Wow, I have a story to tell you! I am in the Emirates Lounge in Bangkok Airport on the way home. The flight from Manila with Thai Airways seemed to pass very quickly - in fact it was about 3 hours. Now I have a 6 hour flight to Dubai, a change of planes, and then a flight to Barcelona arriving around mid-day local time (but evening in the Philippines). But I have the luxury of a bed in the plane so I hope to get some sleep.
There is so much to tell you about the last two days when we came back from Bantayan to Manila, some of it was a little nightmarish!
If you to ask me if I had a great time, I would probably say, "No". But as for a huge bucket-load of experiences and emotions, I could not beat it. If I were to be truly honest, I did not like Joshua, Nomel's friend. He had some rather strange obsessive habits, one was urinating not in the regular place! And yet I have spent 3 weeks with him, plus mum and Nomel. And Nomel paid very little attention to me and lots to Joshua. Admittedly they could speak Tagalog to each other. This wore me down a little because I have to admit that I have a lot of love for Nomel, I cannot explain why. Almost in love. A young guy, 23, taking hormones to be more feminine, the most obvious result being breasts. A million miles away from me culturally let alone the obvious age gap. Does he manipulate me? I think so.
To be brutal, the family is rather tight financially, even with money I have given them to spend. But that is the way they are. I have cynical moments of course, but my heart rapidly softens. I have spent a fortune on this trip because they have no money and I have been paying for four people all the time.
I will tell you about our arrival back in Manila because it was truly awful...
The flight was delayed and we arrived in Manila Airport around 2pm. We searched for a taxi but it was complicated. Mum wanted to come back to Redwoods with me, Nomel and Joshua wanted to go home. I went to Yellow Taxis which are metered but there was an enormous queue. Then we went to fixed-price taxis... expensive. I had the brilliant idea to take a bus to the nearest Metro station at Baclaran which is what we did. I thought that, if we couldn't take the train, we could hail a taxi. The area around the Metro was terrible, like something out of Dante's Inferno. There were so many people milling around it was as if it was after a football match. The Metro station was totally packed. Joshua was getting very moody because he had wanted a taxi from the airport to his home. Then he started feeling ill. And then it started getting dark and we still couldn't find a taxi among the mass of traffic. Nomel was getting a bit panicky, saying that it was a bad area. I couldn't disagree with that. Finally we found a taxi which would take us all back to Redwoods. We abandoned any idea of taking Joshua back home. But now he was in a bad way, stopping the taxi to be sick (but in fact wasn't). The traffic was terrible. We got back to Redwoods at 8.45pm and I went swimming till the pool closed at 9pm as a way of cleansing myself from the experience. Then I went to the supermarket to buy food for supper. By the time I returned, both Nomel and Joshua were asleep. We ended up eating at 11pm. I was shattered by the experience. Next day, I had a headache but today was better. Nomel was being nice to me for the first time in 3 weeks (maybe I exaggerate). We all went to the airport and here I am in Bangkok. Now I will go and look for my plane to Dubai.
I found the plane to Dubai, I know that because I am now in the Emirates Lounge in Dubai Airport. I slept quite well on the plane, a 777, the spaces are not as big as on the A380 which will take me to Barcelona. The ride was very bumpy over India and it woke me early. My neighbour told me there had been a storm below us with lightning but I missed the display because I had been sleeping.
Dubai holds many memories for me dating right back to 1978 when I designed a network for monitoring fire alarms, access control in a huge new shopping mall here. I used to come here regularly up till about 2000 as I had a maintenance contract to look after my baby. After that time, they updated it with a newer system and I shut down my company anyway and moved to Spain. In parallel with this blog, I am writing about parts of my life, such as Dubai, and it should be complete around the end of the year. It started out as an autobiography but I thought that Blogspot would be an idea way of doing it. I have lots of photos which I will include. It's already written, all I have to do is transfer it across to the autobiography-blog.
I still feel a little tired so I will probably sleep some more on the flight to Barcelona. I usually adjust to the time difference very quickly, I used to suffer from jet lag but not now.
I am writing this with a cup of tea and a cookie! And now I will go to board the plane. The gate for me is right next to the bar, so within 5 minutes I will be on the plane!
DXB to BCN
I get three breakfasts when I change planes in Dubai! One just before arrival, one in the Emirates Lounge in Dubai and one when I leave Dubai for Barcelona in the A380 (I am sure you know that the A380 is sometimes called "super jumbo" because it is currently - and probably always will be - the largest passenger jet in service. Emirates has 100. I went to Toulouse on a tour of the Airbus factory once). There is wifi on the plane, so I am writing this about 4.5 hours away from Barcelona, somewhere north of Syria. We get a nice lunch before arriving and lamb is on the menu! I am so tired of rice with everything and the meat is either pork or chicken. Oh, or fish. The nightmare of Manila traffic is receding at 800km/hour. I don't think I will be going back in a hurry (3 weeks there was crazy). We have a headwind of 100km/hour.
I thought of something else to say. I am sure you will worry about my sanity when I talk about being in love with a 23 year-old guy in Manila. So I will explain. I feel love towards him rather like a father to a son, nothing more than that (well, OK not totally honest). But one evening we booked a Karaoke session in a small room, exclusively for us. And Nomel sang one or two songs very beautifully. One was a Carpenters song, I am not sure if this is the title... "Love me for what I am.." Nomel's voice is rather like that of Karen Carpenter but a male person with a female singing voice as opposed to a female person and masculine voice. I explained about Karen Carpenter, how she died very young. But Nomel singing this song blew me away, it was wonderful. And it was almost like falling in love. That is what I am saying.
I haven't mentioned Nemia, another of Nomel's sisters. I met her last time I was in Manila and she wanted to come to Redwoods to see me the last day I was there. She is very sweet and it was very nice to see her again. And finally Joshua went home and we were just family, what a relief!