Posted by: nastypen | October 11, 2006

Greetings from the Glory of the Garden State of New Jersey!!!

Let us start with numbers.

27:  The number of hours I spent getting to my destination from Manila-Nagoya-Detroit-New Jersey.

17: The number of hours that I was supposed to have traveled.

1: medical situation aboard the 11-hour flight from Nagoya to Detroit.  One really old guy had an attack of some sort thus causing drama in the cabin with one black diva of a flight attendant interrupting my contrived sleep asking if there were doctors onboard.

11: the number of Filipino doctors on their way to a Chicago seminar.

0: the number of these Filipino doctors that had an American license to practice medicine.

0: the choices the plane had with regards to an American medical license.  They eventually allowed the Filipino doctors to administer some stuff on that guy who looked like he was Lapu-lapu’s playmate.  The pilot came over and asked if it would be necessary to land the plane in Anchorage, Alaska for paramedics to cater to the old guy.  I thought it would be cool to see Alaska.  But no, I just wanted to get to New Jersey and start my American non-adventure.

2: the collective number of hours I slept for the entire trip.

the number of vacant seats in the airplane from Nagoya to Detroit and from Detroit to Newark.  I have never been in a plane ride that was filled to capacity.  It was pretty cramped and heaving.  This is the worst airplane ride to date.

6: the number of months given to me after the immigration officer asked me how long I planned to stay in his glorious country.  I answered “just a month.”  The immigration officer looked like Jason Stratham, bald and bulky.  He commented that I spoke American English.  My mother would be so proud to hear that.  He asked why I spoke that way despite that it has been a while since I returned to America.  I could have told him it was years of colonial indoctrination via Archie comics and Disney films.  My answer, “I am schooled in an American institution, the University of the Philippines Diliman and the Philippines was once an American colony.”  I said this with a straight face.  He smiled and his blue eyes twinkled.  He asked me to put my left index finger on the scanner then my right.  He touched my fingers as I subject myself to a violation of my human rights as required by American Homeland Security Agency.  We were not allowed to take pictures of the procedure.  Pity.  I would have liked to make it a part of my video collection how this American lady berated and grilled this Filipino as to how he will support himself here because he is asking for six months stay.  She was rattling off like an Uzi in Palestine.  What does he do in the Philippines?  How much does he make?  Where will he stay?  Who with?  How much money did he bring with him?  The lady was not interrogating.  She was raising her voice.  God Bless America. Isn’t America a product of generations of mass immigration?  I hope that lady’s ancestors did not have a dehumanizing hard time when they got off the boat from Latvia or somewhere.

10: hours I waited because my flight for Newark has been inexplicably cancelled.

5:  the amount of money in US dollars Northwest authorities gave to the aggrieved party for the cancelled flight for their lunch.  I just laughed at the Americans and walked away.

1: plane with faulty and leaking hydraulic fluid thus forcing the passengers to deplane.  After this vacation, I will never ride Northwest airlines again.

5: Other Filipinos disenfranchised from the cancellation of the trip.  One frantic mother who went deaf from stress and can’t hear her daughter screaming at the other phone line.  Another one was a feisty Boholana who was brave enough to bring out what I initially noticed that despite us being at the first in line of waitlisted passengers, the Whites got in and we didn’t.  So, it was that old feeling of passive aggressive racism at work again.  Glad to know that America has not really changed.  Although one Filipino gentleman in a dapper suit and fedora turned out to be a History professor in my alma mater and spoke for hours about history and colonialism in hushed tones lest the Americans catch on what we were discussing.

3: times I had to take off my shoes, two of which was at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila.

0: the number of free wifi spots in the airport and starbucks which I’m told existed.  They don’t.

5.25:  The amount in dollars to be paid for the usage of the internet in a café at the Detroit airport.

15:  the number of minutes of the internet usage for that amount.

27,005:  decibels I wanted to scream when I heard of the two above items.

3.25: amount in Philippine pesos, my total load left after texting my sister and my friends.  I need reload, help, my virtual girlfriend.  My sister insisted that it was cheaper to text her to her chikka as opposed to her cellphone.  Well, guess, what?  It’s not true.  It’d her that I usually text.  Ugh.  I hate this load poverty.  I don’t have net connection and I have no means of communicating.  Ugh.  I hate the greed and exorbitant prices of telecommunications companies.


I finally had some rest, albeit very lacking.  The left side of my nape hurts now from the stress and strain.  I think I have adjusted to the jet lag by refusing to sleep for more than 24 hours.  I was so tired, I would catch myself snoring onboard and I’m still half-awake.

Because of the stupid cancellation, I had to search for payphones but I don’t have change.  So, I broke my first rule which is not to buy anything on the first day.  I had to buy something because I might be beaten up asking someone to break a hundred dollar bill.  So, I bought Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys.  I don’t have that copy yet because I am not really impressed by his prose.  I would have bought a copy of vogue but then I saw it was Kirsten Dunst in the cover and decided to go for a pack of Reese’s pieces and Neil Gaiman.  No literary magazines nor comics.  Damn.  Although there was a copy of this magazine with DMX and his wife saying that the thuggish rapper (known for law breaking and sponsoring hate-filled violence against homosexuals) was raped by a woman.

Yup, I’m in the states alright.  I saw big African American divas with nappy hair clamoring, “Lemarr, where you at, fo’?”  Ah, yes.  While waiting for my plane, I went to McDonald’s to get me a vat of Strawberry milkshake.  My eyes watered with joy on meeting an old friend again.  But I was all a twitter when I went to a counter and it was this fabulous African American diva with quarter bangs, long blue nails with painted yellow flowers and this is the part where I almost jumped and hugged her, she was wearing Spongebob Squarepants bling bling.  I swear to God, Spongebob Squarepants never looked so amazing the way the light bounced from the faux gems dangling from her ears and neck.  She had that “I’m so bored but I have to serve you to fund for my junk in the trunk lifestyle” look as she repeated my order. I telepathically sent her my “I love you.”

Ok, update.  My cousin’s girlfriend just saw me in my shirt and boxers while I was washing my plate by the sink.  Yes, I do household chores.  But what I’m wearing is not considered underwear from where I come from.  So, I had to go to my room designate and wear my jeans.

My aunt is watching Wowowee in her room.  ABS-CBN stupidities like this one is like AIDS.  It is everywhere and there is no cure yet.

I am massaging my nape.  I like America.  They have so much fatter people than me.  I actually feel sexy.  I’m still resting.  I’ll go out later.  I’ll have to pay respect to other relatives here.  Have to have generic photos of smiling transplanted Filipinos in hideous sweatshirts with big smiles.

Ok, have to finish my paper and email it to my virtual girlfriend for her to print it out and send it to my professor.  Work and studies follow me like my shadow.  In a couple of days, I’ll be on my way to the nation’s capital and visit the huge Library of Congress and the museums.  I think my first financial fatality will be in that place.  I want to see the dinosaur bones again.  That will take me back.



  1. sorry to hear about that. I just sent you a link in your YM of free wifi hotspots in new jersey. They also have a listing of free places in other States. Have fun!!!

  2. Hi, my dear! I heard you’re plea. And I’m here… 😉

    Received the email. Printed it and will send tomorrow via courier. Sent some eload to you. Tomorrow will send more.

    And as for your luck… it will change. Your stars say so Ü Embrace what’s happening. Even though what you hate here in the Philippines is haunting you more there… still you are NOT here!

    Try to enjoy your stay there. It’s only a few days… these more weeks ahead of you.

    Chant that phase I told you… even include thsoe words you told me… hehehe Ü

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