My name is Nurisya. I am a student in one of the schools in Malaysia where
Chinese Literature is offered. Being interested in all things Chinese, I was
thrilled to pieces when I learnt that my school had nominated me for a one year
immersion study course in Beijing to learn
about China's history, culture and its language. The trip would be sponsored by
the Ministry of Education. A week later, my school's nomination was accepted and
I was confirmed to depart on 5th November, a week after my school examinations.
The idea was to acclimatise me to the Beijing scene before I started my school
term in January. I had no shortage of well-wishers and teachers. There was no
trace of jealousy in them as I had brought honor to the school.
The morning of
November 5th dawned bright and clear. This was the day I was looking for - to
depart from Malaysia and to land in historic Beijing. Yet, I felt more than a
tinge of regret on leaving my loved ones, especially my beloved Mum. She and I
had spent the day before in a flurry of activity doing last-minute preparations.
Her worries and nagging about my preparation for the trip were still fresh on my
mind as I woke up at 8.30 a.m. The flight was on SQ 518 at 12.15 p.m. from KLIA
to Beijing. I was to meet my teachers, friends and relatives at 10.00 a.m.
before I checked in.
Since there was plenty of time to spare and my bags were all packed, I took a
leisurely breakfast. At 9.30 a.m., Mum asked me,
"Dear, are you ready?" "Yes, Mum", I replied gaily. "Don't forget your
passport," she reminded.
I was at the door, carrying two of my bags when a niggling thought manifested
in my mind. "Did I pack the passport myself last night?" I had an uneasy feeling
that I had not and turned to Mum.
"Mum, did you put my passport in my pouch?" "Yes, dear," she replied.
I then unzipped my waist pouch to confirm this. To my
consternation, it was empty except for some Chinese currency. I
then asked Mum where it was. Flabbergasted,
Mum checked and then scratched her head. She was quite certain that she had put
my passport in the pouch the night before. The next thirty minutes saw Mum, my
maid and me rifling through the luggage and combing my room. We practically
emptied drawers, and even looked under the bed! But it was to no avail.
Frantically, we then searched the rest of the house. By 10.30 a.m., we
practically sank on the sofa, admitting defeat. Mum then made a decision. I was
to go to the airport now as we could not keep our well-wishers waiting. She
would remain behind and try to recall where she had placed my passport.
Fighting back my tears, I left for the airport. The mood was sombre as I met
and told my well-wishers at the airport my situation. The minutes crawled by and
yet there was no ringing from my mobile phone. At 11.30 a.m., there was a last
call to check-in for my flight. Reluctantly, I faced the fact that my passport
might not be found and went to the SQ counter to explain my situation. Then Sun
Lin, my best friend, who was guarding my bags, gestured to me excitedly. "Your
mobile phone is ringing!" she said. With a pounding heart, I rushed to the smart
phone and heard one of the sweetest news in my life. "I remember now. It is in
the secret compartment in your red bag." Swiftly, I unlocked my bag and unzipped
the compartment at the bottom. My red passport was unveiled in all its glory.
There were spontaneous cheers from everyone. I was then sent off hurriedly
but warmly. At 12.20 p.m., I was on the plane, winging over Kuala Lumpur, on its
way to Beijing.
Later, I learnt from Mum what had happened. It seemed that she had a
nightmare the night before my flight that my pouch containing my passport was
stolen. Therefore, she had woken up and transferred my passport to the red bag.
In the morning, she had forgotten about the transfer. It was only a mother's
love that made Mum remember this fact in time.
I therefore departed from Malaysia, feeling greatly relieved and looking
forward to my stay in Beijing. However, I was sad that Mum could not bid
farewell to me at the airport. However, on the first night in the school hostel
in Beijing where I was staying, the telephone rang. Mum was flying over to spend
a holiday in Beijing. My happiness was thus complete.