shop. It's a behaviorism kind of thing you know. You heard of that famous study done by Ivan Pavlov? the one with the dog? Pavlov rang a bell each time he gave a dog some food and after repeating the procedure a million times, the dog's saliva began to flow whenever it heard the bell. Even if no food appeared. This experiment showed that a reflex such as the flow of saliva can become associated with a stimulus. In my case, the stimulus was the word SALE and my reflexes were the accelerated heart beat and buying impulse. Makes a lot of sense right? Hehe.

I saw so many nice dresses and blouses and cardigans and winter jackets and off-season autumn wear. All on SALE! OMG. It was like Christmas you know. Good deals like this don't happen everyday. I had to try them on! So I started taking a few blouses, a cashmere jacket and a sleeveless top and headed to the biggest fitting room. Then, I took off the baby carrier and because Vava was already awake, I placed her on the floor and ordered her to remain silent. She obeyed for 5 seconds before she started crawling out through the fitting room curtain. She was crawling at the speed of light and I had to stop my fitting rendezvous immediately. It was a lot of work you know, trying on the clothes AND getting Vava to behave. After some futile attempts (Vava kept crawling out of the fitting room), I gave up and left the store. 

I walked out, feeling a bit bumped for not getting anything. I reminded myself to be frugal and focus on my mission! No shopping. Suddenly out of nowhere, a store called BLING appeared in front of me. The store sold accessories so I didn't have to take off the baby carrier at all. Just what I needed! 50% off ALL items were written on the store's banner! OMG. Once again I was consumed by the same reflexes I experienced earlier. I walked to the store and started scavenging for blingy stuff. After a few minutes, I decided to purchase reasonably important accessories only. I bought a few blingy headbands to keep my hair in place in windy Wellington, a white eye liner to make my eyes pop out after a tiring day and 2 eye shadow pallets to...never mind.

After a visit at BLING, I felt much so much happier. The familiar feeling of euphoria slowly seeped in so I continued strolling along Willis street to check out other cool stores around. I saw Whitcoulls  instead and decided to try my luck at Lotto. I got myself a lucky pick.

 After a shot at the lottery, I tried searching for a Parents room at Withcoulls but the staff told me there was none. She told me to go to Kirkcaldie and Stains instead. I did just that and found a nice parents room at Level 2, where Vava had a nappy change, a wholesome feed and some play time.

After almost an hour, we were back on the streets but I wasn't excited to shop anymore. I felt a bit tired lugging the sling bag on my shoulder and carrying Vava with me so I decided to head back to the MHC office. Just as I was about to walk to the bus stand, I came across a nice little store called Equip which sold accessories like belts, chains and hoisery. The leggings were on buy 1 free 1 so I grab a few packets and went to the cashier. Just couldn't resist a good bargain!

We got back to the MHC office at exactly 2.30 pm. I went to the counter and gave the receptionist my name, hoping there'd be an envelope waiting for me. Guess what? It wasn't ready yet. I asked the lady "What time will it be ready?" to which she answered "Maybe 3.00 o'clock? The certificate's not signed yet. Maybe the consulate got urgent meeting with Datuk". Hearing this, I felt really sick. Sick to the pit of my stomach. My head was spinning and  my palm started to sweat. Cold sweat. She told me not to sit at the reception area and go to the waiting room. Kena halau lagi ba.  I told her I couldn't wait until 3.00 but she kept telling me the same thing. "I know you are worried but you have to wait!" And then she smiled. Why the heck did she have to smile like that? I didn't like that smile at all. It was made-up and unsympathetic and cold. How can I make you understand ah? Oh! I know. It was a Joker smile. As in Joker from The Dark Knight.

So. I waited until 2.55 p.m. and decided that enough was enough. I could have just left but all my original documents including my passport was still with the consulate. I got up and decided to go to the airport without the documents. I just wanted my passport. So I went to Joker's desk and told her what I wanted. She got the consulate on the phone and then after 2 minutes, the consulate herself came to see me. The good news was, I could have all my original documents back. The bad news was, Vava's cert was not done. So she'd have to send it through via courier the next day. Well to me, that was as good as gold.

I thanked the consulate and quickly called a cab. It came in 2 minutes and we finally made it to the airport on time. We checked in, rushed to the boarding gate and got on our plane. Phew! All's well that ends well.


chegu carol said...

Hehehe shopping, avasi montok diau!
But I can feel how tempted you were. If I were in your shoes, I'd do the same. :)

Good to know all the things needed to be settled are settled now.

TheWanderingSumandak...... said...

omg! that was quite an harrowing experience but, the shopping part..manna from heaven :P

Iyuk said...

I knew it! You can't resist the temptation. Deb

Lizeewong said...

Kay - Yes..avasi indeed hehehe...

We just got the documents yesterday :)

mandak- ya ba..kelam kabut oh sikit saja hmmmm

deb- hehehe..blame the retailers!

LaViaP said...

you know why Vava crawled out when you were in the fitting room. she's conveying message to mommy.

"oh mom, don't buy that. save you money to by me a barbie doll when I grow up, or maybe a cute dress, or bla bla bla.."


Lizeewong said...

Paival - Reading her thoughts? Pandai ko ah. HEHEHEHE...Ya..terus I didn't buy ba.

Octavia said...

hehe good to hear you got the, what i am interested in are your purchases...hahaah post some pics of them lahhh

JIPP said...

haha. ladies will always be ladies ba kan. LOL. it's good that things went well.

Anonymous said...

wat a at least dpt jg ko shop skit2 least tershop jg...kekeke....klu tdk, sampai skrg hati tia puas tu...

Lizeewong said...

Oct- Sikit ja ba I bought Oct..Not so interesting ba..Email to you la k :)

Jipp - Ya ba..Nda sah kalau nda shopping :P

Erin - Aha...sikit2 pun jadila..Kalau nda, sampai ruma menyesal hehehe