Hi folks! You may have been wondering why the “hush” after the Super Bowl Extravaganza, which by the way, if I did not tell you before, I DID get my phone back from Mr. Reebok man – the next item on my Agenda for my 40th year was to prepare for my Return Home trip to Cebu City, Philippines. Well, I’m there or should I say HERE.
While most of you in the North American Continent are sound asleep I am sitting here in an Internet Cafe in a small town called Bogo, Cebu. No shit, even here where Nippa huts still very much exist and where many places still do not have flushable toilets, there are numerous Internet Cafes that line the cracked and bumpy roads.
Actually this is Day 6 of being here in Cebu City and as you can imagine, many interesting things have happened since my arrival here to the land of the brown people.
My route to HERE started at Houston IAH Airport where I was hurdled amongst a large group of South American Soccer players (Futbol), and no, they were not MAN soccer players (Real Madrid is my FAVE) but girls ages, perhaps 11-13 (annoying mind you). I didn’t want to get caught in between the Group going to Mexico City and I certainly did not want my baggage to be heading that way either so when I got to the Continental Counter and firmly instructed the man, “look, I am not part of this group okay, so I expect my luggage to be routed to Cebu City, Philippines and not to Mexico – PLEASE!” He smiled and assured me – and yes, my luggage got HERE safely.
The Continental flight was only delayed by an hour or so on account of, the earlier British Airway flight was late, and did you know that airlines SHARE gates? Well they did, much to the confusion of everyone else going to L.A.’s LAX and it was really comforting to know there would be a NUN flying with us. (At first, I thought this was a good sign and then I had second thoughts). The flight to L.A. was most interesting for I ended up sitting on the aisle seat beside a young couple from Austin.
The Austin Couple
I thought I was going to be sick with all the “babe” and “darling” and kissy kissy crap that much went on and I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on a lesson on digital color photography – which was rather interesting. The guy was by the window reading a book on Theory & Management of Colour, only it sounded much more intense than the title lends to. The girl was reading or rather flipping through the March Edition of Cosmo and I took out my “Consciousness of Light” book for the 5th read – Geoffrey, how’s the ‘Science of The Soul’ coming along .. any word of when the first print will be?
Anyway, this guy went on and on about topics covered in the book while his girlfriend tried her best to appear interested and intellectual, but it was clear that comments made about hair color and the latest make-up fashion trend were almost like two ships passing in the night – does that even make any sense to you? Anyway, I was starting to feel a little jealous for I would’ve LOVED to have discussed the concepts of color with my ‘seemingly’ Aquarian soulmate as I was reading the “Consciousness of Light” and got into the most interesting part of the varying vibrational frequencies each color gives off.
By the time the plane landed in L.A. I just couldn’t keep quiet any longer and had to turn to the couple and confess that I was most interested in his conversation and, “what in the world did he really do for a living any way?”
It turns out that he is a graduate from UT Austin who did an internship in L A. with some guy that is world known for this digital photography and who works in Hollywood with all the stars and writers and producers and directors (well, you get the drift) and by the way, he was going to join this guy, who he will be working with, and temporarily living with, and who they were going to join in a dinner engagement with Johnny Depp and WHAT!!!!????
Johnny WHO?!!!! Johnny Depp? Only one of the most versatile and not to mention sexiest actors alive (my opinion) and WHAT?!!! This photographer guy was Johnny’s good friend and holy shit .. …. yadda yadda yadda …..
Of course we exchanged email addresses and I told him that I would love to keep in touch and that perhaps someday I would get him to take black and white photos of MOI, and by the way, “could you say Hi to Johnny for me …..”
So off we all went to get herded like TRUE cattle through the LAX airport.
No Relaxing In LAX
While waiting for the airport shuttle I decided to phone hottie man, Rod and dish out a blurb or two about the flight. Now why didn’t I try harder on getting my connecting flights in San Fran instead … dammit.
A herd of cattle is not an understatement, to say the least. Thanks to Osama and Saddam, the security screening took quite a while and I almost wanted to just holler out “Mooooooo Mooooo Moooooo will ya fuckin’ MOOOVE faster already!”
I didn’t want to get beeped or dinged or wooed by that doorway thing you had to go thru – the one that checks for bodily metals and stuff so I was smart not to wear my underwire bra and I happily bounced (a little bounce anyway) thru the doorway thingy without any hassles.
From L.A. To H.K.
L.A. to Hong Kong was a 15.45 hr flight and I planned on not getting diarrhea (a great plan that had worked for most of the trip but ended up falling short as we approached H.K.
I first sat beside a native L.A.’er who was on her way with her boss who upgraded to Business class (who by the way was a hottie himself – although he had that look of “GAY” about him (not that there is anything wrong with that, but of course it wouldn’t have helped me one bit), to Bangladesh? Oh crap, I forgot but it’s a city in India that starts with a “B” – anyway so much for geography.
Two hours into the flight I find out that I did not have one of those TV controls so the flight attendant moved me to another seat (much to my dismay for I quite liked me seating partner) to where a huge, lanky, blonde guy was sitting beside, who was in a rather Depp sleep (oops hahaha, I’m still thinking of Johnny baby) deep I mean, and who’s mouth was open rather big with drool at his side. Because he was so tall and huge his legs were crouched against the seat in front of him in a lotus position – cross-legged for those NON YOGA folks and it looked rather painful .. for ME – cause this dude really wreaked! Stunk, had bad body odor and thus began my nausea state.
At least I had a TV control that worked and I am happy to say that I watched Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai FIVE times!! This movie was amazing. The fighting sequences were incredible and I’ve always loved movies involving the Japanese culture anyway so despite my awkward seating partner, the movie made it quite bearable – I WANT TO BE A SAMURAI!
Of course I could not ignore this dude so I made small talk that ended up in quite a connection. Nothing romantic. This guy was in the military stationed in Japan and met a Filipino dancer (which really means “stripper” whom he got pregnant and was on his way to Cebu City to marry her – and he only bought a one-way ticket! This girl already had another child who was 2 years old, by another guy and well, you know the rest – her ticket to freedom – which will really end up in a state of torment and torture for my very Naive North Carolina seating partner. I wished him the best of luck, but not after giving him the rundown on what he was surely getting himself into, sigh.
Holy Moly Hong Kong Airport
Hong Kong Airport was incredibly beautiful – as much as airports go, and HUGE!!!!! The security process was painless and most efficient and the modernity of the whole place was absolutely breathtaking. I was going to meet up with my sister and her son here but first I had to get to GATE 40 from GATE 1!
As I walked onward, I kept thinking to myself, “just how many football fields CAN you fit in this place anyway? Thank goodness for the dozen or so moving sidewalks – my flip flops just about had enough flipping and flopping.
Designer store after Duty-Free Designer store was pretty much the visual that was going on from either side of me and as I passed over a Starbucks I started panging for a Grande Caramel Machiatto but as I said, my flip flops were just about flipped flopped and I REALLY did not want to make the 3 football length trek to Starbucks.
I met my sister and Skyler at the counter and we were whisked to the front of the line since traveling with little kids was in the same priority call as First Class, Business Class, the Elderly and the Handicapped. While they were seated at number 30 something seat I moved on to 65H where I met my next seating partner.
The Domestic Worker
She was a domestic worker living in Hong Kong who only visited her family once a year. This trip was going to be a 5-day visit for her to attend her daughter’s graduation from college, who graduated summa cum laude.
This lady was extremely so sweet and represented a majority of the people of the Philippines who looked for work outside the country – in order to support their family, and whom they seldom get to see. As always, I was touched by the loving persistent effort and selfless giving.
Intermittently thru the 2 hr flight from H.K. to CEBU CITY this elderly, American gentleman, dressed in a wrinkled, brown suit something out of the 50’s style and who ALSO stunk like an incontinent patient who had just soiled his adult underpad, kept getting up to walk to the restroom – only I couldn’t help but wonder why he’d even bother anyway since it was obvious that he had already GONE in his 50’s style wrinkled, brown suit!
My seating partner told me that she had just gotten her annulment since there were no DIVORCES granted in the Philippines ( I did not know that ) and she had to pay like, P80,000 (pesos) for. She then made this comment that totally awoken my resting feministic streak.
Seating Parter: “I want to find a white man to marry”
Feministic Streak: ” … why?!”
Seating Partner: “..because they are so loving and very honest”
Feministic Streak: (just about to gag and throw up and laugh and cry all at the same time) ” … who told you that?”
Seating Partner: “That is what I see”
F.S.: (holding herself from starting a speech on male/female genderized roles in our society) ” .. okay, can you describe to me the common things you see with these white men that you know, who have married your friends?”
S.P.: “well, they are, umm .. old, yes, they are mostly very old … and, and they mostly have big stomachs, and … most of them are balding … but they have lots of money and really treat you very well”
F.S.: “… okay, do can you see what you are describing? Do you realize what these men really are?
S.P.: “…. no, what .. very old and funny looking?”
F.S.: ” …well yes, but more than that, they are, in general, the men that no one wants. They cannot get women in their country because they are either REJECTS or just looking for women that will SERVE them in general. WHITE men are not ALL loving and honest, you can find these men in other cultures too. Just like you can find the really, really bad men in other cultures too. Why would you settle for an old, fat, balding man when you can have a younger, not to fat, still with some hair man?
S.P.: (giggling and really rather amused. I could see the light bulb over her head just turning on) ” … hee hee hee, that is true isn’t it!”
F.S.: “Yes, it is very true. You never have to settle for less. In fact, you should not be concerned with marrying a man to give you love and honesty and comfort and a good life, you need to give that to YOUR SELF. You CAN give it to yourself you know. You have to start with respecting your self and then learning to love your self and then you will find that you only want to be HONEST with your self. (my seating partner was getting a condensed version of my “ALONESS IS EMPOWERING” combined with “On Becoming Independent” speech). No woman should ever count on a man for her happiness. NO ONE should ever expect someone else to be responsible for their happiness. All that comes from within us .. withIN .. and not from withOUT. (the light bulb above her head starting flickering and I could see that her circuits were being overloaded – so I ended it with ….) – Just be TRUE to yourself .. and remember, the Good Lord always Provides. HE knows what it is we need.”
S.P.: (her head was tilted and in her eyes, I could see that a seed had been planted in her soul. Well, perhaps not planted, .. it was always there … The Good Lord must’ve sent me to maybe visit her garden and pull out some of the weeds that had gotten tangled up in her heart and head) “Thank you, thank you. I am a Christian are you?”
F.S.: (I smiled and caressed her cheek) “….. it really does not matter, I believe we should all look out for one another, love one another, respect one another, learn from one another and help teach one another…I want to Thank You too for teaching me something …”
S.P.: “what did I teach you?”
F.S.: (still smiling) ” .. you taught me to never forget about the POWER of Love, no matter how small the action or barely noticeable the intent, do you understand this?” (She nodded. I think she did understand – the light above her head had now permeated through her heart ……)
And with a bump and a whir, the plane’s wheels had landed onto Cebu City soil. We both peered out the window. My seating partner, looking out, towards her future, and with my feminist streak put back to rest, I looked out towards my home.
Digital Femme returns home.
Only I kinda want to get rid of the word digital for now. It hardly seems appropriate surrounded by the rich tropical greenery, the dirt roads that wander through the villages and towns, and the peels of laughter coming from the children as they get bathed outside their straw shacks – from water being pumped out from a well.
Miss you all. Wish you were here.
*Original blog post was on 20six.co.uk/digital_femme*