Wednesday, April 30, 2003

THE CAT IS BACK The Cat is back. Her visit to her birth country allowed her to indulge in affordable luxuries such as seeing couple of friends without having to worry about getting up late the morning after. Almost daily, she was into food finding expedition; bargain hunting in flea markets, big shopping malls and the ever reliable Barclay (Baclaran for you) and Divesure (Divisoria). With the SARS scare in China, this cat did not go to Chinatown to get her favorite “hopiang ube”. Up and Up away The travel agent reminded this cat to be at the airport three hours before the flight. About thirty minutes of standing between big suit cases and balikbayan boxes, the eyes of the cat darted back and forth to these square luggages bursting in their seams; pushed, pulled or kicked on their way to the weighing contraptions in the check-in counters of the airline. Truth to be told is, the cat found amusement in looking at some travelers ripping the boxes open and removing some stuff in order to make them meet the weight requirement. Humans…why can’t they weigh their luggages before coming to the airport to save them from embarrassing moments of “trimming the fats of their boxes. This cat was flying solo. Hrrrmmm what else is new? It had always been a tested brilliant idea to stand next to a man who is strong enough to lift a heavy suitcase in order to help a distressed feline. So when it was the turn of the cat to check in the luggages, she was spared from breaking her nails ermmm claws by a “knight” in shining armour(or was it because of sweat that made his forehead shone) offering the help to do the Herculean task for a cat. Hmmm, the weight was just exact to the last ounce. The Japanese guy behind the counter smiled of satisfaction or relief that he did not have to send another passenger to fix “ some weight problems”. He asked the cat in between those choice questions, aisle or window… how did I manage to have an accurate weight reading? Did he not hear about digital? The security was tight but I was not asked to remove my shoes (clogs) nor they opened my carry-on. All the screeners did were to let my bags; purses and jackets went through the x-ray machines and did some “dusting?” My bro told me it was a safety precaution of knowing if my stuff had explosive materials. Ngeek. The people were polite. I met one Filipino who was a namesake of a former movie actor who ate bullets and made himself invisible in all his ‘anting-anting movies'. Thank God, his name did not start with E. I told the guy, I will ask for his autograph the next time I met him again. hehehe. So, finally, the cat found an empty seat in the boarding gate area…more than half and one hour of waiting to fly; it was not the ideal time to start a book with all those people chatting endlessly; some ladies walking bent in their stiletto shoes with heavy fake LV luggages,(haah, don't they read tips about traveling?); children crying and fighting with their siblings and some youths with their backpacks noisily talking in their cell phones. One young girl tripped as she run after the father. The father picked her up, uttered some tssk tssk and on he went to wherever he was intending to go before the mishap. The girl was comfortably perched on his shoulder. The same girl deprived me of my sleep in the cabin. Running around crying for the mother and stopping by your seat (I got to give her the do I look like your mother look?) I thought that I can hear her even I stuffed my ears with the audio gadget for the movie. My sleepless nights of counting D-days were catching up on me. I felt very sleepy…up and up away I soared in my dream. Quotation for the day: Luxury need not have a price, comfort itself is a luxury-Gregory Beene


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