Written and submitted by Charmed.
“Cabin crew, please close all the doors. Let’s go home!”
As Mister Pilot finishes his last sentence, my eyes are glistening with tears. I made it! I am seated next to a lovely lady waiting to go home in God’s speed. I might sound a little dramatic but I am not, I swear!
It is ‘Rice Dumpling Festival’ today; a relatively significant celebration for Chinese all over the world. My family is no stranger to this either; mom would normally cook up a big meal and everyone is expected at the dinner table. Unfortunately, I can’t be part of this this time round as I am on a work trip abroad. But still, I am hoping to get home before everyone falls asleep and have my share of the rice dumpling.
All was planned nicely. I will wrap up my last sprint of meetings by 1pm, grab a quick lunch and I am good to start heading to the airport at 2pm which leaves me about 3 hours before my departure; ample of time, right? I will have some time to look around the duty free shops even!
WRONG! I am still stuck in the notorious Bangkok traffic 40 mins to departure (as if the usual congestion is not good enough, it is topped with heavy downpour and flashflood – what a pleasing experience!) Of course, I expected the traffic! (Been here often enough to know that) Hence, the 3 hours before departure plan came into picture (duh!) BUT what I didn’t expect was the Grab driver who refused to cancel me and made me wait for an hour!
It is partially my fault as I have pinned and waited at a different entrance; but how would I know? It was written in Thai! I thought all the entrances of that building were the same. To redeem myself though, I call him and tell him specifically which entrance I am at, with a landmark but he doesn’t say anything (language barrier I suppose). I would have walked to him if it wasn’t raining, just to eliminate all this drama!
Long story short, I request that he cancel my rideand I will pay for it (I can deal with Grab support later for refund) but he insists ‘NO’ and that he is nearby (let’s be real, we all know it can take a loooong time despite being nearby with Bangkok’s traffic). 15 minutes later and 15 minutes AFTER that, soon it is an hour! He refuses to pick up my call, refuses to message me back and finally Grab support calls to cancel the ride on my behalf! Great! I jump on the next taxi that came my way and offer to pay premium.
Less than 30 minutes to departure; I have to do whatever I could to NOT MISS THE FLIGHT. I walk to the ground staff at the check in counter and ask to be prioritised. I do the same when I reached immigration and am led to the CHINA PASSPORT LANE (is the ground staff being racist? Just because I am Chinese… Well, I can’t be bothered really! I just want to get to the plane) and there are only about 10 people before me instead of mountain of people … trust me, it is scary with the amount of people there! Wish I took a quick picture of that.
While most are quiet and staring at me in disgust, there is this lady who is airing her frustration by shouting 在插队吗? Well, who wouldn’t be frustrated; I know I would if someone just jumped queue like that after I’ve been in a queue for an eternity.
Kudos to you lady, you are not like your fellow countrymen, and I respect that! But, I am sorry, I can’t afford to be civilised today, not at the expense of missing my flight and getting stuck here until the next available flight out. I want my rice dumpling for heaven’s sake!
I have to stop blabbering now; the pilot has just said the line I love hearing every time on a flight home: ‘For all Malaysians, welcome home!’ Indeed, welcome home. What an experience it has been just to come back to you! I have missed you despite many of your unique imperfections.
PS: Next time, I will give someone the benefit of doubt if they happen to jump queue; they might miss a flight home to see their loved ones!