Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pack Light, I say.

When I travel, as much as possible, I pack light. I know Mitch would be the first one to violently react on this since it's his shoulders that get constantly bruised and hands reddened whenever he carries my luggage. I know that my luggage is not feather weight, but the point being is that I check in my luggage that has slings with cushions or in wheels; and I make it a point that my clothes luggage is only one. The hand carry stuff I have are one back pack and a manageable shoulder bag for personal effects like wallet, books and passport. In this simple rule that I have, I can walk freely, assist freely and can pick up anything with my two freed hands. I never liked carrying plastic or other small packages that should have been boxed up and checked in. Actually, if we live in the Jetson's era I would prefer not to have anything checked in to save time from treasure hunting in the airport conveyor belt. Wouldn't it be nice to have everything super-packed in a vacuum method? But until then, I am a fan of packing light and checking in bags.

**RECENT Boracay Trip (Hey! My 95 pesos mat!)

Apparently my aunts and mother have not learned this simple lesson. Over packing is already expected whenever traveling with them and expect yourself to be offering help and your hand carry items amounting to an average of four. Did I mention heavy packages? It is irritating, inconvenient and to some extent embarrassing.

I traveled to Cebu with my cousin and Aunt. Both my cousin and I packed light and can manage our own baggage, but my very "thoughtful" aunt had a minimum of 5 heavy hand carry packages filled with bags, clothes, packs of cookies and hopia to last my Cebu relatives until end of 2009. This was apart from the two balikbayan boxes and individual luggage that we had planned to check in. It also didn't help that the terminal was crowded and we were late.

*Just arrived in Cebu (Balikbayans?)

Going through security and placing our numerous bags and packages in the baggage x-ray was highly inconvenient and mortifying. For a couple of times the belt stopped because some of our packages got stuck inside hindering the infrared scanners. The security team were trying to help us ease our load with a grunt here and there, but we did not have any right to complain. Naturally I helped of course and I was this close to kicking the packages until they dissolve into thin air. The result, my aunt and I were irritated at each other. She was irritated that I had to mumble profanities while carrying the packages as I had to remind her not to do this ever again. I was mad because she should not have done this in the first place. We had to rush due to the fact that we were late and we cannot "efficiently" do that with the heavy packages at our responsibility. We had misunderstandings with other people, we were easily annoyed over a variation of inconveniences and most especially we were beaten by our own malevolent traveling style which zaps you of poise, enjoyment and sanity.

When we got to Mactan Airport, even if push carts weren't free and cost a thousand bucks each, I would still gladly pay for it. I grabbed two push carts immediately and rammed my packages with gusto. By the time we got all retrieved them all, it looked like we were transferring to Cebu for good. I told myself, this would be the last time that it will happen and I would have them pack light if it's the last thing I'd ever do.

Alas, I failed.

On our way to Manila was worse. 2 SUVs and a hired Multi-cab were needed to transport all of us to the airport. We were already traveling with my sister, mom and brother and even with the total of six individuals, with combined check in privileges, did not help us minimize our hand carry items. A big balikbayan box alone and one mini-suitcase had easily amounted to 47 kg. We had no choice, but to prioritize heavier luggage and be content at carrying additional packages care of my mom and my aunt of course. It was embarrassing because my mother had made us switch bags and carry delicacies in a stressed fashion. She even had to use her charm on the ground officer to allow her to put a package of fresh chorizo that was rushed to the airport. In the end, we all did a balancing act as my mother left a giant Dove Shower gel and a 100 bucks worth of dinuguan at the counter. Embarrassing. It was as if we were not Cebu regulars.

**Stressful Manila-Bound

As much as I want to rant and say my piece I stopped myself because surely when we get to Manila they would be waging war against me. It's something that all of us do not need after enjoying ourselves too much in Cebu. I just had to swallow my pride and continued feeling like a slave. If anyone would come up to me and say that I do not pack light, I guess they have not met my sister, mother and aunts.

And to think I planned to bring Harvey along...

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