Monday, December 18, 2006


-No! Nooo! No... Say it's not true!
-Sorry sir, you're too late...
"Too late..." How often have I heard those two words. And every time I swear to be better next time. And every next time I fail to do so. Only this time was too important. This time was one of the big No-No's. No being late. No missing the goddamn plane.

I should have understood when the first typhoon struck the island chain. When the second one hit I really should have seen it as a sign that now was not a good time to go. Someone up there was telling us to stay home. But, persistent as we are, we were determined to go, and so we did.

Unfortunately, due to the fact that neither Tobias nor I are good with keeping track of time, and an (almost*) uncontrollable sequence of events, we were now standing at Macau Airport, watching our plane take off and head for the Phill...Phipil... (How do you spell to that country??)

Well well, not much to do, so we bought a ticket on the next possible flight, which was the following morning. This trip was already getting expensive, and the hotels of Macau were all over our budget, so we decided to spend the night walking around and exploring the island instead. To entertain ourselves without wasting money in the casinos we recorded a little surprise with our cell phones. More about that in a later post.

After around 12 exploring-and-recording-hours, and probably walking four to five laps around the island, we sat down in our seats on the 7 am flight to Manila. Exhausted. We fell asleep immediately. Or Tobias did. I discovered tennis on my cell phone and played it until I won a game. It took almost all the flight time.

On Boracay, which we had chosen because of the many good words we had heard about it and that it was supposed to be really cheap, we met trashed houses and sunken boats, souvenirs left by Typhoon Utor**. We also discovered that we were not the only ones who knew about the island. Love-seeking men in their late 50s and 60s have also found their way there, and with their ever so full pockets they have pushed the prices to a tenfold increase in only a few years. Damn them, but after lots of seeking we found a reasonably priced hotel.

After this, things became better and better; we did scuba diving (my first wreck dive - amazing!) and wind surfing and chilled on the beach. Basically just winding down after a tough (sometimes, at least) semester. And after all, even though the price tag became a little too high, I do not regret that we did the trip. But I learnt one lesson: Do look up things in advance, and do not book a flight ticket if it seems too expensive - others will probably think the same, so it will still be there later.

Oh, and an advice for those of you going to the Philippines (that's how to spell it!), don't go to Boracay. Sad but true, it is beautiful but well overpriced. The neighbouring islands still have hotels for US$2 and are really nice, whereas Boracay has the same standard for US$20 and is exploited by tourists.

*As usual, we planned ahead since we knew we were going to be late, but, somehow, we managed to kill all our spare time by leaving the school too late, missing one boat only to discover that the following one was already full. Finally on the third boat we discovered that it took not 45 minutes, but 1 hour... In the end we showed up at the check-in desk about 2-5 minutes too late.

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**Typhoon [Sinyang] in Filipino. That is really close to the pronunciation of Sunny's Korean name. Funny!

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