3 minute read

The last two and a half weeks have been interesting for me - Interesting in the “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” kind of way. Here is my challenging story…

I was on a leisure trip to Rome, Italy to see the sights. A beautiful city with many cites like the Vatican, the Colosseum and the Spanish Steps. I was supposed to flight directly to Manila, Philippines from Rome to assist a customer. The customer was finalizing my travel plans while I was in Rome. Unfortunately I lost my mobile phone in Rome which made it rather difficult to coordinate the travel plans, but after 3 or 4 different travel itineraries the flight was booked from Rome to Italy via Seoul, Korea.

I arrived in Manila through Seoul only to find out the hotel was not confirmed. To make things worse, they were fully booked and so were all the other hotels in the Makati area in Metro Manila. After an hours searching I managed to find a hotel room for the night, but I had to find another hotel for the next day.

Apparently available rooms where in short supply in Makati area as I had to change hotel the next five days. I could not book a consecutive reservation at the same hotel. I slept in rooms ranging from extravagant 150 m2 suites to 15 m2 crummy hotel room with ants in my bed. It was tiring, but the weekend retreat to lovely Philippine island of Bohol the following weekend made me see everything in a brighter light.

Philippine tricycle

Friday I had to catch the flight to Bohol, so I took a taxi to the airport. Unfortunately the taxi was barely able to carry its own weight up the Skyway ramp and half way it gave up and broke down. I was now stuck in the middle of Manila with no other available taxi in sight and I was now late and might not make the flight to the lovely island of Bohol. I tried to persuade a tricycle to drive me to the airport, but they were not allowed to enter the airport area – then I tried to hire a Jeepney, but the driver was overly greedy and my attempt to barging failed. Luckily a taxi appeared from nowhere and I was on my way to the airport.

Philippine Jeepney

I arrived 25 minutes after the check-in was closed and 5 minutes before departure. I was immediately redirected to the supervisor, who luckily let me check-in – I rushed through the security check and directly onto the waiting flight.

Bohol Chocolate Hills Alona beach in Bohol

It was a great weekend retreat to Bohol, where I say the Tarsier, Chocolate Hills and snorkeled at the coral reef where I saw clown fish and a turtle.

Back in Manila and an additional week work it was Friday and time to travel back home to Copenhagen, Denmark. Due to the confusion of the travel itineraries I apparently was supposed to travel home the day before, Thursday and not Friday. I was too late, as it was already Friday. So I had to find another flight from Manila to Copenhagen the same day… With some help from the very helpful Filipino Lee, I managed to get a flight Friday night with Thai Airways through Bangkok, Thailand.

It was a long trip home as Thai Airways does not have inflight entertainment systems in any of their aircraft – I thought it was standard in this day and age.

I’m now home – still without a mobile phone. Fortunately I can already look back at this unfortunate trip a laugh. I enjoyed the trip both to Rome and the Philippines even though there where so many things working against me.