After almost 30 years of being a sr. engineer and architect, I finally got myself into a project where another person was not being allowed to travel far from home and family to be boots on the ground. This was my baby, accounts for major impact for my companies bottom line (over 10% of gross earnings), and I know more about this than anyone else in the company. Great..who didn't I train well enough!!
So although I seem to complain, it is finally my turn to leave my world behind for a month and go abroad..very abroad...from Nashville, TN to Manila. I have been to Canada many times, Mexico once or twice...hell, I even spent a day in the Cayman's, but nothing compared to this real adventure. This is alot more than just a social visit as a toruist....I need to work, live, and enact with an entirely diffent culture, living by their rules, in another world where everything I know to survive may or may not have any bearing. Besides basic survavle instincts.
Now many seasoned travellers may be laughing at my comments, and bless them, they too felt this at one point or another. So this post is geared towards my adventure ( or mis-adventure, you be the judge) of one soulful geeks adventure into a time and place known, as the Philippines!
Day 1 - Touchdown
After 21 hours of traveling, we finally made it to Manila. It's 10:30 at night and we have to get our bags, get through immigration, then get through customs. I mentally have prepared myself for a madhouse experience. I was told LOTS of people, and just cram up with them or they will cut in front of you. It's also they way they drive, but, I will get to that in another post!
So my compadre and I get over to immigration and....its 3 people deep....huh? 10 minutes later I am through immigration and head to get my bag..which was waiting for me.
I turn toward the exit and see the customs desks....and there is No Line. An agent waves me over, I present my paperwork, they sign it and boom I'm in country! That was easy!
Over to the waiting area to meet our driver..but....they anticipate hours before we clear customs..not 20 minutes from exiting the plane to out the door! We find an official agent for our service ( you have to make sure you are not being solicited by a private person), and 20 minutes later our hotel transport is whisking us away!
Now that was easy by any definition....and from what other travelers at the hotel tell me, VERY rare.
So the lesson here is be prepared for the worst and then everything can be a pleasant and awesome experience.
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