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4 - Arrival

Journey 3

I decided to keep a daily journal (my diary) of the adventure, as it was happening - as a detailed souvenir of this glorious first meeting.
So here is that journal, started on loose scraps of paper I found in my bag - accompanied by the photographs - and some of the poems written before we had met - but I assure you that these dreams are all coming true - and I do believe in miracles.

I knew in an instant,
When I first saw your face,
What more can time achieve?
I do not need that space -
It merely makes a place for fear,
For un-answerable questions.
I cannot get much closer here,
My heart knows its direction.
If all the pages
Of every book
Described you to perfection,
It still would only take one look
To win my soul's affection.


The first flight was a struggle - keeping it together emotionally & physically - stuck in my seat for 12 hours - I felt at times like a force fed battery hen might feel - no excercise - I did little stretchy movements regularly and meditated, which dipped into sleep occasionally but kept me reasonably calm and centred - despite the whirlpool of thoughts circling around inside my head.
Mayen and I had a brief exchange of text messages while I was waiting at Hong Kong - until she realised that I was still "roaming" on my cellphone - they stopped abruptly.

The second flight introduced me to Philippine food for the first time and my neighbour on the plane - a Filipina returning home from Sweden.
Finally stepping off the plane in Manila - the heat, the humidity - just incredible - like walking in to a hot shower room. Gradually getting used to this - changing gear dramatically - collecting baggage and all the other airport formalities were painless. Through all this, despite surrendering to destiny, having tired of chasing my thoughts any more - there was one sole preoccupation throughout my entire being - meeting Mayen.

Eventually I find the airport arrivals greeting area - a cacophony of car horns and police whistles, crowds of people, straining at the barriers, bustling and shuffling to catch sight of their loved ones - the culture shock was immediate. Again that recurring phrase appeared in my mind "What am I doing?"
After a couple of cellphone calls and about an hour waiting, there is a flurry of girls approaching me - Mayen - chaperoned by two of her friends - just over two months since it all began - my first real glimpse - aware for the first time of her young, small frame and the vibrancy of her personality, smiling, gleaming from every pore - and that hair - that luxurious wavy hair.

Our mutual delight was still evident, although mixed with other feelings - relief, overbearing excitement and the surreal - meeting someone you feel so close to although you have never met physically. It was holding hands, lots of wonderful smiles and kisses, gripping me tight and leading me like a blind man to our driver "dadda" - Marivien and Miss Ann sharing the passenger seat in the front - my heart was pumping with love and desire for Mayen - I was engulfed with such strong, natural love for this girl - there was no ice to break between us - it was all instantly melted to water - I felt what I have felt all along for Mayen - now she was right next to me, my arm around her shoulder in the back of a cab - as we all danced through the late night traffic - looking for a money changer - something I had overlooked at the airport in my eagerness - despite the offer from a couple of security guards to change my money. [Yeah - into thin air probably.]

We arrived at the hotel and I checked in - unsure of what was going to happen for the rest of the night, although it was very late by this time - my flight had landed at 10:30 pm. I photographed the exterior of the hotel while Mayen, with her friends, viewed the rooms for me, kindly choosing one that was away from the traffic noise. We arranged to meet in the reception next morning - deciding that it would be a good idea to get some rest - we hugged, said a farewell and Mayen left the hotel with her friends and went back to her room - suddenly - I was on my own.
At the end of day one I slept like a log.

Click the flags to read about all the alarm bells.


Tim Cumperhttp://www.bebo.com/Ellumbra

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