Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Mickey Mouse and the Mummy

Dear Mouse, That was my third time to visit Disneyland and Universal Studios. My friend drove and dropped us in the morning before she sped away for work. It is our decision to come to the most famous theme park on a weekday. Less people, small crowd. Besides the weekend was spent to attend the wedding. First stop was Universal. It was early morning and the gates were closed. We decided to hang around near the ticket booth where it was cooler. A family of three approached my bench. Must be Mexicans. The father was asking me in halting English, if I have a ticket. I thought he was inquiring about the purchase of tickets, so I pointed to him the ticket booth and the automated ticket machine. It turned out that he got a coupon for 4 tickets for $ 99 only. I could have pretended that I was their companion but I was worried that it could be a scam. Those travel scams and rip-offs that I watched in the TV made me one suspicious CAT. What if I would be made to pay the whole package when I did not spend a single cent for my ticket. It was courtesy of my friend/host. I saw them walk away. I could see the frustration in the faces of the two kids. I just thought that maybe they will find somebody who will agree to go with them as a family member. Inside, I did not bump into them. Pictures, pictures and more pictures. Not me. I am not the tourist. I am now the guide. Two young men approached and offered to take our photo together. No thank you. I have to admit Mouse that the movie of Mr. Bean with a guy who run away with his camera after offering to take his photo turned me into a paranoid traveler. The camera may not be expensive but it was full of memories even with blank film inside. I do not say that they are scammers, but they do not look like they are going inside the park. Now wait, why did I think of that ? I am talking to myself mouse, do not mind me. I am really PARANOID. So off went to the gate with Halloween decors. Haaah, we were the first in the line. With backpacks and a small cap to protect us from te scorching morning sun, we peered through our shades, shifted our weights from one leg to another, watched cute babies in their strollers as we waited for those staff in costume to open the gates. Then a lady dressed in long black dress came and announced that the gate where we are supposed to gain entry is not going to be opened. Shuckssss. Why wait for so long to make the announcement? The line already tripled and to disband us would make us go back to square one. Two little girls pulled each other hair. I want to pull the hair of the woman, myself. Haah. So we joined another line. I heard familiar language spoken. Ahaaa Filipinos. A family of four, an old woman (maybe the lola), a young couple and a spoiled BRAT were just a few heads away. Those heads walked away to join their friends. Now we were standing next to the Filipino tourists. Come now, why I knew they were tourists and not locals? First, the young woman was carrying a purse(a handbag for you); locals have backpacks regardless of age.The old lady was wearing a Sunday pair of shoes. They did not talk to me. I like to believe that they were haughty. You know if you are not a local and you can go to Universal and Disneyland, your bankbook is healthy. The young man...the husband was friendlier. Must be because, he worked in Singapore and has traveled in a few countries.I have been to Singapore myself and we exchanged notes. He laughed when I told him, I stayed once in Changi Hotel,(Changi airport for you) at the back of those seats with the immaculate carpet as my sleeping mat. The connecting flight was only a few hours apart and staying in the hotel outside the airport was not a practical one.(read: trying to save for one electronic gadget that I desperately want to add to my collections). The wife's smile was a fake. It was like drawing a pic and stretching the lips to both sides of the face in order to make it appear smiling. The brat was pulling the father's hands to get his attention. Time to say..okay cya inside. Then the gates opened. No time to take out the grapes and the apples inside my backpack. No food inside, the warning said. They searched my backpack. A light jacket???. The security frowned. A jacket for this weather....Excuse me, where I came from, it was already cold. I did not know that it was still summer out here. The fruits were missed. Thanks to the jacket. The CAT


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