As I have mentioned in my previous post, the last part of my Guam chronicles deserve an entry of its own.
On what I thought to be our last day, in which I was hoping to finally have a swim on the beach, this was what greeted me when I opened the door to the veranda.
So there was no question that I would be going out to the sea with waves that high from a distance. Although I have also noticed that a couple of Japanese tourists were brave enough to tackle the wind and water (AND THE WAVES). Some of them were even swimming in the pool. You gotta love how this cold temperature was just peanuts for them, compared to the winter they experience year in and out.
All dressed up and nowhere to go, I went downstairs to eat my “last” free breakfast. I made a mental note to drop by the small department store inside the hotel to have a final look at the Herschel bags. Of course, I did not leave the place without buying two bags: one for Mon and one for me. The difference in price must not have been that significant compared to those for sale in the Philippines, but it was only befitting to buy a bag as souvenir for this trip.
After buying, I wasted no time packing my bags to prepare for our departure. It took me two hours to pack everything — from all the clothes left untouched in the hangers, up to the clothes I did not bother having laundered for the week. It was a mess. I underestimated the amount of time it would take to clean things up.
I had the time to walk with some of my colleagues to the downtown again. I bought a couple of stuff from ABC Store (where else!) and even with the gloomy skies, we managed to walk to Burger King to eat our lunch.
Several hours passed by, and they seemed an eternity, before our bus arrived.
And then, a series of unfortunate events took place while we were in the airport. The weather was already dubious in Guam. However, Typhoon Lando was on its way to the Philippines at the same time we were to fly. We were like storm-chasers.
I was already very anxious to go home, but I was also nervous if we could arrive in one piece given the weather.
I already bought several boxes of chocolates from Lotte Duty Free and was then seated comfortably inside the plane watching Pitch Perfect 2. Our flight was initially announced to be delayed. No big deal. We were then asked to get out, and took the time to eat dinner. Around an hour passed and the flight was subsequently cancelled.
Oh dear. It means we have to stay for another day in Guam. It took us forever to figure things out. There was a long line on the carousel to claim our already checked-in bags. But that was nothing compared to the line to the elevator, where all passengers were irritably waiting for the next vacant lift. Worst of all, we were told that we had to return the things we bought to the Duty Free. It was too much of a hassle so I did not comply. I just hope I’d be able to sneak those chocolates the next day we return to the airport.
Amidst the scramble, all of us miraculously managed to go back to the hotel. I stayed at a room in the same floor as the previous days, but it was only half as big. No complaints there. I tuned in to CNN and there were news after news clips of field reporters in the Philippines, reporting how the country was bracing itself from the forthcoming typhoon.
The next day, I was hesitant to look out of the terrace. To my astonishment, the sky cleared up and the sun was smiling broadly at me. IT WAS MY ONLY CHANCE. With my stomach empty from breakfast, I scampered downstairs to the beach to swim and take lots of photos. I was alone, of course, and I did not mind it at all.
By the time the clock hit 11:00 AM, the sky began turning dark again and little by little, the rain slowly fell. I had no qualms, though, as I thought that I already had my fix of water and sand. =D It was then time to eat brunch.
The waiting game began again, but I was more relaxed compared to the previous day. The amazing thing with this delay was that I got the chance to see Lina and Dominique before flying off. I was just thinking that I did not got the chance to say goodbye to them, considering that I will no longer be with the organization next year following some good news. And at that very moment, I saw them about to ride their bus taking them to the airport. =D
But just as I thought that I had reached the limit of bad luck, I had an unfortunate run with the TSA in Guam’s airport. I was asked to step aside because something suspicious was allegedly inside my bag. I was already worried and I had been running a list of possible things that got me in that position.
We support our troops!I waited for about 15 minutes for the man ahead of me to have his bags searched (he was carrying lots of infant formula for his baby). When it was already my turn, they had to empty all of the contents of my handcarry on the tray. It was quite embarrassing, given that I had a lot of junk inside my backpack. I was then asked if I had been carrying something pointed inside my bag, I answered “Chopsticks?”. I was eventually allowed to pass, but I cursed myself for bringing those chopsticks with me. At least I did not steal any kubyertos.
My colleague, however, was not that lucky. When I got pass the security, I waited for him because he was being searched profusely and thoroughly. I was really nervous. I was pretending to check at stuff inside the Duty Free, but cleverly hidden in case they try to call me back again. And at the same time, I was hoping my colleague could clearly see me in case I need to get help from others.
After 20 grueling minutes, he was finally allowed to pass. According to him, he was allegedly carrying something contagious with him, and the last thing he did was throw a garbage bag before having our bags checked. LOL
I was really excited to go home. But given that Lando was on the verge of landfall, I had several fleeting thoughts of my impending death. For four times, the plane went on seconds of what seemed to be free-fall, and my colleague next to me was shaking frantically as if she was on an electric chair. It did not help that the guy next to us had the window open, that I went ahead shutting it down to lessen the “wonderful” view of lightning and clouds outside.
I was not too confident, not until the wheels of the plane made contact with solid ground. I have never seen a flight with all passengers clapping frantically, looking straight out of a Keanu Reeves film.
One last thing I have noticed: those who pass by the diplomatic lane were not asked to surrender the health declaration slips we had been made to fill out. What if any of these diplomatic people were experiencing any of those symptoms indicated, or had traveled to any of the flagged countries before entering the Philippines? Interesting, no?
Even with the heavy rain ahead of us, I was too happy to be finally back in the Philippines. Hello, Lando, let’s get it on!