Don’t be a stranger and come back one day ma’am’
There we go…picked up at the hotel by the taxi driver, the reception takes “on time” pretty serious if it’s about flights and foreigners. 5 minutes before the agreed time the phone rings: Ma`am are you ready? I send someone for the bags… eeuh oke, send someone?!. Before I know I’m outside only carrying my phone. The staff and taxi driver running to get my bags… I didn’t say I was in a rush is it? The taxi driver is really creative and taking his job as a taxi driver serious as well. No-way that I carry the bags (even though I am taller) and no-way it’s going on the roof or on the backseats (than I have to sit next to him, nooo Ma`am than I am not a real taxi driver he smiles). A little creative, he is putting the front seat down and my boardbag is entering the car by the left (yep, the left) front door, some maneuvering and finally lying on the right front seat, like … a king (my boardbag likes travelling trough the Philippines). The big bags are in the trunk, with some effort. But no ma`am take a seat I will do it and he smiles. So I just take a seat, behind him, the way it should be as a real taxi driver.
On the way to the airport, the taxi driver starts a little conversation with me (as everybody here); Where are you going Ma`am? Where are you from Ma `am? How long have you been here in the Philippines Ma`am? And off course what all this bags are about? What’s in the big back Ma `am? So many for a small girl? Really Ma `am? A kitesurfing I see Ma `am.
Yes only for me and yes, I was in the Philippines for one month, having a great time, kitesurfing and competing. And no, I don`t want to go home, it`s nice here. But study…
At the airport, I step out of the car and show him my no need of porter: “bob the builder” skills on the airport trolleys. A little impressed the taxi driver is watching me (thinking how to help me but not getting there). Walking all the way with me to the security gaurds which were off course also watching this show and guess what they will get another show.. 5 big bags trough the x-ray (also called a traffic jam). One of the guards is asking my passport and the other one watching my shoes.. skating ma`am? You are a skater, you have been skating here ma`am? Well I can skate but I was here for kitesurfing. Is there a skateboard in the big bag ma`am? No a kite board sir. A what? Oke I show you a picture. And he smiles, ahh I see ma`am kiteboard but I like your outfit and shoes. If you wear vans you are a skater, I learned. The security guard gives me a little tour through the skate places and downhill tracks in the Philippines. I promise him to bring my skateboard next time, so I can pass trough and the rest of the que as well. Just before the taxi driver leaves me alone (yes he was waiting the whole time to see me pass the security) he says: ‘don’t be a stranger and come back one day ma’am’. Now he impressed me… with this sentence in mind I will leave the Philippines for now (after all the airport and check in fun which I will tell you another time).
The last month has been great! Meeting- up with a lot of people again, meeting a lot of new people, all even friendly and polite. Kiting on great spots and competing together. It’s not too often that I return for such a long time to one place again and again. Every time I leave the Philippines, I start comparing, but in the Philippines they…the layovers, the people in the plane, everything, it’s just different.
…The plane is still moving on its way to the gate, the seatbelt sing is on and the purser just told us: stay seated while we are remaining to the gate”. Yes, people this doesn’t mean to click your seatbelt and jump out of your chair (like always). But congrats you’re the first one standing and ready to get your bags and standing as first one in front of a closed door of the aircraft. This means.. well I think the purser was clear. I always like the part , the taxing part of the airplane Your home but not really yet, a free tour around the airport. Meanwhile enjoying the show every time over again and again, people puzzling their selves closely together in the path, grabbing bags, jumping on each other’s toes. Seems almost they haven`t been sitting so close together the last 13 hours is it? However looks always funny. Finally after all the cuddling the crowd start moving, the only thing I can think of is see you at the baggage belt again, waiting.
Walking to the passport control, I get hit by different trolleys and people running around to get in front… seriously? You still have to wait at the baggage belt, take it easy… Not even a sorry, but just a face that looks like it’s your fault that it is taking so long…
At the baggage belt, we meet again. It is taking too long, where is my bag? Yes, back to reality. The only difference is, you are waiting and I am just grabbing my bags that almost go for a second round on the baggage belt. Maybe it`s called Karma, but I like it.
Next stop: special luggage. There is a few people waiting…. And I am just waiting for them to start complaining again. It`s 5 o clock in the morning, you’re a few minutes out of the plane, where do you need to go? …And once again my boardbag is the first arriving. No, I am not complaining, only thinking about the security guys checking out my Instagram, telling me about the skateboarding and the whole que watching with them, nobody complaining, no rush, no unfriendly faces…
Yihaaaaa…I am back, back in Holland. The world of deadlines, rush, rules and no patient. But also the world of nice food, snow, rain, sun, iceskating, cold, regulations, good organization and family & friends. Nothing wrong with being home, it`s just different. And no, I have nothing to complain … Just digging out my boardbag for some warm clothes before going outside… Let it snow!
“Don’t be a stranger and come back one day ma’am”… … That one day might be sooner than he thinks….