Twenty minutes before takeoff

4 07 2011

The symbol of our flag carrier, as seen from the window of my Singapore Airlines plane, taxying down the runway, getting ready for takeoff.

 

“BUTI PA umuwi ka na lang!”  (Know what, you better just go home!)

Trust friends to snap you out of a really depressing situation seemingly impossible to surmount.  The opening line above was a text message from one of my closest friends as a response to one of my “to-the-minute” updates on the progress of my departure for Singapore last Wednesday afternoon.  I was sobbing like a little child whose toy got snatched from him.  Quite understandable if it were the circumstances.  But I’m a grownup man.  And I was at one of the gates of NAIA waiting to board the 2:10 PM flight to Singapore on board Singapore AirlinesNakakahiya.

I arrived about an hour ahead of check-in counter opening. I was first in line. Now that's a first!

I was first in line. First, not "next in line"! Hahaha!

See, I was early!

Finally checked in!

So this is how it feels like to be a "bagong bayani"...

Prior that message, I was actually having a comic relief of my own after a frantic search of my carry-on luggage revealed that the handkerchief I had set aside the night before – yes, for any tears that might fall – was nowhere to be found.  It was a case of selling the drama short.  Props were incomplete.

That's my flight, SQ917!

The long walk to Gate 6

Boarding Gate

My own "someone to watch over me"...

"Batman" gave me Batman before I left...

I didn’t take my friend up on her advice and made it on my flight.  But I just have to admit how really hard it was to leave behind family.  I’ve been away before for a year and a half but that was a temporary assignment.  There was always the thought that I’d be coming back.  But this move?  It has the potential of “long-term” written all over it.  Though it’s good that Singapore is quite near and I could go home whenever I need or want to.  But still, leaving one’s family behind is quite hard.

As always, flying with Singapore Airlines was such a delight.  I devoured the inflight meal – of course, asked for the one with the rice, and not the potatoes – and was pleasantly surprised to be given Campbell’s tomato juice all the time I asked.

The meal has landed!

 

Stir-fried prawns with dried chilies, steamed seasonal vegetables, and steamed white rice

 

This meal came in a compact dish that revealed, surprisingly, plentiful shrimps! I did attempt to count 'til all the sumptuousness made me lose track.

 

"Seasonal" vegetables turned out to be carrots and Taiwan pechay.

 

Really gorgeous, gorgeous... gorgeous prawns!

 

The meal came with macaroni salad on the side. It was dressed with a really citrusy vinaigrette. Loved the lone tomato wedge on top.

It came to the point that the flight attendant didn’t even bother opening a can and pouring me some on their short glasses.  She started handing me my own can!  Hahaha!

After attempting to satiate me with one refill, the cabin crew realized that my second request had to be fulfilled with a can all my own... and another one later.

I love tomato juice.  Looking out the airplane window, I took sips – each one promising a deluge of lycopene and other antioxidants into my system – and I got reminded of loved ones I left back home.  They will always be in my heart and in my mind no matter what I’m doing.  Like just sitting there by the window and having my juice.

My requisite photo whenever on board a flight

 

We arrived at Gate E8.

 

On the travelator on my way out

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