We planned where to stay to accommodate all 6 of us, what to do each day (will blog about that next), how to get around (I got a driver to bring us around), what snacks to bring and even got 2 different haversacks for D and I to lug all their stuff rather than the usual baby bag. (I personally prefer that as my shoulder would normally be aching after slinging the bag for too long)
But since I was never into the minute details, the trip would still have hiccups…
Hiccup 1: Isaac's passport was expired
The first hiccup that happened was well… the reason why I can never be working in the army to check if a parachute is alright to use.
Isaac's passport had expired for close to 6 months and we only found that out on the way to the airport. With an expired passport, there was no way the immigrations would let us through. We checked with the immigration staff at the airport and to be fair, they did tell us that because we were Singaporeans they could allow us through but they were not sure if the Thai authorities would do the same. Our next best hope was to go to ICA to get a temporary passport.
As if that was not the only hurdle, all flights to BKK were fully booked with the exception of the business class flight at 4pm. Our flight was at 1pm and when we managed to figure what to do, it was close to 12pm.
We did consider leaving Isaac in Singapore but seeing how disappointed he was, we thought that that was not going to be an option. And so, D took Isaac with him to ICA while I had to check in with the rest of the troop… Julian was being a pain as he wanted to be with the boys (which was not an option). He was wailing and just being difficult. The scolding and spanking just made matters worse. Finally, I gave up, I told him I needed his help since daddy needed to bring Isaac to get his passport done if not they won't be able to join us. In short, he was the only "guy" in the group and he had to take care of the girls. Seeing how upset Julian was, Audrey took on the role of the big sister and consoled him with the fact that D and Isaac would definitely meet us there.
|Julian finished his meal |
and mine… by himself!
Within 3 hours, we were at BKK. God was very kind to me. For half of the trip, he made Julian fall into a deep sleep, and he only woke up during meal times. When we reached Julian was rearing to go… his sense of responsibility had started to wear off and his horns were appearing on his head. Fortunately, I had some friends with us who could help us with the luggage.
Back in Singapore, D had gotten Isaac's temporary passport (it was $75 in case you are wondering) within 2 hours and had rushed back to the airport to get another flight to Bangkok. He tried all the different carriers but his only option was the 4pm business flight. By then, the whole ticketing team had known of our plight. The ground crew was kind and had waived all other charges but that would still set us back $1800 for the both of them. His other option was to wait till 3.15pm to see if there was any empty seats. The only problem was gates were closed at 3.20pm. At 3pm he was waiting for a sign but obviously there wasn't any so he was ready to pay the $1800 for the ONLY flight to BKK. The lady at the counter did one last check and lo and behold, she managed to get two seats for them at economy class. D was ready to pay for the seats but out of good will, SIA waived it off completely… and so off they went to the gates.
By 8pm, we were together again. My friend who heard of the drama asked if all was good that night. We were together as a family sleeping in the same room… what else could be worse?
Hiccup 2: We lost Julian
Yes, you read correctly, we lost Julian in Siam paragon. It was the third day of the trip. We had planned to go to Kidzania to let the kids enjoy themselves. They were looking forward to playing doctor and firemen and the adults were just looking forward to chill. We were traveling with 2 other families and amongst us, we had 8 children. I was busy nursing Kyra and happily assumed that Julian was with D. It was only when we were paying for the entrance tickets (that was at least a good 15 minutes) that I realized Julian was missing. I quickly checked with D where Julian was. He had no idea. The adults in the group suddenly realized we had a huge problem.
The other two mothers looked after the other kids while D ran down each floor to see if he had wandered off on his own. I was pleading the staff at Kidzania to allow me to go into the premise in case Julian had sneaked in, but they won't. I had tears rolling down my eyes. Fear and regret sank in. I was lost and I could only hope that my boy is fine. All I could think about was he must be crying and screaming for us...
After 5 minutes, D called. He had found Julian. He was at the first floor with the security. He did not go into the lift with us. When Julian saw daddy, he immediately burst out crying. D carried him back. D and I both apologized to Julian for losing him.
D heard that I had cried, and after the kids had settled, gave me a kiss and told me everything was going to be okay…
After hiccup 2, every single other incident that happened became a non-issue.
Prior to this trip, we had taken many things for granted.
We had known ICA to be efficient and that's a gift, not a right.
We had known SIA to be one of the best carriers and that was coupled with compassion, not just profit driven.
And through it all, we cannot help but recognize that God's grace has been always there with us and while I know we have always been blessed, I cannot be more grateful for the second chances He gives.