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Friday, December 28, 2012

Lost identity (IV)

I left the store and returned to the car at the carpark. It was almost 10pm already.

Mom told me to quickly go to the police station to file a report, but i told her that the first thing to do was to call the banks in Singapore and Malaysia to cancel all my credit/debit/ATM cards. I then made calls to DBS, UOB and PB. For the two credit cards from DBS and UOB, the customer service representatives told me that they would block my cards instead of cancelling them. In this way, i could still unblock the cards if i found them later on. While on the line, I also asked all the three banks to check the transaction records and confirmed that there weren't any transactions that day, which means that the thief had not used any of my cards.

After i've settled the cards, i drove to the police station. The lost and found department was already close. It opens daily from 8am to 4:30pm. I had no choice but to go to the other department that is for reporting crime and opens 24 hours.

There seemed to be only one police officer in the station. I told him what happened and asked him for help. He then told me that such incident falls under the lost & found department and i should come back again the next day during office hour to report the lost. He said there was nothing he could do unless i wanna file a police report on theft, but even so, the report would only be for the purpose of re-applying for my lost documents and they would not take any further action. Basically, similar to Singapore and Malaysia, the police force would not waste any resources on such petty incident - yes, to them, such crime is nothing unless i lost the stuff due to robbery or break-in.

While i was relating the incident to the police, two ladies came in to the police station looking rather distressed. I saw that they seemed to be in a more serious situation than i did and they probably wanted to report a more severe crime. Hence i decided to return the next day and file the report with lost & found instead since i would have to do so anyway - whether or not i file a theft report with this department, i would have to report my lost property to the lost & found department just so that there will be a record in case someone returns the lost property to the police.

And with that, i went back to the apartment feeling miserable. I saw that mom was very unhappy too and i was worried that she would be blaming herself for the incident. Hence i told her that whatever happened had already happened and there was nothing further we could do. I told her to look at the bright side of things and how the situation could have been much worse. I gotta pretend that it was no big deal and i would take care of the problem on the following day, but actually i was feeling terrible and stressed.

That night, after she went to bed, i cried a little to release some of the pent-up stress that had accumulated over the week. I thought over the entire incident and told myself that it was really not the end of the world (ironically, it was the night before the supposed end of the world). I could still hope that someone would come across my lost stuff and return to the police station. I decided that i should go to bed as there were lots of things to do on the following day. Of course, i informed my boss about the incident and told him that i would be going into the office late.

The next morning, i went to the police station to file a report with lost & found. The lady at the counter knew full well what was needed and actually made a copy of the report and authenticated the copy for me. She told me that i would need the original and authenticated copy for my new passport application as well as for the NZ work visa application. She also told me to give it a few days and see if anyone would return the stuff. The entire process was done in just 20 min or so.

Next, i went to the bank to withdraw money, as i was penniless after my cash had been stolen. The night before, I had actually called the bank's 24 hours customer service and informed them about my situation, and also enquired about the debit/ATM card that had not been delivered to me for so long. I told the customer service lady that i was without any money and needed to withdraw some from the bank. She then told me that she would make a note in their system to facilitate the process.

When i was at the bank, I explained my situation to the teller and told him that i had contacted their customer service the night before. I also showed him the police report and photocopies of my IDs. He then processed my transaction without any further questions.

Yes, thank God that i do have photocopy of my Malaysia IC, birth cert (original is in JB), Singapore NRIC and driving license. I also have soft copy of my passport and NZ visa, which i've printed out later on. Somehow, at the time when i was packing my luggage and tidying up my room in JB, i decided that i should take one photocopy of each of these IDs with me for some just-in-case situation. At that point of time, i did not think about the possibility of losing the IDs; i was more thinking about needing the photocopies of these documents for some applications and i might not be able to find a photocopier or scanner.

In addition to that, i also brought along my previous passport because the 10-year USA visa is in it. I thought it would come in handy if i need to travel to USA directly from NZ. Who knows that it does come in handy now but for a different reason. Even though this passport is already expired and the cover cut-off, it is still one piece of document that could identify me.

After getting the cash from the bank, i went to Briscoes again and looked for the manager. When he came to the store floor to meet me, he did not seem to be aware of the incident at all (i thought his staff left a note for him!). I retold the story and asked him if he could pull out the surveillance video. He refused (politely) and said that they were all terribly busy preparing for the Christmas sales. He said he would see what he could do when he had the time, which frankly, i believe this whole thing would be off his mind the instance i leave the store. Anyway, seeing that he wasn't that keen to help even though he did have a sympathetic look on his face, i asked him to keep a photocopy of my police report, which also contains my contact details. I asked him to contact me if anything were to surface and he agreed (and i bet i would never hear from him!).

While i was waiting for him to make the photocopy of my police report, i saw a trolley near the check-out counter. It was early morning and the staff was tidying up the store for the new day. What amused me was that the trolley was actually the one that we left there on the previous night, as the items we picked up (such as the shoe rack) were inside it.

Then after the store manager returned with my police report, bade me goodbye and walked off, i did something that even i found it unbelievable. I actually picked up a few of the items from the trolley (including that shoe rack) and paid for them at the check-out counter with the money i just got from the bank!

Uh huh, i still bought the things from the store on the very next day after i lost my wallet and passport. Some of you may be thinking what was wrong with me; why i would still have the mood to do shopping when i was in such dire situation.

Well, you see, life goes on no matter what. The time would still move forward and the earth would continue to rotate regardless of my situation. What i need at the new apartment will not disappear simply because i no longer have my IDs and passport. What i need i still need. What i do each day i still need to do - eat, shit, work, sleep. So, since i was already there and with sufficient cash, then i might as well buy the stuff that i had wanted to buy anyway.

That may be a kind of odd optimism in play here, but i would see it more as being able to accept whatever situation that i am in and live with it to the best of my ability. I did shed tears after the incident, not so much of this isolated incident but more because of the level of stress that i was having and was hiding from my mom. I had gone through enough in the past to know that no amount of tears would turn back time nor bring back what we lost.

I am not downplaying the effect of the lost. In fact, there is a rather serious consequence, as i currently do not have any valid and authentic IDs to prove my identity. Now i am almost like a person without an identity in this country. I am now also still driving the car with a photocopied license.

I have searched the Web for information and almost all resources seemed to suggest that i would not be able to get back any of the IDs while i am overseas except for the passport (and subsequently the NZ visa stamp). All IDs would have to be done personally when i am back in Malaysia and Singapore. And even for the passport, it is almost an unwritten rule that our Malaysia government would make it extremely difficult and tedious for the citizens to get a replacement for a lost passport. The wait can be more than 6 months to even 8 months, and there is no guarantee that they would grant one (they may just issue a temporary pass for single journey back home). Oh, and not to mention about the need to be scolded by the impolite and stuck-up office at the Malaysia High Comm.

(When i share this with my NZ boss, he said this is utterly ridiculous. I guess the process here for getting a passport replacement is simpler and faster.)

As for my lost stuff, i had gone back to the police station twice after that (once on Christmas eve and once today) and nothing has been returned. And as expected, the Briscoes store manager did not call at all either. The officer at the police station recognised me today and told me that i should just "write it off" and go and reapply for my passport and visa. According to their experience, the chance of the things to be recovered so many days after is very slim.

Now i guess i really gotta give up and proceed with reporting the lost to Malaysia High Comm and NZ Immigration. Then i'd have to be prepared to spend lots of energy and money applying for the passport and visa replacement.

Despite knowing all these difficulties ahead of me, my mood recovered just after a day of anxiety. I would be lying if i say i did not feel down after the two return visits to the police station and came back disappointed, but my spirit was only dampened for a short while.

The thing is this - there may be dark clouds but there is also silver lining.

Gee, this post turns out to be longer than i thought it would be. It is past mid-night again and i ought to get to bed. I will have my thoughts jotted down tomorrow.


sigh, awful, it's really awful. frankly if i am in that situation, i would yell at my mom for the blunder, even rationally and logically speaking it's always the owner's fault for letting guard down, no further excuse. yelling and scolding will not do any help at all, and it's sinful too. reading line by line, again and again, i can't help but to empathise the distress, and girl, i must salute your resolute and forced calmness when dealing the crisis, especially the frus and stress . i wish i can give you pat. stay strong pinpin, pull yourself up. it's terrible, but it's certainly not worst of the worst. darn, i thought NZ is proactive in service industry, i guess it's still down to people attitude. still, it's far better than MY i supposed. i don't know how to advise you on the mishap, you've done exceedingly and surpass what would i gonna do, just pending for the hi comm. let's hope light shines and you are to be fortunate like your friend Sui to have stolen wallet found and returned (yet the more you yearn the more it might stray off , so let it be naturally). Like you have said, it's not the end of the world. there are people have been through this (okay, with exception of me, your friends and colleagues) and they survived and pull it through, not without some hassles and troubles. it's like KL or JB ppl being mugged before qualified calling themselves true blue KL or JB residents (okay, this is bad bad example, and i never mugged before). unfortunate struck you, of course no one wants it and it's a tragedy. but what makes a great person she/he become is how she deals with it, never let it hurts further, survived it, emerged with triumph and awed by others. so pinpin, you gotta stay strong. you pushed yourself very hard - you don't want your mom to worry but to enjoy in NZ, you're alone in foreign land, you want to give good impression in new job, now the mishap. for every turn of events, there might be reason and divine preparation in it. rather hurting yourself, why not riding along it, accepting the challenge. stay strong pinpin, stay strong.

sigh, who would know when it should be happiness from the chirpy pinpin in NZ, the hobbit fever, the exhilaration of starting new journey and great career. but it made you cried instead, and it's not even 1 month, plus with christmas and new year around. let's hope that tear gonna be the last, not limited to year 2012 but also your throughout in NZ and also in future. and what follow are more joyous laughters, the joy that were seen quite number of times recently. oh, i don't mean to not to allow to cry to relieve pent up frus and stress or of course due to happiness. i mean there will no more no sadness, sorrow, melancholy and hence no frus to pent up at all. cheers, let's pray year 2013 gonna be great one (2011 not that good, 2012 supposed to be great, but ...). Stay strong ,pinpin and have enough rest/sleep so you can do better in your job.

Share your cogitation

Thursday, December 27, 2012 @ 12:08 am: Lost identity (III)
Tuesday, December 25, 2012 @ 11:17 pm: Lost identity (II)
Tuesday, December 25, 2012 @ 12:59 am: Lost identity (I)
Monday, December 24, 2012 @ 11:59 pm: Merry Christmas
Sunday, December 23, 2012 @ 11:47 pm: An unfortunate event
Thursday, December 20, 2012 @ 12:25 am: Expensive medical
Monday, December 17, 2012 @ 12:39 am: Busy moving week
Monday, December 10, 2012 @ 7:32 pm: The land of the Middle Earth
Sunday, December 09, 2012 @ 8:08 pm: First working week in NZ
Sunday, December 02, 2012 @ 11:51 pm: End of long holiday