July 13, 2009
My prayer just before leaving for Hongkong was, “Lord, please make this a stress-free vacation.” I knew I needed grace since this would be my first trip out of the country with the two girls.
I was right.
This was my first day “on vacation” but I got stressed out emotionally and physically. I wish I could say that it was because of the two girls, but truthfully, they had no direct involvement in causing the stress. I say no “direct” involvement, because it was, after all, their stroller that started it… (hehe go ahead, thammie…blame it on an innocent non-living thing!)
You see, we decided not to have the stroller checked in with the other luggages, thinking we would be needing it as our waiting time was quite long (international flight, three hours…). This was the case, so it actually was a good thing that we just surrendered it right before boarding the plane.
Upon arriving in Hongkong, Dennis thought that the stroller would already be in the baggage claim area. I thought otherwise. We were in a hurry (mainly because we were with my brother-in-law’s family and there was a van sent to pick us up) so Dennis sent me to stay and check where to get the stroller and to meet him in baggage claim number five. I agreed, and I went back to get the stroller. That took some time…I’m not really sure why, but it took them some time before they came back with the stroller. To add to that, Dennis had the claim stub with him so I had to convince them that the stroller was mine. Good thing I had Mika with me so I was very convincing.
As I was on my way to our meeting place, I realized how long it has been since my last visit here! Everything was so unfamiliar all of a sudden. I had to make sure my reading comprehension in English was still in tact so I asked two airport personnel where Baggage claim number five was. They pointed me to the same place where the arrows and signs were pointed at. When I got there, however, Dennis and Alyanna were nowhere in sight….and all my documents were with them. I had to go through immigration to get to the baggage claim area, but how could I go through immigration without my passport??
It was I think twenty minutes (according to Dennis, but I’d say almost an hour!) of waiting for them, looking for them, and praying that God would remind Dennis that he had a wife and another daughter that he left behind. I asked if they had a paging system which I could use they said no… I asked two security officers what if Dennis had gone through immigration already would he be able to come back to get us they said no… I searched the area… I asked three more airport people to make sure if that area was the ONLY place that everyone who arrived would go through to get to the baggage claim area they said yes…I called four numbers of immigration offices to ask if a mister Dennis Sy had already gone through immigration,I had different answers since they didn’t really understand me…I asked this very accommodating airport ambassador Koko how old she was when she got her ears pierced she said 11…and I told her she should come see the Philippines, our airport is much less complicated (since it’s smaller) she said she would love to some time…but still, no Dennis and Alyanna.
This whole time I was praying…and saying to myself, “I will not let this stress me out.”
Just when I was about to dial the last number, my last hope of finding my love and my sweetheart, I saw this man with thick eyebrows coming towards me, all sweaty in spite of the air-conditioning, and with a little girl tailing behind him…
“Koko! That’s my husband!! They found me!!”
….And then Dennis made this face…that look of frustration when someone lets you down. At that moment all my composure left me. I started to cry…and I started blaming him for making me cry. I said the way he looked at me made me feel like I didn’t try hard enough to find them. He said it was just a look of worry and concern and fear and relief all at the same time. Still…I had to blame someone for making me cry. Hehe… I guess I didn’t know what I was feeling either.
A few minutes later, we were okay. (okay so maybe it wasn’t a FEW minutes, but at least it was before we got to the hotel! )
Today we learned that you should never leave your partner behind– especially when you are both in a foreign country with no international roaming on your phones.
Better yet, you should both just get international roaming.