Friday, September 30, 2011

MANILA TO PANAMA CITY IN 3 ACTS

ACT 1: Typhooned in Nueva Ecija, Striked in Manila

SCENE 1 SYNOPSIS: Typhoon Pedring flooded Nueva Ecija, bus services cancelled, so I have to burn lines until I got me somebody willing to risk the submerged roads and find a way to Manila. For 5k.


SCENE 2 SYNOPSIS: Travel agent called to say that PR 102 to Los Angeles is striked out. I crossed fingers and actually prayed that be the case. I went to the Centennial Terminal just the same and waited as replacement crews (scabs?) learned the ropes and finally got me checked in. Two hours delayed. 

ACT 2: Before Sunrise, 27 Dresses, The Lake Tree

SCENE 1 SYNOPSIS: Harrased and exhausted, I got myself a choice seat for $50. Long haul. Before Sunrise is almost all conversation and got me asleep. 27 Dresses is a B-movie I think. Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock in The Lake House are still difficult but I finally got the plot of the magic mail box.
 
ACT 3: Almost lost in LA, breakfast in Houston, and a seaman arrives in Panama

SCENE 1 SYNOPSIS: Two hours delayed means rushing through immigration and the luggage carousel in LA (with an orange slip of paper), locating Terminal C that was really Terminal 6 (forgot that I now have reading glasses), realizing that departures are on second level not below (should have asked), and losing my tickets in the process (must be when I finally asked).

SCENE 2 SYNOPSIS: Continental got me a premium seat along the emergency exit and loaded my luggage for free. Had what I thought was a Texan breakfast of grits, sausages, bacon, and java coffee in Houston. And shot the canal from above as we approached Panama City.



SCENE 3 SYNOPSIS: "Are you a seaman?" / "No."/ "Do you have papers?" / "Yes."/ "Please wait here." / "Okey." / That's how I got a visa-free entry and a $40 taxi ride to my hotel.

PHOTO CREDIT: The top photo was taken by Bulan at the height of Typhoon Pedring's landfall in Nueva Ecija the day before my scheduled flight to LA. It shows a transformer in front of our house minutes after the province's electric power went out. 

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