I had initially informed Sofie that I’d be fetching them on Thursday afternoon to bring the children shopping in Ipoh for their schooling needs. Now that they have moved to a small town nearer to Ipoh, I thought I might as well bring them to Ipoh as there isn’t much choice near their new place. However, after I sent the message to Sofie, she called me to inform me of the trouble she’s having with Ika’s school transfer.
Her old school had already earlier made the school transfer arrangements for Sofie’s children, but somehow Sofie’s youngest girl’s application got returned to the school. Apparently since Sofie is divorced, the PPD requires proof of Sofie’s right of custody over the child. Sofie doesn’t have anything in black and white. Even when they were still married, her husband seldom came home. He’d come home maybe every 4 or 5 months, then he’d leave again. The last time he came home was in July 2008, and after that when Sofie told him she was going to file for divorce, the last contact made was about 3 months later when he called to threaten Sofie that he’d kill her if she filed for divorce. Sofie lodged a police report and filed for divorce anyway.
Since her ex-husband never took care of the children and seldom came home, Sofie never bothered to ask for custody of the children. She didn’t see the necessity. She didn’t think there’d be any problem as even the ex-husband’s own mother doesn’t know where he is. She figured she got everything settled once she got her divorce papers.
That was until she moved to a new house in another town recently, and her children needed to be transferred to schools nearer to their new home. I don’t think it would have been much of a problem had it been the father who arranged for the transfer, but since in this case, none of the father’s documents were submitted, the PPD returned her earlier application because it wasn’t accompanied by proof of custody. Sofie was told to do a Surat Akuan Bersumpah.
“Surat Akuan Bersumpah tu macam mana kak? Saya bukan reti semua ni. Saya pergi mahkamah, orang tu suruh saya buat sendiri surat, lepas tu bawak gi kat depa sahkan. Manalah saya tau nak buat surat tu?”
Understandably, Sofie doesn’t know how to go about. So, yesterday I called Sofie to find out some particulars and then I prepared a letter of oath for Sofie, printed 2 copies, and brought it along with me this morning when I went to fetch Sofie and her children.
Yes, since we needed to go to PPD Kinta to get the matter settled, I decided to fetch them in the morning instead of afternoon as planned earlier. I figured I might as well fetch them early, bring Sofie to a commissioner for oaths, then to PPD Kinta before taking them shopping.
There was one problem though… Sofie’s youngest girl, Ika, always suffers from car-sickness! She’d feel dizzy and this morning after a while she felt like vomiting. Luckily Sofie brought along a plastic bag with her. Ika had initially sat in front with her mother, nearer to the aircond, but I told her to move to the back seat so she could sit away from the aircond.
Anyway, I took Sofie to a commissioner of oaths whose office was at the ground floor. Sofie always had problems walking up the stairs and I knew she’d have no choice to climb up the stairs at PPD, so at least I’d save her from having to climb one more flight of stairs to see the commissioner for oaths. After paying the commissioner, we headed straight to PPD. While Azman and Saiful waited in the car, Azlan, the eldest son, came along with Sofie, Ika and myself to the office. Sofie was huffing and puffing up the stairs despite the office being only on the first floor. It didn’t take too long though. The lady at the counter, after looking at the letter, just asked Sofie to write her current address on an envelope, and told us they’d be posting the letter to Sofie within 2 weeks.
That settled, I brought them to a hypermarket to shop for their schooling needs. No problem with the 2 older boys, Azlan and Azman. But Ika had the same problem as Marlia, Lin’s daughter – choosy and fickle minded. I told her, “Kalau tak nak yang ada kat sini, tak apa. Tapi makcik takde nak bawak gi tempat lain dah. Kalau tak beli hari ni kat sini, tak payah beli langsung. Pakai aje yang tahun sudah punya.” It didn’t take long after that for her to find the ones she wanted… :-)
There wasn’t much I could do with Saiful though. If you may recall, Saiful is the one with the very thick glasses. He will be in form one next year, but he is just as small in size as his 8 year old sister. Not much problem finding him his school shirt… he could always opt for the ones meant for primary school children, but where on earth were we to find him green trousers for secondary school, small enough for him? Even the promoter told me, “Yang ni kena tempah kat kedai kak, takkan jumpa jual yang dah siap saiz kecik untuk dia.” (Yes, yes! She called me KAK, not makcik! Hehehe..)
So yep, I told Sofie to bring Saiful to a tailor, and I will reimburse whatever amount charged using the sponsorship fund.
I then brought them for lunch before sending them home.
Tomorrow I will bring Aini’s children shopping…