Skip to main content

Epic Journey, Tapos Brownout

The red line of epic-ness!

Revelation: airline ticket counters are hot spots for human kindness. It all began as I checked in for the Boston-JFK leg of my epic two-day journey to Bangladesh. Evil officials bent on maximum inconvenience had decreed that passengers could only carry two items on the plane: a purse OR a laptop bag OR a tiny tiny carry-on bag. But I had all three! In response to my blank stare upon being told about the cabin limits, the lady told me to just stick my purse in my carry-on. Viola, it fit, and I walked away a proper citizen adhering to all flying rules.

Then, after magically heading in exactly the right direction to get to my terminal in NY, the ticket guy for Emirates weighed my carry-on and announced that it was overweight and would have to be checked in. BUT, my carry-on contained highly stealable items (TX calculators) that I'd been assigned to hand carry to the SIKROT location, so I fired back, "No, I need the stuff in there. Can I repack?" Ticket man raised an eyebrow at me and asked where I would put my stuff, at which point I revealed that I had a spare purse inside (I actually had two, because I believe in being Crazy Prepared). He looked searchingly at my face, with its winter hamster cheeks glowing with wholesome innocence, and said, "Just bring it." Yay!

Another revelation: sometimes, one can get really lucky. Case 1: out of habit, I'd headed straight for the terminal for Doha, only to realize about an hour later that I was actually going through Dubai this time. I speedwalked to the right place and arrived just as they called my row. Score! Case 2: I had no seatmates! And being a shorty, I was almost exactly the right height to stretch out fully on three seats with three pillows under my head. Gyahahaha!!!

Emirates is F-A-N-C-Y

Case 3: while wandering around Dubai airport, I realized I had left my iPhone somewhere! I dashed back to -- and I didn't know this at the time -- the wrong mobile/laptop charging kiosk and demanded, "iPhone!" to the young man occupying my previous seat (I thought it was, anyway). He obligingly offered me his own iPhone, and looked blank when I freaked out in response. The uh, holy men (guys in white robes) looked concerned as I muttered imprecautions under my breath, and they said, "No iPhone." I thanked them and suddenly realized -- I'd left it on top of the toilet paper dispenser in the ladies room!

AAAHHHH~!, I screamed in my head as I zoomed through the terminal. Below is a helpful diagram:

Long story short, no one in the ladies room stole my iPhone, hereby named iMelda for all the trouble she caused. The nice Pinay janitress was surprised: "Andami nang nagbanyo diyan ha!"

Case 4: and THEN, there was a big crush to get to the boarding gate, but my permanent expression of mild confusion (and blue passport) got me into the VIP line. Gyahahahahahaha!!!!

Engrish is truly global!

Case 5: finally, as we wearily trooped/shoved into the plane at 3:30 am (two hours delayed), a concerned husband, who'd been telling every stewardess he could collar where his wife and child were seated (apparently they were seated separately from him), turned around and smacked into my carry-on. I apologized, of course, and he declared, "I'll help you!" and hoisted the overweight sucker into a nearby overhead bin. Yay!

I arrived a couple hours late, spent the next hour in line at immigration, and another half hour waiting for my baggage. I got airport pickup by the wrong person who helped me find the right person, and the uniformed guys who were supposed to assist me at the airport somehow ended up with some snotty Columbia University students (not like me at all!). Then I finally got to have lunch with my dear colleagues here, went home, and...

May extra mattress pa!

...ay, brownout. I'm told it's brownout here from 6 pm to 1 am, but I guess someone lied, because I have power (=wireless internet) again. Yay!

And now, bed.

Popular posts from this blog

An International Women's Day Miracle!

Truly, International Women's Day is a special day. No, not because multitudes are out there rallying for our rights and giving voice to the powerless. It is because I won a gift card from a company raffle!

Let me explain why this counts as a minor miracle. You see, I never win anything. I answer every damned survey sent my way, participate in all the raffles, buy lottery tickets -- to no avail. This particular raffle occurred monthly, and I had been faithfully entering my name every month for two years, with no results. Finally, last month, I declared: "No more!" and unsubscribed from the mailing list -- but not before entering one final time, because why not.


There's also some déjà vu at play here. You see, four years ago, I won a gift card from a company raffle. The one fracking time I won anything! I was elated! Shortly thereafter, also on International Women's Day, I was laid off from my job.

Sooooo...since the day's almost over, I guess I'm not…

Get Out (2017)

Get Out has a charismatic lead, a terrific soundtrack, and damn good cinematography. While it’s described as horror/comedy, it’s more disturbing/cringe-y than scary, and I mean that in a good way. This is an entertaining movie that’s also pretty effective as social commentary.

The film stars Daniel Kaluuya as Chris, a photographer who’s about to spend the weekend at his girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) parent’s house. Naturally, it’s in a secluded spot in the woods. When they get there, the awkwardness that might be expected from a first-time meeting gives way to a series of bizarre behaviors and interactions. While Chris initially takes it all in stride, it eventually becomes clear that there’s something sinister going on behind the scenes.

The acting and dialogue are highlights of the film, as is the camera work. In particular, Kaluuya’s eyebrows and head tilts are so expressive that the audience knows what’s going on in his head even as he politely brushes off eccentricities. A…

Game Review: Rise of the Tomb Raider (PS4)

Rise of the Tomb Raider is a solid sequel to 2013's Tomb Raider reboot. This time, Lara Croft is pursuing her father's research, which had led to his downfall and death. Most of the action takes place in Russia, with a brief interlude in Syria. Mechanics from the first game have been improved, locations are diverse, and Lara now starts out as a badass. Overall, Rise of the Tomb Raider is a terrific action/adventure platformer that has me looking forward to the next installment.

Ways Rise of the Tomb Raider Rocks
The game has plenty of strengths: a compelling lead, lots of exploration, fun puzzles, gorgeous visuals, and a thrilling soundtrack. As always, Lara is a star: she's a force of nature, laser focused on her goal; and neither words nor bullets will deter her. It's a joy to have her perform improbable physical feats as she seeks the Divine Source that her father obsessed over. Lara scales sheer walls of ice, mows through mercenaries with only a bow and arrows, and …