6th of March 2011. An uneventful birthday suddenly turned suspenseful.

I'm back in Malaysia since yesterday morning.

Had a nice belated birthday celebration dinner with parents + sister + 'Ah Gou' (aunt in Teochew, dad's elder sister) and Kai Fai and cute fat Wai Kong (unofficially my mom's two godsons).



Belated birthday celebration dinner (March 7, 2011)


But I'll chronicle what happened on the actual day of my birthday instead, 6th of March, 2011.

As I was supposed to catch the midnight flight back to Malaysia, I was already packing early in the morning, and by afternoon, I had brought all my luggages to my editing lab. Quickly I was doing some additional editing for my new short film LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER (mentioned in my previous post).

Not one who throws parties or lavish birthday bashes (I can only remember two birthday parties in my lifetime, one in McDonald's when I was 6, another in Perth, when I was 21, thrown by my friend, former guestblogger and current novelist, Justin), I knew it was going to be a rather quiet, and uneventful birthday. But then, to be doing what I love is fruitful enough.

Kong dropped by at the lab, then he went off. After shooting the Japanese segment of LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER, he was going to help KINGYO actress Luchino Fujisaki do a promotional video for her newly-released photobook.

After that, Teng Fei dropped by to pass me a gift (chocolates from Hokkaido), and then we had lunch at a ramen shop nearby. Then she went off too, as she had a photography assignment.

I headed back to the lab. Yuiko the producer had already arrived. She passed me a gift (Big Thunder chocolate bars), I showed her the stuff that I've edited. It was a brief meeting, I was returning to Malaysia, so she had to do some administrative duties plus paperwork for the production while I'm not around.

Yuiko left at 7pm.

I left the lab half an hour later, catching the train to Haneda Airport. Taking the Air Asia flight home, it was the first time I've been to Haneda since December 2008 (first ever trip to Dubai Film Fest) I took the Tozai Line from Waseda to Nihombashi, then I switched to the Toei Asakusa from Nihombashi to Sengakuji, and from Sengakuji, I took the Keikyu Main Line that went directly to Haneda.

The entire ride took less than an hour (felt shorter since I was answering nearly 200 birthday wishes on Facebook via iPhone). I reached Haneda really quickly. Rushed out of the train, headed to the elevator, pressed the button...

THEN i realized my notebook bag wasn't with me.

My notebook bag with my laptop computer.

My notebook bag with my laptop computer AND my passport.

"Oh noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo" I screamed in my head.

I went back to the station, to the station manager, telling him about plight. As I was doing that, many things floated in my mind.

What if I lose my computer?

What if I lose my passport?

What if I cannot return to Malaysia?

The station manager made a phone call.

While more thoughts of sheer bleakness and angst filled up my mind.

Does that mean that I will not be able to complete my short film?

Could it be possible? That my lifelong absent-mindedness had finally gotten the best of my creative brilliance?

Which train did I leave the bag at? Was the one to Haneda? Or was it the train to Sengakuji? Or was it the train to Nihombashi?

The station manager told me that my bag was at the next station, and I could just pick it up from the station manager over there.

Phew. I sighed in relief, all dark despairing thoughts vanished instantly from my mind.

I ended up going there and picking up the bag from the manager at the other station.

"Ah, what a happy birthday!" I said when I finally got hold of my bag again. An uneventful little birthday that suddenly turned suspenseful, it was good to inject a little bit of drama in life, even though I almost had a heart attack.