It was a long hot summer but a short vacation, in my assessment at least. It seems like yesterday I was packing and checking our baggage and travel documents. And in a snap, I’m sitting in front of my computer trying to summarize what I did in my 35 days of absence.
For sure, my wife and daughter have a swell time. Bea enjoyed it very much that she wants to stay in the Philippines nalang while wifey, I think, went to almost all the malls shopping until her feet hurts. She even made a last minute (hour?) side trip to MOA on the day of our departure back here.
Malls are basically alike in terms of products and entertainment offered. What makes them unique from one another is their architectural “set-up” and ambiance. Of the 2 or 3 malls I went to or tag along, Trinoma is the least “shopping-friendly” for first-timers like me. Unlike other malls which have maps that show which stores at what level and a big arrow that says “YOU ARE HERE”, Trinoma didn’t bother to put one. Atticus was right. You’ll get lost in that mall easily if you don’t have a GPS unit. I had to ask several security guards before I could meet my family in our rendezvous point. Don’t ask why but I hate to ask for direction.
We could buy all the things we need in one huge mall like MOA or Ayala Center in Makati where several malls are clustered together. But it took my wife four days and half a dozen malls to complete the items we need. Perhaps some items are cheaper in other stores but I find the difference negligible if compared to time wasted traveling from one mall to another. Not to mention the physical stress of carrying those blasted plastic bags. And if that isn’t enough, I find cashiers annoying when they keep asking if I have an “advantage” every time I pay for a merchandize. A negative response will surely elicit an “Ay sayang, hinde nyo ma-avail”. Advantage in what? Ma-avail ang ano? But I didn’t bother to ask those questions.
All these goods we bought surely put us in trouble with PAL. We choose PAL when we went home for the sole purpose of availing on their domestic connecting flight benefit. You see, international flight baggage is carried over on your domestic flight if you fly PAL in both flights regardless if the maximum weight allowed in domestic flights is only 20 kilos/person. But since our international flight’s ETA is one hour after the last domestic flight schedule to our hometown, our domestic flight was booked one day after we arrive. The problem starts when ground crew at the check-in counter won’t honor our connecting flight because it was booked the following day. They have this notion that domestic connecting flights should be in the same day as our international flight. I had to lodge my complain to their manager before they relented. The question is; what if that happened to another OFW who doesn’t have the tenacity, poorly informed or too meek to complain?
Another thing; we’re allowed 35 kilos/person in our flight from Riyadh to Manila. Logic dictates that the same benefit should also be applied in our return trip. But no, they only give 20 kilos/person (25 kilos max) on our return trip. Alangan namang iwan namin yung bagahe naming espesyal na daing at saba na saging. Fortunately, one passenger doesn’t have a baggage except for a hand-carried backpack and the check-in personnel was kind enough. He transferred our excess baggage to that person’s ticket. To that kindly personnel and fellow traveler, I give my deepest thank you.
Enough of my rants. Next time I’ll post good things naman about our vacation with matching pictures of course.