A rare treat for this bookaholic

>> Thursday, May 27, 2010

The queue was long, I thought as I looked at the piece of paper with my queue number. The self-service machines KIPPAS were down that day because they were doing some work to addmore units.

So I left the immigration office for the bank. Afterall, I needed to withdraw some cash to pay for the passport application. I didn't wait long before it was my turn. The officer looked at my forms and said, "Eh, ini kena ambil nombor lain. Sistem dia takde kat sini. Maaf ye dik." He looked apologetic. "Takpe, I'm not in a rush," I said with a smile. I went to the ticket machine.

After my business was settled, I decided to have an early lunch first. Afterall, there were 70 people in front of me in the passport application queue. I estimated that I should be there after 70 minutes, allotting 1 minute per application, given the number of counters pocessing.

I was wrong. 60 minutes after I had taken my queue number, I came back to see that I had missed by 15 people. I guess I had underestimated the efficiency of the team and their system.

I went to queue number counter again and told the officer there my story. Perhaps it's okay to approach the next available counter. "Maaf kak, kena ambil nombor balik," she said instead. "Ok, takpe." And I honestly meant it.

Why? Because I came prepared with a book.

I sat down and continued where I left off. It was a rare treat for me. To be able to really plunge into a book, without the need to do something else. I don't remember when was the last time I was able to do this. I'm applying for my passport for a business trip, so I didn't need to take the day off. I had already informed my boss, and there was no looming deadline or meeting. I did consider whether it was appropriate to use 'company's time' to read a novel, but I could hardly open my laptop there to do any work offline, could I?

I felt slightly annoyed when my number appeared for the final process which was the payment. It meant my time is up, and there's only 40 pages left! And the story plot was at its climax! But I consoled myself in thinking, I'd have the time to finish the book the next day, when I come back to pick up the passport. At least now I know I can finish a 280-pages book in a solid two hours.


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