Friday, 8 April 2011

The Visit

Heathrow Terminal 3

“Don’t forget to take your vitamins, alright?” Mom was finishing her bottle of water, since liquid containers of any sort are not allowed inside airport terminals.

“Mom, of course…. Come on now, you guys will be late.”

“Just buy shoes if you need some more pairs, so here’s our extra 100 pounds.” Dad took out five 20-pound notes from his pocket, and gave them to me.

After a tight hug from Mom, and a pat from Dad, they disappeared along with thousands of travellers queuing for immigration.

Two weeks just whisked away like lightning. When I fetched them at the same terminal in Heathrow 14 days ago, they were shivering under 4 layers of clothing, while I strutted with them at Trafalgar Square on just a brown jumper and a T-shirt.

Given the situation on the first day of The Visit, it was amusing to get stuck on the huge public protest regarding spending cuts. We had to technically ‘join’ and march with the Britons in order to get out.

My parents had seen it all… the beauty and the beast of living in Britain. Sure, castles, markets, and high streets seem to be appealing to the normal Filipino, but think again. A 50% tax rate, limited pension and child benefits, inflation overpowering real wages, immigration issues, you name it. My parents had seen and heard it all… the stories that will make one think twice about living here.

That was the primary reason why I had qualms on them visiting. I don’t want them to see me on this state… this state of confusion, desolation, and depression. Setting the emo-ness aside, I just don’t want to burden them anymore by taking their time and money just by checking on their son.

Then again, it can be a stress-reliever to see them again and to tour them around the Kingdom, isn’t it?

Well, that’s exactly what I did.

From the slum areas of Peckham, to the medieval towns in Scotland, they took snapshots of them as well. Yes, aside from the two-week period living in gratis, I managed to sit back, relax, and reflect on a lot of things… well, not totally, since it was still a bit stressing to fix schedules and itineraries for the next out-of-town trips.

For one, I must certainly be punished for taking my health and well-being for granted. Pimples were sprouting in every corner of my face, and eyebags were at their fullest form…. All because of a 51 hour work week I took a week before The Visit.

Second, love life. It’s still nil after my eighth month. Not making much progress do I? I even made a joke to Art that I will be a ‘hot item’ back in the Philippines. Agawan, ika nga.

You guys might be wondering where the hell my parents resided during the course of the visit. As London is known for its notoriety in hotel prices, God managed to plan it perfectly, by letting Ray transfer to a new home at Harrow-on-the-Hill, and letting my new roommate delay his transfer for two weeks. So, the events were so coincidental that it must’ve been an act of God.

Yes, a lot has happened since I last updated this dying blog, but it’ll be a pain in the arse to talk about them all over again.

As Bruno Mars would say, or sing for the matter… Easy come, easy go.