So here's the truth that I've had to withhold for the past 3 days.
On Friday I had this great plan that I'd fly home for Mothers' Day.
Take a flight on Friday afternoon, crash at Jun's place for the night, come home Sunday morning and wake Mum & Dad up for church.
Best plan in the world, I thought to myself.
I know how hard it is on mum to have both me and Noelle away from home, especially since it was Mothers' Day. Found a flight for $19 USD so I thought, why not? I'm so homesick and missing everyone so much anyway. Plus, need to sort out some bank stuff, reclaim my 3rd-time stolen SIM card, lots of reasons to come back.
So since the bus to Ho Chi Minh broke down and I missed my flight, I decided to spend the night in Saigon and buy a ticket the next day. So I went to Bui Vien and got a flight for USD$92 the next day at 115pm. After I got the money from Western Union, I had USD$134. $30 went to the cab who brought me around finding the bank, buying a SIM card, etc. Which means I had $104 left - minus $92 and that's $12. $4 for accommodation - $8 left.
And I couldn't afford to buy a meal because I wouldn't be able to get to the airport! Imagine that.
So I went to Go2 bar at about 8pm hoping for some help and that's when Mark gave me money and bought me dinner. I felt like a poor homeless kid being cared for by a rich expat. Never eaten so fast before.
Then Mum sent me Redzman's number and I went to meet him, went for the festival and everything.
Next day I went to catch my flight at 1:15pm. Got to the airport, checked in, was waiting to board. At 1:30 the plane still wasn't boarding. So I went to the toilet, came back in like, less than 5 mins, and oh! The plane has departed.
I lost it. I really lost it.
No announcement, no last call, no page for my name and passport number, nothing.
So I was there in the airport with no way of booking a new flight. The staff tried to help me but there was nothing that could be done. No refund, no later flight, nothing. Called Redz and he gave me his credit card details. They still wouldn't let me buy a ticket. Either he had to be there or I had to use my card which as you might remember, has been blocked till Monday (today).
They wouldn't sell me a ticket in cash and online booking had closed.
And both times, Saturday and Sunday, poor Jun had been waiting for me at the airport. With no credit in my phone I had no way of calling her. This made me ever more anxious, which was a difficult task given that I was almost going insane.
I went back to Bui Vien. Redz called me and said I should bunk in with them, they'd be back later in the evening. So I headed to their hotel. By this time my phone had run out of credit.
Needed to use the net to send emails, update blog, make sure people knew I was still alive, so I bought a drink at a place with free WiFi - thank god I had my laptop! The drink was $4 - so that's less than $4 left.
Used Redz card to buy a ticket for this morning - USD$100.
Went back to the hotel, hungry as I was the day before. We went back to Go2 bar and they bought me dinner.
How strange that I was there with no money, no phone, no food, no water, no way of getting money. It's a very scary feeling. Maybe it's to show me how the street kids feel when they go for days without a meal.
Had an early night and woke up this morning, asked Redz' friends who I was sharing a room with if she could lend me a couple of dollars to get to the airport. She lent me $6 - spent $3 to get to the airport. Had major paranoia at the airport that something would go wrong, but everyone went really well.
The girl in the seat next to me needed help filling out her immigration form so I did it for her, she was so grateful. Her address was Simsville and I was wondering if I could hitch a ride with her. But I fell asleep and when I woke up the plane had landed and she was gone.
I thought oh yes, I'm home!
I've never been so happy to be home before.
I saw Singapore in a different light and it really is a great place to live.
And people were so warm and nice and polite.
Welcome home, they said, and I tried not to tear.
Changed the little dong I had left and got $3.65, took a 36 to Marine Parade.
Walked home (used my last $2 to buy a pack of chips along the way) and turned up at the door.
Mum was speechless. She has been missing me and was praying that somehow I'd come home. And at that exact moment, I turned up at the door.
I explained everything and said, now you know why I randomly went to Saigon, why I was out of cash, why I was out of contact.
I know it's a day late but, Surprise, Mum & Dad!
As I said, brighter days ahead. =)