Wednesday, December 02, 2015


It was a long trip, fired off by a string of emails with "B" that plucked "M" from Iloilo to Deutschland so together they can chant "Let them it coal!" as the pilgrims start their penance from the Vatican, the martyred "Y" in the lead with to-be-blessed "R" and the ever loyal "D", "M" linking up after the coals and the Alps and just before Paris.

Those were the first two legs of the journey, the coal to pilgrimage route, featuring quick pit stops with a celebrity chef around the sunken garden of Diliman and with 15,000 blinking fireflies chasing around the roads less biked of Greater Manila, before the third leg marched from Tandang Sora to the Circle --- the six avenues route --- where a GROW Campaigner got pulled to the frontline, reluctantly at first, until the avenues converged and the drone flew and flashbacks from many years ago rushed in, all good except for the raised left fist moment that was very awkward indeed.

Then the last leg, the flight of Le Negociateur to the Old World, the MNL-AMS-CDG route, blessed by the Lords of the Bike and the Masters of the Royal Secret who offered beer and advised against the bus in favor of the van for the CAB-MLA connecting ride... the layover at Sunnymede where the wise words spoken reset the clock two hours early to enable the QC-T3 connecting ride for the epic but uneventful trip to the City of Lights where a stunned Le Negociateur learned that traffic is not just a Third World monopoly as the taxi sputtered to the finish line at 36 l'Echequier after starting with so much expectation from the Charles de Gaulle Airport. 

Merci beaucoup but the hotel check-in will be much later too so Le Negociateur hunted for the last stretch to Le Bourget that earnestly started with the wrong Metro station at Bonne Nouvelle and the wrong train at Strasbourg-Saint-Denis, to Gare du Nord finally and its maze of platforms and swarms of gendarmes and the 15-minute train ride Le Bourget where a waiting articulated shuttle bus delivered me to the gates of COP 21.   

There I got certified and badged and fed with take-out french cuisine.

And there I paid my respects to the martyred "Y" who arrived by foot much earlier than my plane.

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