Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Itinerary Designed by Road Runner

Written at Gate 12 of Honolulu Airport, 10:57am.

The past week had been a frenzied flurry of activities for me. I have logged in more flying time in a week than some people do in a whole year, and believe me, while it was an adventure, it wasn't always fun.

There were times I would slump over the toilet seat at the airport restrooms on layovers, too tired to even go number one. My body clock is now completely screwed up, having gone through 4 different time zones for the past 7 days. I don't know what this will do to me when I finally land in Manila and getting back to my daily routine (I'm writing this at the Honolulu airport, waiting to board for Tokyo/Narita.) I'm hoping my irregular sleep and eating habits will save me from horrible jetlag.

At LAX airport while waiting for the Mexico City flight, my eyes were shutting down involuntarily that I had to stand up while waiting, otherwise I was afraid I wouldn't be able to wake up and get on the plane. I never bothered to change the time on my watch - i'll be gone only for a week anyway and it would be silly to adjust every 2 days. Whenever I need to know what time it is I just pull out the World Clock of my cellphone or iPod, it's more convenient that way since it would show 5 cities simultaneously.

I witnessed sunset and sunrise with only a 3 hour difference while on the plane. I got an 8-hour afternoon transiting from LAX to Honolulu. I had to ask the Filipino hotel shuttle driver what day it is. I was that disoriented. My body tells me it's 4am in Manila and yet the sun is shining here in Hawaii. My meal times were not disturbed at all, since I don't have regular eating hours anyway. I eat when I'm hungry.

I took the Greyhound shuttling between LA and San Diego, and on the way back the bus made like 3 stops - Santa Ana, Long Beach, and another one that escapes me at the moment. It took quite a long time to make it to LA but I was thankful because I got to see more of South California. It was also a little surreal to walk around downtown San Diego with Fifi, eating pizza at Little Italy and scavenging bargain bins at H&M.

And because I don't care if my baggage goes straight to Manila without me, I went to Honolulu on a golden ticket. Overnight stay with free hotel and meals is enough bribe for me to get to see a new place. I was able to walk around Waikiki Beach and see the nightlife, the surfboards, and the topless surfer dudes jogging on the streets. Life is good.

There are a lot of stories to tell, and it will come trickling in when I finally get enough sleep in my own bed. Right now I feel incredibly sleepy and the sunlight is hurting my eyes, and I think I'm hungry. Boarding in ten minutes. Aloha Hawaii, thanks for having me.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

It Didn't Come with a Manual

I always read instructions, whether for a complicated gadget or a lowly instant noodle packet, I make it a point to read the 1-2-3. I do this so I can't blame myself if the whole thing explodes or turn into a soggy mush. There is one thing, however, that I don't need instructions for, and yet I execute it perfectly every single time I do it. The instructions? Open mouth, insert foot.

I've said a lot of stupid things before. I am all too familiar with that sinking feeling in my gut as soon as the words leave my mouth. But as they say, once it's out there, you can never take it back. Unless you have the following equipment: the dagger from Prince of Persia, Hermione's locket, or a mad scientist at your disposal to invent a time machine for you. Otherwise, you're pretty much screwed.

So what do you do when you suddenly find your big toe tickling your uvula? It depends so much on what you have said. A couple of words can ruin entire friendships, relationships, and even lives. Saying a measly sorry wouldn't be enough for that. It would also depend whether those words are true and if you meant them. But sometimes, it's just the Stupid cells in your brain kicking into high gear that make you say insensitive things. Things that you never really meant, if only you had taken a breath to review that sentence before blurting it out.

I can say sorry a hundred times or even grovel, and that would be the extent of what I can offer. Now if someone would give me a hand in removing this limb from this orifice.