CHAPTER 1. THE FIRST WEEK
Monday. February 21, 2011.
From the Office
From the Office
|Entrance, a picture of disarray and poverty.|
Around 6pm when an unknown number started ringing. I was in the middle of my English class. I had to excuse myself to pick up the phone. Surprise! It was Kino himself. Somehow he was able to use a cellphone at the airport.
There was no other way. Kathrina, my friend, doesn’t have time to go to the airport. Everything depends on me. I had a choice. I chose to leave the class for a while and head straight to the airport.
I decided the subway would be the fastest way. It sure was. Upon arrival at the last station, I got myself a taxi, although getting a taxi was always a struggle in this side of the city. The taxi drivers are so cheaters you can’t let them boss you around. I had to be tough. I chose to be tough and refused to be ripped off. Got myself a good taxi afterwards.
Night time. Traffic was not that heavy. What a relief. I arrived at Terminal 1 of Ninoy Aquino International Airport. All I knew was that Kino was at Bay 12. Frankly, I didn’t have any idea where Bay 12 was. I had to ask. I found it eventually. Kino was there standing with his luggage, chatting with two security guards.
I waved my hands. He showed some smile after seeing me and muttered, “What happened to your face?” I was in disarray I guess. Face so oily and mustache all over the place. I was the perfect picture of a stressed out middle class working man.
On the Way Back to the Office
Took a cab, instructing carefully that we don’t leave unless the driver started his meter. He agreed. We left. After 5 minutes, he decided to haggle with the taxi fare. I declined. I refused to be ripped off. I had to be tough. He made us go down. I said ok. I slammed the door. Hailed another taxi and went to Magallanes Station after.
I felt sorry for Kino. We had to rush back to my place. I didn’t have much choice during that time. I was in the middle of work. My time was never mine all the while we were traveling back to the office.
Arriving at Quezon Avenue Station, we took another cab. It was a new car. No meter. Just plain car. The driver didn’t ask too much. I felt happy about the drive so when we got to the office, I gave the driver tip for his service.
At the Office
Kino settled down. Put his luggage inside the office. Left to buy something outside. I went back to work. At 11:10, Kino came back. We went out and drank some beer.