People lining up behind me, a glass wall separates my serene station and a heavily crowded place with noisy people excited to enter the studio gallery. A conversation on BBM says I will do the daily trips. What? That is too much work. But I accepted it. So here it is! Come with me as I walk down memory lane, Let’s travel to the heart of Southeast Asia’s backpacking capital on April 11th.
I felt dizzy the moment we landed at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok. Over 3 hours of flight is quite short but arriving in a foreign land, with an hour time difference, coming from a long day of taping the other day, it is quite a superpower to stay awake and be in control of the situation for the most times. After the mandatory selfie at the airport, it’s about time to wait for the others. You see, they are not difficult to spot – 16 of them will be arriving via Cebu Pacific. But here is the catch, we do not know them. Ha!
When you are sleepy, the wifi connection at the airport is not working and the flight you are waiting for is delayed, it is agonizingly excruciating. Tikoy particularly told us to wait where the Cebu Pacific flight passengers will exit and look for Edge. She advised us to add him on facebook to be familiar with how he looks like, but his profile pictures are either in shades, silhouettes, or looking down, WTH! Anyway, he posted a photo of his luggage with a yellow North Face duffel bag. That’s it! The yellow duffel bag was the hint! That’s where the fun began.
Hours earlier, Tikoy sent an e-mail that was addressed to “Golden, Shiela and friends“. We were thinking of what Golden looks like, is Golden a he or a she? Maybe Golden is wearing gold? We were out of our minds, I can go on pages about our search for Golden but this one has to be short. And if she said Shiela and friends, did she mean my name is “friends” and Kat’s name is “And“? So many questions.
A lady in pink was sitting on her luggage right at the front of the screen at the arrival hall. I had a bet that that pink girl was Golden. We placed our bets and few minutes later, we agreed she was Golden. I called Golden but the girl did not respond, so I was wrong. Maybe Golden was somewhere in the airport. Maybe Golden was eating or sitting somewhere. We didn’t know. After almost an hour of making ourselves happy, we sat on the row of chairs just beside the arrival hall. Kat immediately fell asleep. The plane will land in an hour so we still have time to rest our eyes.
Time flies when you are having fun, but in our case, it was endless. We were hopeless that time – no free WiFi, signal was unstable, we felt cursed. After about 40-45 minutes of rest, we decided it was the right time to wait for the Cebu Pacific flight. And there it was, the plane has landed. We waited for the passengers to arrive. Half an hour later we thought okay our group was already in the hotel probably having a good night sleep while the three of us are going to spend the night at the airport. We felt the world slowly falling, waves from the ocean eating everyone alive. Nope! We are not in 2012 movie so don’t worry.
A game popped out of nowhere. Since we only knew Edge among the group, we said that whoever spots Edge will be the winner. No prize of course, just bragging rights. Another 10 minutes passed, no sign of them. I was acting as if I know Edge and waved at a totally unknown person. It was a good laugh! It lasted for more than half an hour. Until it came to a point that we were re-enacting some of the movie lines in local movies. I said “Shie si Edge” then she will answer “si Edge? si Edge? Lagi nalang si Edge” and the Kat will add “si Edge na walang malay, si Edge na ang tanging kasalanan ay maging anak sa labas” and we’ll laugh the hardest. You don’t often see three people laughing their hearts out at the airport waiting for a group of people they do not know. That was the trickiest part of it. But that was fun. Every time a group of passengers will arrive, one of us will say “yan na jan na sila“, in my mind I was praying they will be there. I was hopeless, I acted insane. I waved at a person and called “Edge” and then Shiela walked past me and called “Edge”. I thought she was being competitive with me but there was Edge, the real person, with that yellow duffel bag, not the countless unknown people I waved at. A sigh of relief, at least they are still awake. “Sa isip isip ko lang, buti nalang puyat kaming lahat, kwits lang“. (Note from Shiela: Hey! I spotted that yellow North Face duffel bag first! I wasn’t even sure that that was Edge. I just thought, hey that’s the bag! Haha. Well, masyadong malayo ang tingin mo, Edge. Look down. Not look up. :P)
I felt I was showered with cold water when we sat inside the van, a person who just came off a 49-hour duty, slept for 6 hours in three days, still standing and has forgotten he was sleepy. That was quite commendable!(tap,tap) What made me wake up? It was when Edge told the so-called driver who is Froilan – a participant, to drive to Rambuttri house and follow the other van in his barok English. That was off the hook. But what made it funnier was when Froilan answered “Yes!”. Can you clarify this? Were you both on the same flight?
After an hour of travel from the airport to Rambruttri Road, we were dead tired to go out to see what’s around. I don’t want to sound cliche’ but traveling is about meeting new friends but that has to wait until tomorrow. All I want to do is make love with my bed and spend the night under the warm blanket.
But wait there’s more. So who is Golden? When Tikoy assigned the rooms, Golden was already upstairs. One thing I confirmed was that Golden is a he, but the person that he is remained a mystery.