The Miracle of the Day

by Amalia

Across the sky

October 7th, 2011. 14:00 CET.

Finally, here I am. Flying across the sky. Feeling so grateful. Actually, grateful is an understatement. But I don’t even know what else to describe it. My heart is still racing, although it shows a sign of slowing down. My mind is occupied with many questions. Why was I so reckless?? Why didn’t I keep track of time? Why did I do it? Why? Why?

This was not the first time happening to me. I almost missed my flight when I forgot to bring my Saudi paper exit visa and I had to go back home to take it because of that. I almost missed my flight when there was a demonstration in KL (but then was told that the flight was delayed… sigh). I actually missed my flight to Brisbane when I was in Singapore because I was too busy browsing on the internet. I got a “panic attack” last year when I realized that I hadn’t printed my boarding pass few hours before my departure and all printers at the university failed to work.

For me, the experience that I have to go through less than 24 hours before departure is always frightening — including the one that I had recently.

Well, here’s the thing. A day before my departure, I checked all the travel documents that I needed. I had everything ready and printed. I put all of them in my shoulder bag. I even double checked everything to make sure that I was not dreaming. Long story short, I discovered that I had to bring my old passport with me as it had a stamp that was important. Where was my old passport? It’s still in the Indonesian embassy in Den Haag. This was at 3pm.

My passport was renewed on February this year and I forgot to take my old passport with me because I thought I didn’t need it. I was indeed wrong. So I called the embassy and asked them to kindly find my old passport. I was literally begging to them to search it for me. Although I was not pleased with how disorganized those past applications were kept, I was really grateful that they tried to find my passport between piles and piles of other old passports. They called me 2 hours after their working time was supposed to finish to let me know that they were still searching.

The next day was the day I departed. My flight was scheduled to depart at 12.40 but I still had the time to go to Den Haag in the morning. I took the 7.30 AM train to Den Haag. While waiting for the embassy to call me, I went to JoHo to apply for an ISIC card (yay! I got it now!). Finally, at 10.15 AM the embassy told me that they found my passport. I quickly rushed to the embassy to take it. I’m telling you, time is money. But alhamdulillah, I got the passport.

The main story did not end there. I began running into trouble when I took a bus to go back to the central station. My OV-chipkaart ran out of credits and I didn’t have any cash with me (I hardly bring cash). The bus didn’t have a refil machine so I had to get out of the bus on the next stop as the driver looked grumpy. I found an ATM nearby and quickly took some cash. Time was now 10:55 AM.

When I finally reached the central station, it was already around 11:10. I knew I was in a big trouble. But I was even more convinced that I would miss my flight when I found out that the next train to Schiphol was at 11.30!!! And I actually had to check in before 11.40!!! I was soooo screwed. I was panic. I prayed and prayed during my 30 minutes jouney to the airport that the flight would be delayed or there would be some kind of a miracle!

I thought about all of the what if situations that I could think of. If they didn’t allow me to check my bag in, I’d store it in a locker. If they didn’t allow me to board the plane, I would sleep in the airport to wait for the next flight. But before these situations would happen, I would make sure that my begging and desperate-looking skills were being used.

I arrived at the check-in counter at around 12.10pm. No one was there except one woman. Oh, thank God! At least I didn’t need to search all over the airport for the airline’s employee. She was of course surprised upon knowing that I wanted to check in. She called her boss and at the same time printing the boarding pass and the luggage tag. I was a bit relieved at that time, although I was not 100% sure that I would be able to fly on that day.

Few minutes later, she gave me the boarding pass and added, “We cannot guarantee anything that you are able to fly.” Oh gosh, here we go again. She told me to run to the gate, because someone had to talk to me. So I ran and ran. I didn’t have much energy to be honest. I used up all my energy by the time I was in Den Haag.

Thankfully, I reached the gate 15 minutes before it was closed. A man approached me, checked my details and necessary documents, while telling me, “Mam, you know the procedure! You should check in 1 hour before departure, NOT 30 minutes!!!” I told him that I was so sorry and it was indeed my fault. Any stories that I could tell him would be viewed as excuses so I didn’t tell him anything other than that. Few minutes later, I boarded the plane.

So here I am, thinking. Was that a miracle? Was that a result of me praying to Him, Allah SWT? I strongly believe it was. Prayer or Doa is a powerful thing. Don’t ever lose hope of Him. That’s the lesson I learned today.

Where am I going? Well, I will keep it as a mystery for now ;). I shall be back soon.