Posted by: nastypen | November 7, 2006

Going home

In a few minutes, I’ll be packing my bags. I’ll be flying home to Manila soon. It’s going to be a long-ass flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo to Manila, about 17 hours unless of course Northwest Airlines decides to delay and have me stranded in a nice cold airport waiting and wasting ten hours that will make the oppressive Manila humidity seem nice compared to another set of bad experiences with this American airline.

I’m pretty grateful for this trip. It is just what the doctor ordered. No, I am not relaxed. Let us get this out of the way, I may have been on vacation but that does not mean I’m all pampered and relaxed now. In my stay in California, I spent most of the time inside the car being shuttled from one place to another. I don’t think there is a spa on earth that will inflict this multi-transportational regimen on clients.

So, as I ready myself for the oh so fun flight home crammed in economy class with a smelly caucasian on white side and a screaming infant on the other, I still do not get why people think travel is relaxing. It is not unless you can afford it.

I can’t. So I get to sit next to an old woman with halitosis and asks me to get her bag from the overhead storage when we deplane.

However, I am not really excited to return to my cubicle. I just have the feeling that people will make smug remarks like “Buti ka pa nakapag-bakasyon!” (You’re so lucky to have gone on vacation) or “Mukhang relax na relax ka a!” (you looks so refreshed!) then proceeds to dump me work as if punishment for not going to the office for x number of days. Then there are the gift-seekers. Never mind that I spent tens of thousands upon tens of thousands of pesos for this trip and they expect presents from me.

To be in a Filipino office, you are expected to spread or share the “good fortune” as a thinly-veiled passive aggressive form of crab mentality. If you don’t, you are labeled as “Hindi marunong makisama” (hard to get along) because in Filipino culture, getting along is a manner of a ability on what you can give or do to the other person to have a nice symbiotic environment. Ok, it’s not really symbiotic. It’s parasitic.

So, yey, I’m excited to go home. Right.

Here I am in America, I cannot even afford a freaking cab ride and I’m expected to go around shopping for people I have under-the-radar emotional attachment with. Hey, I didn’t get my sisters anything at all! Waht more for my fellow office dregs? I texted my sisters and told them I’m poor and cannot afford presents for them nor for their boyfriends. They said it was ok.

Man, I can’t believe my trip here is over.



  1. Hi,

    Too bad I didn’t get to read your blogs when you were here in NJ. I hope you had a great time here in the US. About the “pasalubongs” tell them your presence should be enough. ha ha
    Take care…

  2. The concept of “pasalubong” still engulfs the mind of such thick-skinned people… hehehe…

    Welcome back to reality, dahlin’!

    Heads up 😉

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