Yep, I'm off in about 15 hours time. Plans haven't changed.
My feet started itching perhaps a trifle earlier than I expected. I've had a month back home with just a single night away in Dallas and it's feeling like time I travelled again. That's the trap with this kind of job; either one gets too much travel or too little. I'd much rather be going to France again but I'm not so there it is!
There's a blessing in this trip. It means that I get to miss the big demo to a new customer next week. Whether I was going to travel or not my weekend was shot; if not on a plane I'd be spending the entirety of the weekend at the office cursing at the short sightedness of management who will never allow enough time to set up and test a demo before bringing the customer in. They'll be pulling all-nighters over the weekend and wondering why tempers flare.
Downside to flying this weekend? I have to wait 20 hours between cigarettes. Upside? I get to choose between 60 recent release movies, 120 TV shows, wine and sleep. I reckon it's a no brainer!
I've never found it all that difficult to go without a smoke when I'm flying. I know I can't have one and that's an end of it. Yeah, I could try and sneak a smoke in the dunny and it's even possible, I'm told, to defeat the smoke detectors without tampering with em (the secret lies in the fact that the wash basin has suction to ensure the water flows out - if one lights a smoke within the wash basin and exhales in that direction the smoke detectors won't fire.) Me? I'm not so desperate for a smoke that I want to risk being the one frogmarched from the dunny back to my seat and thence in the company of officers of the law off the plane. I can't afford the fine either...
My wife tells me that When she flew to Australia she got so desperate for a smoke that she went to the dunny, took out a cigarette and did everything it's possible to do with a cigarette short of actually lighting it! This on a 12 hour flight when she was wearing a nicotine patch!
Meanwhile I get to travel up the North Luzon Motorway again. That part of the trip isn't all that interesting; where it gets interesting is when we reach the end of the motorway and crawl along the MacArthur Highway. I can already see, in my minds eye, the sights I'll get to see again. The funeral places (open 24 hours according to their signs) with stacks of coffins on display by the roadside. Stacks of charred corn cobs waiting for the hungry traveller. Slices of melon, almost paper thin, hanging on threads over crates of melons. Videoke places. Signs advertising Tanguay Rhum (5 years old). And the signs announcing Barangay such and such. When I see the sign announcing Barangay Scout Barrio I'll know I'm 5 minutes away from the hotel, 8 minutes away from a shower and a shave and 15 minutes from dinner!
Then comes the ego part of the trip. Shaking hands with and warm greetings from all the waiters and counter staff and restaurant greeters and guards. Welcome back Mr Robert! Then the, well they were lies last time; this time not quite lies, answers that I'm glad to be back. Let us hope that the evangelistic waiter will let me read my book in peace while I wait for dinner and a glass of wine to arrive instead of trying to convince me, as he did last time, that the only book worth reading is the Bible!
I think I'll miss visiting The Philippines if this turns out to be my last trip there. I suspect it won't be. I even, surprising though it is to me, hope it won't be. I've come to like Baguio City and the whole interminable process of getting there.