Monday, August 16

Ticket Tales

My immediate concern is this: the agency gave me an "e-ticket," which is a glorified name for a computer printout with my itinerary, flight details, etc. They told me that that's what airlines do now. I still have to call the airline to verify, but I was kind of disappointed because it doesn't look like the airline ticket I'm used to. If that's really how they cut costs, then woe to the traveler. It's hardly scrapbook material. So can somebody please tell me whether Lufthansa really issues ugly e-tickets?

I originally booked a flight with Air France, because the travel agent said the war insurance tax was only $10 compared to Lufthansa’s $16. I didn’t know we had to pay to protect ourselves for a war that’s not our own doing. But anyway, not less than an hour after I talked with the agent, she texted to inform me that the tax was actually $17 and not the previous amount quoted.

Now $7 is still a huge amount if you convert it back to pesos. Air France leaves at 7.25pm as opposed to Lufthansa’s 8.40pm. If I took Air France, it means that I have to rush out of my last class and get in the car and dash to the airport. Lufthansa will save me a dollar, and afford me a few more minutes to settle whatever business I have with my students then get that graceful exit before I duck into the car and run a mad dash for the airport. So I told the agent to book me with Lufthansa.

That was Thursday. The deadline for the payment was at 10am Saturday morning. I planned to drop by the agency Friday evening to pay for my fare and buy a few things. Then somebody informed me there was a sale going on and it made the traffic in the area horrible. That made it easier for me to give in and just hang out with some people in Silungan. I ate tapang usa and had a few drinks while we all waited for the rain to clear up. I thought we’d been there all evening, but when we finally left it was just 8pm. But while in the train, I could see all the vehicles lined up, not moving, I decided to just go home.

I woke up early Saturday morning, which was quite unusual for me as I never was a cheerful morning person. I hauled my carcass in a G-Liner and sat on my hands while the bus plodded by Greenhills. Again, horrible traffic. (“Horrible” is one of my favorite adjectives. Horrible ex, horrible student, horrible traffic. You can describe anything with that word. Hehe.) I got off the mall, went to the agency, forked over my hard earned money and proceeded to get lost while waiting for my ticket due at around 2.30pm.

Now here’s the thing about getting stuck in a strange mall. I never hung out in Galleria all that much, so that every time I go there, I get a little lost. Last Saturday was no different. They had added a new wing, there was a sale going on, and it made me more confused. All in all, I must have spent 7 hours in that mall, most of it spent trying to figure out where the bookstore went. But I had a nice late lunch at this place called Sticks, a “Japanese bistro” in the new wing. It was a fake al fresco place. I ordered a bento box of grilled salmon with soup, vegetables and dessert. It didn’t come in a bento box as promised, but they get an A from me for presentation and attentiveness. I didn’t have to wave my hand furiously and the attendant knew when to serve the next course. I sat in one end and could hear this girl at the next table blab her heartaches to her patient friend. I could only see patient friend’s nape bob up and down, nodding in agreement to girl buddy’s complaints about a cheating boyfriend. At the far end of the restaurant sat this young couple, two girls who were also having a leisurely lunch. They couldn’t be out of high school just yet; one of them reminded me of a friend, only slightly slimmer but same hair and glasses, the other girl wore a shirt which declared that “GUYS SUCK.” The only other customer at that time was this grumpy looking man who just smoked his cigarettes, sipped coffee and looked at his watch every five minutes, as though something spectacular would happen between the few seconds he hadn’t looked at it. All in all, a good place to eat and watch people.

I got my ticket and flagged an FX to Megamall, where I was supposed to meet my brother. But the driver wouldn’t even stop at the supposed waiting shed and brought me all the way to the far end of Shangri-la. Then my brother called and said the fx driver also refused to stop by Megamall so he was on his way home as well. Which sucked because I was loaded with stuff and I was hoping he’d rid me off shopping bags. I still had to meet up with some people and it’s not really good form to go partying with shopping bags slung around me. So I raised my hands and just hauled everything into a very crowded train. I had a very busy Saturday, but I was able to do everything. Sunday was another story.

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