sawasdee ka!

by Evans Yonson

(NOTE: I’m currently out of reach but I have automatically uploaded blog entries till I get back. At the same time, you can also visit my newly constructed site called LIGHT WRITING: THE LIGHT TRAVELLER’S PHOTOGRAPHS.)

madrid – on my back to mother spain’s capital city, i took the same flight that i took on my first trip to europe but this time the real one without hitches.

from manila, first stopover was bangkok, thailand. in the city of siam, which i always relish because it is completely a different asiatic culture, i love the flowers and how people show their appreciation through sign language – the hands and the body. at the airport, this time i had spanish co-passengers who are homebound from their annual vacation. the noise is bearable since they all speak in spanish which i have missed for 2 months. what took the spanish conquerors and “discoverers” in the 15th century years to travel to reach the spice islands, now takes about less than a day to go back thus having more time under the sun, enjoying the cheap services, and asian breeze. pray that underwater volcanoes wouldn’t be jumping tectonic plates high and low, like the december 2004 tsunami.

I have always believed that I used to be a Buddhist monk. Flying Thai makes it more meaningful every time I step into Siam and its airline.

i fell in love with thai airways the first time when i went to cambodia. since there was no direct flight to phnom pehn, i had to stay overnight in bangkok. thanks to the airlines’ first class service, i was billeted at the Bangkok International Hotel. the same hotel that i would be staying on my trip back to manila. i had a real limousine service with me alone and the driver. who cares if the driver doesn’t speak a single english word.

Heavenly caprice in the air.

the in-flight food is heavenly. not so heavy but not so light, with the option of thai spiceness. the drinks are free-flowing but never overflowing. the tea always with lemon, please. and the orchids, just for the ladies.

i really can’t help myself but wonder. why can’t we, the filipinos, offer more than thais do?

we have the world’s best orchid – the waling-waling.

we boast of the world’s best fruits – the lanzones, the jackfruit, the del monte pineapple, and so on.

we take pride in our hospitality and services.

we have the best pilots. am not saying the cebu pacific 387‘s and air philippines 541‘s pilots were not filipinos but try flying other international airlines, you will see the difference.

we have the right wonders of the world. the 7.107 islands. the rice terraces. the sun. the sea. and the people from north to south.

simply the best of everything. we are the kings of asia. but we forgot to count there are still four aces in the deck.

going back to the flight now, i always sit on the aisle side. always…

seated to my right are indonesian gay lovers, who are flying to europe for the first time, madrid being their first stop. on the other side are bangladeshi businessmen going to madrid for a meeting with spanish partners. directly behind me is a guatemalan nun passing through madrid to her next assignment, paraguay. infront of me is an italian couple. so international ha! people from all walks of life. different motives but with the same intention: getting there alive.

my first trip to spain was with kay abano and two other pinoys. four of us were the only pinoys going to madrid via zurich. different intentions but the same motive: staying longer once we get there.