Thursday, March 29, 2012

First Timer

written March 28,2012, Wednesday

Random things I have noted down on my first out-of-the-country travel experience – pre departure phase (yes, maraming phases ‘to! Haha!)

*There is a separate entrance for OFWs as they are not required to pay terminal fees.

This information I got from Kuya Edgar, the taxi driver who brought me to the airport. The line is long and I could not help but ask my father if Kuya Bo, my eldest brother, had to endure queuing when he went to Dubai and tatay said yes. Kuya has been working as an engineer in Dubai since 2010. I couldn’t think of that country without thinking about my brother.

*NAIA Terminal 1 has yellow lights dim enough to give an even more romantic atmosphere to passengers bound for a honeymoon to some European country and torturously dim to highlight the homesickness of an OFW bound to work his ass off in another country.

*The terminal smells of Nissin Yakisoba.

*The restrooms are located near counter 42.

*So many documents are required. I have one clear file of visa’s, passports, COE’s, sponsorship letters, boarding passes replicated five times over. Takot akong mawala.=)

*My literature companions while waiting to board are David Sedaris (currently reading Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim) and Lourd De Veyra (This is a Crazy Planet).

*I am obsessed with my bag’s padlock. The lock comes with a combination and I keep on rechecking whether it is working. I don’t want to slash my own bag because of my stupidity of forgetting a combination I myself have assigned.

*The guy sitting one row away from me is playing Fruit Ninja. I feel hungry.

*Airport Terminals, whether the best or the worst in the world, has the power to conjure really strong emotions (at least for me). My mother’s simple question when I answered her phone call (“Anong oras kita ipapasundo sa Tuesday pag balik mo?”) nearly brought me to tears. My colleagues phone call inquiry about where I kept some file melted my heart – “Mr. Boss of that real estate company, I am indispensable, raise my salary, only I know where that file is kept” (end statement with threatening evil laughter!!)

*Airport authorities are gods.

*It pays to get everything done online. Check in online. The lines are much shorter.

*It does not hurt to ask. Really.

*People are extremely curious of where each one is going. I changed seats while waiting for Miss Toni to check in, four times. And 2 out of my four seatmates asked me where I am headed. It is but a common or if not the only ice breaker in terminals.

*Airport  food is extremely expensive.

*Dubai is DXB in international flights. If it were up to me, I’ll have it in “Dub”. Wala lang, para madaling tandaan, haha!=)

Time to board the plane.
I’m a giddy first timer.
And I assign meaning to everything.=)

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