I think, therefore I write. (我思,所以我写。)

Cogito ergo scribo

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Lost & found (I)

Alright, i don't think i'll be able to complete the story tonight and hence i'm writing it in parts again. But this time, it is gonna be rather random instead of in chronological order.

I collected my lost stuff from the Wellington police station on Friday, just 5 minutes before the lost & found department closed.

According to the tag, my stuff was returned on 28-Dec-2012. This was the day i went back to the police station here for the final time to check if my stuff had been found and then was told by the police to forget about it. The police did check their system to see if my stuff was returned to other stations but there was nothing. I assume my stuff was either not returned yet or the other station had not updated the system yet. Whatever it is, i found the timing really ironic.

In case you are wondering about what's on the tag ("Petone Warehouse") - Petone is a suburb in Lower Hutt and about 20 minutes drive from Wellington city centre (where i stay and lost my stuff). Warehouse is the name of a discount store here, somewhat similar to Walmart in the USA. The police who called me on Thursday was from the Lower Hutt station. Someone must have found my stuff at the discount store and then returned it to the police station there.

The police called my office number that day and asked for me by addressing my surname and the last word of my Chinese name ("Pin"), omitting the middle Chinese name. This is a common mistake that Westerners make, as they do not understand that we put our surname in front and then our first name actually may contain two words. Hence when she saw my passport and identification, she would think that "Pin" is my surname and my surname is my first name, while the middle word is my middle name (and in Western culture, people hardly address each other by their middle names).

My colleague was the one who picked up the phone and he was rather amused at first when the police asked for me in such a way. Both of us were puzzled at why anyone would call me at my office phone and addressed me in such way, as only clients or colleagues would look for me at my office phone and they should know the correct way to address me.

After my colleague passed the line to me and the police told me that she was calling from Lower Hutt station, i instantly knew that my stuff must have been found. As mentioned in my previous post, just three days before (on Monday), i received call from Wellington police station informing me about their follow-up on the case. I thought the thief had been apprehended and hence my stuff found, but i was wondering why the police who called me was actually from another station instead.

Then the first question she asked me made me realised that this wasn't the situation. She asked me, "did you lose a grey bag" (referring to my organiser pouch). I told her yes and also said that i lost my passport and wallet in it.

She then told me that the passport, wallet and lost of cards were in the grey bag, and asked me why I did not report the lost to the police. I then told her that i did report to the Wellington police station because the stuff were lost at the Briscoes in city centre. I also told her that i had gone to the police station a few times to check but they never managed to retrieve my found items from the database. She then clarified with me about my surname and first name, and then told me that they had entered my names in the wrong order and hence the police report file was not detected. Otherwise, when they entered the found items with my name, my police report would have been a matched.

She also further explained to me that she found me via my work visa in the passport. On the work visa, there is my employer's name. She then called up NZ Immigration to obtain the company telephone number and that was how she found me. I am really impressed that the police here would take the initiative to locate the person.

The police then asked me if there was any money in the wallet because it was empty. I told her there was actually about NZD300 in it and she then said she really hated people doing this (referring to taking other's money). I told her that I was already very happy that the important documents could be found and hence did not mind about losing the money. At this point of the conversation, my heart was already filled with joy. That was around 10am+ and that news really lifted my spirit for the entire day!

She told me that she would arrange my stuff to be delivered to the Wellington police station so that i need not travel there to pick it up. She said the police at Wellington branch (actually it is the HQ) would call me when the stuff has arrived and i should just wait for their call so that there would not be wasted trip for me.

Then on Friday, i waited and waited but did not receive any call. By 4pm, i decided that i should just call them instead to check. After i called them and gave my details, they told me that my stuff was with them already. In my heart, i was asking, "huh, then why you didn't call me as what the lady said?".

I then asked them what time they close and was told 4:30pm. I told them i would rush down immediately to pick up my stuff. I indeed did and managed to get into the station at 4:25pm. Well, i have mixed opinion about the police in NZ, and i'll leave that to another day.

Now, the most important thing is what i did get back eventually. Here's the list:
  • Passport - intact. The Malaysian High Comm had told me that Putrajaya would only start processing my case in February and hence i should be able to continue using my current passport and cancel the replacement application. I had written to the High Comm yesterday to inform them about the found passport and also to confirm if i can indeed save the hassle and money (NZD124) on the replacement passport. I should be able to get a reply from them on next Monday.

  • NZ work visa in the passport - intact. I had reported the lost to NZ Immigration and not sure if i can still reactivate the work visa and save the money of re-stamping it in my passport. I will have to go to the NZ Immigration office to find out on next Monday.

  • Malaysian IC - intact. I had already applied for the replacement IC online and paid RM200+ for it. The IC was also already done and with JPN now (surprisingly they are very efficient on this!). This means that my current IC is no longer valid. My mom will have to collect the replacement IC on my behalf when she is back in JB in Feb.

  • Singapore NRIC - intact. I had reported the lost to ICA and the replacement NRIC must be done in person when i am back in Singapore next time. I wrote to inform them about the found NRIC and they then reactivated the status. My current NRIC is still valid. This saves me the hassle as well as SGD300.

  • Singapore driving licence - intact. My SG uncle has helped me to apply for replacement driving licence in Singapore (SGD25) and could be collected next week. He will then send the licence to me by registered post. Hence the current driving licence is no longer valid (but i will get the replacement very soon).

  • DBS credit card, UOB credit card, POSB debit card - not in wallet anymore. I had cancelled these in time and hence no further money loss. I have also received the new credit card from DBS already, and UOB one is on its way. As for debit card, i will have to re-apply for it when i am back in Singapore next time.

  • UOB ATM card - intact. I had cancel this and will have to re-apply it when i am back in Singapore.

  • Public Bank debit card - intact. Surprisingly, the thief did not take this away even though he/she took away all the other three Singapore credit/debit cards. I had cancelled this anyway and will re-apply it when i'm back in Malaysia.

  • NTU Alumni Card, my passport photos, SIA and MAS airmiles membership cards, and all the loyalty cards of different merchants - all intact.

  • Coin pouch and makeup pouch - not in the grey organiser.

Frankly, out of all these, passport is the most important of all and the most difficult to get replaced as well. Therefore I am really happy that it is now found, and am hoping to hear good news from the Malaysia High Comm as well.

And of course, now that i've learnt my lesson, i will no longer carry my passport with me when i'm out and about (something that i had been doing for the past 10 years or more after i started working in Singapore and never once had any issue with it).


friends, u r very lucky leh!
As for the M'sia NRIC, nevermind lah! u had been complained the photo not nice mah! So I assumed this round photo is nicer lah!

Looks like the suburban police is more proactive than the city one. Gee, I think next time wherever in angmoh country you need to join the middle and the last character name hor to avoid confusion. Or an English name, hmm I wonder if you already had one but seldom use it ... Penny, Winnie, Jane, hehe, I remember you blogged this before. Glad all the important documents are intact, hmm, don't tell all the ids do not carry nice photos leh, aww ... But the Ic is so long after the fringe-haircut already mah .. Speaking of lost and found items, the police could have entered the item's name rather the owner, I.e Malaysian passport or simply passport. I guess there could not be > 10 ppl lost "Malaysian" passport in Wellington area, even the whole nz in 5 days span. Well, let bygones be bygones, and you finally do have your items back. Yaa hoo!

Actually I thought/hope they were found earlier and you purposely making your readers suspenseful (but this does not seem to be your character), but in reality it was found when you made the last posting on your thoughts about it. Looking back at the trail, if you had not gone to the hi comm, you would not meet new friends and the backpacking guy would be misery and lonely staying in the inn (and you probably don't know more about nz, hehe). For every cloud has a silver lining, not to say also wisdom is attained. Even you don't carry your passport, pin, please be vigilant at all times, don't let down your guard and don't get carried away especially by shopping. Do what you think is right and don't be lazy over wiser option. 一定要对自己好啊. Cheers :)

Sui, JPN is using back the same picture from their database lar... so no change of photo. :|

Angel, i do not have a English/Christian name.

Share your cogitation

Thursday, January 10, 2013 @ 9:59 pm: Unexpected
Friday, January 04, 2013 @ 10:13 pm: Quick update
Wednesday, January 02, 2013 @ 11:29 pm: An unusual day
Wednesday, January 02, 2013 @ 12:54 am: Beginning of another year
Tuesday, January 01, 2013 @ 12:45 am: End of another year
Saturday, December 29, 2012 @ 1:04 am: Lost identity (V)
Friday, December 28, 2012 @ 12:22 am: Lost identity (IV)
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)