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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Lost identity (II)

I will still need to continue on with the prelude before getting into relating what happened on the day when I lost my wallet and passport. This probably means that i'd have to make this into three parts instead of two.

I came to NZ with about NZD3k, thinking that it would be sufficient for three weeks since the pay will be banked in on 20th of each month. I figured that even if the money wasn't enough, I could still use my credit cards. It would be quite risky to bring along too much cash with me.

So it turned out that the fund indeed wasn't enough. Quite a big part of it went into renting the apartment because I needed to pay for three weeks worth of deposit and two weeks rent in advance. Of course, the spending on buying stuff for the new place as well as some unexpected costs incurred due to my mom also depleted my cash quickly.

When I mentioned cash, I didn't mean that I had the money with me. On the second day I arrived here, I already opened a bank account and banked in half of the amount. Unlike the banks in Singapore and Malaysia, the ATM card wasn't given to me on the spot. Instead, the ATM card would be mailed to me by post. At that time, since I haven't found a permanent place yet, I registered my company address with the bank and expected the card to be sent to me within a week.

But then, somehow, the ATM card never got delivered. More than three weeks after, i still haven't received anything from the bank and i called them up to find out what happened. The bank claimed that the card had already been sent out and apparently it was lost in mail. They would cancel that bank card and sent a new one to me. However, until today, there was still nothing in the post for me. When i told my boss about it, he said this was really unusual because New Zealand Post is actually quite good.

I was running low on cash and was seriously thinking of transferring some funds from my SG bank account even though i'd lose on the exchange rate. Then i remembered that i had brought along USD500 with me for emergency use. This was the left over amount from my trip to USA last year (in fact, I've a lot of different currencies of various countries from the many previous business and holiday trips - HK, China, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Australia, etc.).

Then on the day that i brought my mom to visit the doctor and after being informed of the high medical fee, i decided that this was an emergency situation. So i went to the bank and exchanged the USD to NZD (and of course suffered some exchange losses). I got about NZD550+ from it, of which about 40% of the sum was my mom's medical fee.

Two days after, my first pay was finally in the bank. The finance person at Auckland made a mistake and banked in one month's pay for me even though it should have been three weeks' pay instead. I still don't have my ATM card but i can withdraw money by going to the teller. My boss is also very understanding whenever i told him that i needed to come in late or go out during lunch time to withdraw money from the bank.

So, on Thursday (20-Dec) morning, with money in the bank already and some cash on hand (from the exchanged USD), i felt a lot less stressful. I actually needed money to hook up broadband and for my electricity bill too. With Christmas just around the corner, a lot of shops were having sales and it was also a good time for me to get whatever i needed for the new place. Hence i was happily making my shopping list and planning to go to one of the department stores here with my mom after work.

The day actually started off very well. My NZ boss brought us out for lunch and invited my mom to come along. After lunch, he took a detour along the coast line just to show us the city. Hence, instead of having a lunch and headed back to office, we had a three hours lunch and sight-seeing. It was very nice of him, as i believed he did that mostly for my mom.

By the time we got back to the office, it was already 3pm+ and we just needed to work for a few hours more before knocking off. I was in a very pleasant mood that day and was looking forward to going out shopping with my mom after work that day. Things have been going quite well despite some glitches here and there - i have nice bosses and colleague here; my work has been going fine so far; i have more or less settled down at the new apartment; i was no longer tight on money; i even have a car temporarily for commuting. Everyone was in a chirpy Christmas mood and I was very much so too.

It was in the evening then life threw me a curve ball and one of the worst things that could have happened to a person staying overseas befell me.


arrrrgghhhh .. too many preludes already, too many background already. purposely make your readers suspenseful only. darn, why is it always that style in the last paragraph. don't want announcement, it has been 3 times already! to the point pinpin, to the point - what actually happened during the shopping? how did the wallet possibly be misplaced or dropped? where could be the potential spot ????? and why suddenly be so so reckless ??! any damage control steps made already??????

uh oh, i think i might have added fuel to the already fire liao. gosh, no point of increasing the anxiety, just do whatever you think is right. but girl, seriously, is everything under control now? on happier note, did you manage to have fun for your first christmas in NZ with your mum? perhaps, somehow there were already signs, like the ATM card hasn't reached yet and too many "extraordinary" nice things happened. especially with "the-end-of-world" thingy around the corner that time too, so should double up vigilance and cautiousness (of course this is too overly superstitious, and how would one exactly tell! ). sigh, sigh, too many bad awful news at this moment, it's really bad. stay strong pinpin. there's still hope that it will be found. though your story of the airport counter, agent, mailing ATM kinda erode my perception on their efficiency, gee, that's not the point here, imagine what will typical passerby in NZ does when found a passport. Be strong and don;t let the incident impact negatively in your work tomorrow (there might be slightly, but do stay focus on job). you may try to make a query with the shopkeepers when they resume work tomorrow. again, stay strong pinpin. cheers.

Share your cogitation

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
Saturday, December 01, 2012 @ 3:02 am: Mom's flight confirmed
Thursday, November 29, 2012 @ 9:45 pm: In Wellington