Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Europe 101: Introduction

It's been 3 weeks and 3 days since I stepped out of Manila International airport and feel the “normal” temperature again with overweight bags and clogged thoughts. Believe it or not, the main thought that's on my mind was “What just happened?!?” Stop: It's not what you think. :P

Now, rewind a few months ago... my friend, T, invited me for a visit in Europe. Yes, you heard it right. For “ordinary” person like me and for most Filipinos, the idea of going to this part of the world seems like a dream, more like a crazy dream. Well, for me, more like an illusion. So, when he invited me, it doesn't sound like “a trip to Europe” but more like “a visit to a friend's place”. And since it's just an invitation, the thought of Europe still doesn't sink in. No kidding. Seriously. I guess, I just don't want to set my expectations that high. If it happens, it happens.

A huge cross of light for my travel..
sign of amazing things to happen.. :) 
After a few discussions and ideas and some planning, I find myself working on the requirements and documents for the trip. The dreamy reality slowly starts to sink in, and the first reality check was when I talked to the personnel at the embassy, and I realized “Oh, shocks! I have to speak English. I'm going to a place where they speak a foreign language!!! :(” I'm not so stupid not to know it beforehand, but as I've said, the idea still sounds otherworldly.

Forward a day before my trip to Europe... my exact thought: this-is-not-happening. The odds doesn't seem to fall in my favor. My mind is too exhausted. Not because of preparation.. nor of excitement.. but because my last piece of document is not yet ready (!). It's almost frustrating.. the paper that you have passed 2 months ago, because of certain circumstances, is not yet ready. My government has this great idea to keep their competent and not-so-competent employees within the country's territory. I don't know how many officials have gone out of the country to “escape” compared to the total number of employees at hand.. anyways, that's a whole different story.. After hours of waiting and praying, and because of some angels, a colleague and my boss, I finally have it! I really don't have much time to be excited after that, my mind is just too exhausted. I just have to make sure that I did not forget anything.. passport (check).. documents (check).. clothes (check).. etc (check).

And just when I passed by the immigration border that I was able to breath (not literally though).. mind check: so where am I heading again?? Oh yes, Europe.. my mind is still clogged from all the almost-misfortunes and just tuning in to international flight mode.. only when the plane to Netherlands took off that I fully realized.. This-Is-All-Weird.. my Europe experience / my first ever out-of-the-country experience just began.. thiz iz it! :D

Upon writing this I just realized that the picture of the sun almost looks like a cross.. :)  I feel super blessed to have had this experience and for all the little experiences that I've had in my life.. my Europe experience is too huge to be in just one article.. ;) details of which will be written in the coming days.. God bless us all!

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