Friday, June 21, 2013

The efficiency and convenience of lax security and regulations

Today, my alarms went off at 4:30AM. I was not pleased, but I only permitted myself one snooze before I got up and headed toward the road. Romeo, the driver I met when I initially arrived in Siquijor town, met me at the gate. When I first tried to get on, I bashed my knee into the metal frame of the sidecar. It still hurts. Pretty sure I bruised the bone. Anyway, Romeo drove me to the airport. Once we got there, he told me to use the Ocean Jet ferry, since it's faster. I went over to the Ocean Jet kiosk only to discover that their 6AM ferry was *cancelled!*

"Hm," I said. "Well, no matter. This other kiosk is selling ferry tickets as well."

So I go over to the other kiosk, wait until a couple people have finished their transaction, and tell the girl I need a ticket for the 5:50AM ferry. She says I can't because there isn't one. She then tells me there isn't another ferry until 8AM! I give her my "Oh fuck" face, and explain that I have a flight at *9AM*. I ask if there are any other ferries. She may have waffled a bit, then "remembered" (scare quotes may or may not be appropriate) that there is a ferry at 6:30AM. I am suspicious that she was holding a seat for a friend, but I let her think she's tricked me.

Anyway, we eventually boarded, and the ferry ride began. I kept glancing at the mass of land that was our destination, but it seemed to only get marginally larger despite the increasingly significant passage of time. At 7:20, we were still not there. Then, at 7:45, we were still not there. Then, we arrived at the port... at 8:12AM!

"Oh, bother," I said.

With lightning fast speed, I made my way toward the front of the boat and twitched in the queue that formed and slogged its way off the boat. Once I touched land, I jogged toward the trikes I saw in the distance. One man, obviously a local, noticed my haste and asked where I was headed.

"How much to the airport?" I asked.

"120," he replied.

I agreed and he led me to a trike which was to be driven by another man. As I got on, he may have been discussing waiting for other passengers. A man who must have realized the situation asked me what time my flight was. I told him, and they all burst into action. The man kickstarted his bike, two men got on, and the ride started. As we pulled away, he slowed slightly and asked how much I was paying. I told him 120.

"150," he said.

He started to elaborate on the reasons why, but I didn't care. A missed flight was phenomenally more expensive than the extra 30P (.75USD) he wanted. I agreed to his price, and he laid on the gas. As it turned out, that extra 30P earned me what may be coined "Driving as if on fire and/or PCP". The other two passengers, well aware of my predicament, didn't even wait for the trike to stop when they needed to get off. They departed and hit the ground running as the trike continued on its way. He wheeled through traffic, onto sidewalks, past bicycles, and as fast as his motorcycle/sidecar amalgamation could go. I arrived at the airport at approximately 8:22AM. I complimented his driving, paid him with the money I had already retrieved from my wallet, and continued inside.

Once inside, a man checked my large bag for... something. I then proceeded to check in, pay my terminal fee, proceed through a second security section (the metal detector was broken, so they had to check my bags by hand. They missed the 2 liter bottle of water in my daypack), and into the waiting area by 8:32AM.

That's right. Two security stages, check-in, and terminal fee in *less than 10 minutes.*

Another ten minutes later, and boarding was announced. When I walked onto the plane, an attendant plane, an attendant offered me a piece of gum. I think it was from her personal stash.

And that is how my day started. Cheers.


  1. Replies
    1. Oh right! I'm in Manila, where I'll be meeting Melissa tomorrow. She has quit her job, so we will be traveling together! Hooray!