Saturday, May 26, 2007

Elvis Has Left the Building

My flight boards in less than an hour.

I'll admit that it's interesting to find myself in a flight lounge again. Apparently you get a complimentary stay here whenever you fly business class or higher, and when company policy dictates that you get a business-class ticket for trips with a duration of one week or more, it takes every bit of self-control to prevent yourself from scarfing down free sandwiches and playing computer games. In short -- I could get used to this.

The only hitch has been with the Internet connection around here; Sometimes I wonder who builds these computers. The keyboards are rickety, the browsers are running on Windows 95, and the power supply units are humming their own version of the Gregorian Chants. Somehow I'm not surprised that the businessmen around here prefer to use their own laptops.

Now that I think about it, I didn't bring a camera. Yes, I know -- that was probably not the best thing to leave home. But for one, I'm on a business trip: I might not have the time to go around looking at the sights, much less snapping photos. Besides, I'm not much of a photo person. And besides, my sister wants to use it sometime over the next two weeks.

I'm on a direct flight from Manila to Amsterdam, after which I'll have about one-and-a-half hours to transfer to a connecting flight that will take me to Warsaw. Nobody else seems to be headed in my direction around here -- so far I've seen a number of American tourists who look like they're enjoying some world tour, as well as a bunch of Japanese businessmen who presumably have some work to do in the Netherlands. All in all, it looks like a lonely fifteen-hour flight; I just hope that the hotel will have some transport available once I arrive.

I've actually come loaded for bear, based on my experience with prior vacations and the well-meaning advice of some colleagues at work. I did bring a grand total of three paperback novels for consumption over the next two weeks: George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones, and the first two books of Manfredi's historical fiction series about Alexander the Great. That's a lot to read through, yes, but I've effectively got fifteen hours to kill, and I've plowed through far longer books in far less time. In fact, just in case that happens to come up short, I've also brought along my copy of the second Philippine Genre Stories digest.

What scares me about this whole thing is the fact that I've probably gotten used to the routine of heading out of the country, and prepping for the corresponding trip back. I find this odd, assuming that I'm one of those people who doesn't have any particular affinity towards travel in general. I'm good with travel, yes, but I don't look to doing it very often. What's just really strange is the rate at which I go moving around: I'm less than 30 years old, and have already been to at least twelve different countries. At what point did I suddenly decide to go traipsing around the world? It just doesn't make any sense, that's all...

So now I'm sitting in front of a computer terminal in a high-class passenger lounge, blogging with one hand and surfing the news with the other. It's not normal behavior for one with business class connections, but then again, we live in an ever-changing world. Besides, what else would I do -- gorge myself on hors'd oeuvres or something? I hope I never turn into what looks like a jaded, world-travelling business executive; Sometimes you just have to keep even a little bit of your sense of wonder alive.

There's my call. It's time to pack up, head outside to the gate, and see if I can grab a seat. I've got fifteen hours ahead of me, and George R. R. Martin will come a-calling pretty soon.

With luck, my next post will be direct from the city of Warsaw. With luck, I'll put it up without having to suffer the inconvenience of jet lag and other such traveler legends like that.


Ida said...

Warsaw! The Yasutoko Brothers (of the X-Games) went there once, and they had a great time (I'm only deducing from the pictures though, and my very limited knowledge of Japanese). Anyway, have fun and work and I can't believe you didn't bring your camera! :P

kat said...

Even if it's a business trip, I still envy you. :D

Sean said...

Ida: I know... I should have brought the camera. But admittedly, I haven't seen much so far: The last two days have involved a struggle to beat jet lag and countless attempts to connect to the Internet via laptop. That, and my meeting schedule over the next couple of weeks suggests that I might not have the opportunity to snap a lot of pictures any time soon...

Kat: I assure you that I'm not enjoying this as much as people may think. Warsaw may be nice, yes, but it's not quite familiar to me, and therefore it's not quite home. You can't beat the appeal of home in the end, no matter how nice the rest of the world may be.

Jeff - Reiji said...

"I hope I never turn into what looks like a jaded, world-travelling business executive..."

- it sounds so much like you... or the *near-future you* LOL. ;p

Sean said...

Reiji: Having slogged through three days' worth of straight meetings, I'll repeat that sentiment. If this keeps up, I'll have to find a good way to deal with regular headaches... :(