The one day that has made the previous 100+ days an internal roller coaster, has come and gone. Looking back, it went by so quickly. I imagine when it’s all said and done, the next 4 months of my life may also go by quickly as well. Anyway, starting the day – I was drained. Imagine for 72 hours being excited, anxious, happy, disappointed, uncertain, and worried compounded by lack of sleep. Yeah, that’s how I was feeling. Very different when I look back and compare to the first time I went to the Philippines. The worrying and uncertainty definitely threw some curveballs in the mix.
It was 4am, after making sure I packed everything that I wanted to bring for the 20th time, It was time to seal my check in luggage. I had two boxes, one carryon, and a laptop bag. Between the two boxes, one weighed in at 49 pounds, and the second weighed in at 47 pounds. They were filled with donated gear for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu/MMA! I have been asked where I will pack my clothes. My response is that I plan to wear a Gi or rashguard daily. A gi top goes well with jeans and a rashguard. Consider it my fashion statement. My carry on is where I stashed my brips n medyas. While my laptop bag contained all my electronics.
My itinerary was to fly from Jacksonville at 730am to land in Detroit two hours later. Then to leave Detroit for Manila at 3:50pm. My parents were able to take me to the airport, but it was too early for the offspring to come. Let them get their sleep while dreaming of Halo, gumdrops and unicorns while playing in Minecraft. It’s a good thing that I was able to say my goodbyes to them the night prior. The ride to the airport was fairly quiet. Occasionally, every 5 minutes my parents would tell me to be careful. What does this really mean? For example, I thought I was being really careful by carrying my valuables on my person. Instead I ended up losing them in the airport. I’m my own worst enemy. Everyone does what they can to prepare, but in the end if whatever it is doesn’t go well – then the answer will always be that you weren’t ready. I like to set myself up for failure so by the end of the day, I can feel accomplished. I love my parents, and it was upsetting to see the concern in their face.
My trip was even more exciting than I imagined! There were several delays that finally lead to a flight cancellation. How lucky! The lines were worth waiting for, and the really emotionally driven bouts between customers and flight staff were intense. Ok, all sarcasm aside it wasnt what I would consider as an efficient use of time. I originally had visions of spending the next 15 hours or so catching up on my sleep and drooling on the shoulder of the sweet little lola that would be my seat mate. Instead I was greeted with a 90 minute wait to get a hotel shuttle along with 300+ other distraught passengers that had plans to spend the next 15 hours amidst the clouds. In hindsight, I would dress more comfortably, brush my teeth, and wash my nuts.
I should have taken into more consideration of what would happen if my flight were cancelled. The flight was delayed several times – originally 350pm, delayed until 6, delayed ulit until 11, delayed ulit until 9, then delayed ulit until 3am. Delay ulit, delay ulit, delay ulit…such a tease.
I mentioned that I would have dressed more comfortably for travel. Instead I wore a pair of jeans, 2 pairs of underwear, and three shirts so that I would have more room in my luggage. As if that weren’t enough, it was a bit warm in the airport – warmer outside with a slight overcast and no rain. After a few hours I was feeling that sticky/not so fresh feeling. It’s like being at the beach while sitting under the sun when you will sweat and it will dry up several times throughout. Except I wasn’t at the beach or sitting under the sun. I really just wanted to get on the plane so that I could pass out due to the lack of sleep within the last 72 hours.
My flight by the way was with Delta Airlines. I enjoy their domestic flights, but I have heard that there are better options for international flights such as Asiana and Korean Air (as of the time of this writing, which is today). I have flown with Philippine Airlines in the past, and I liked how they give you a cloth pouch with some personal care goodies. They would also serve Filipino dishes such as Adobo and Longanisa as their inflight meals! Instead of peanuts or pretzels, I remember getting ensymada from Goldilocks. This was all very new to me, so I enjoyed the novelty of receiving Filipino food on an airplane aptly named Philippine Airlines. It reminded me of taking cruises to the bahamas only to discover that the kitchen staff is 90% pinoy. Can I get some fried rice, and egg, and some tapa??!! Yey!
My meal for the day was at Sora Japanese cuisine which cost me roughly 23 dollars. This was for a bowl of ramen, and a spicy tuna roll. One thing that I found interesting during my last visit to the Philippines is that most every cuisine that I ate had a distinct ‘Filipino flavor’. It didn’t matter what it was. Chinese, Japanese, Mediterranean…all had a certain flavor that was reminiscent of Filipino cooking. It wasn’t a bad thing, the food was quite good actually. It just didn’t taste what I thought would be ‘Chinese’ for example. In reality, it could actually be more chinese than what I am used to eating in the US. Since I have never been to China, how would I know what authentic should taste like?
Happy 4th of July everyone! Be safe and enjoy hanging out with friends and family. Save some BBQ ribs for me too. Hey Buda, remember when you dumped all that charcoal in my gas grill? Good times. lol
~ThatGuy that wears a sweater around his waist