Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Day 1: Thelma Arrives in Virginia

I'll write another blog soon on how the ending was for me in Manila. There's just too much for me to process right now - emotionally, mentally, physically - so I will blog what's on the top of my head.

Joe Bonifacio suggested a 90 day blog for this season in my life. Hopefully, Kyera will have access to a laptop soon and will post updates from her end. So, for the next 90 days, I will post a daily entry - photo or write-up.

After a gruelling 18 hour plane ride, I finally arrived at Washington DC's Dulles Airport. As I walked to the Baggage Claim area with my heavy carry-on bags, each step felt like I was running the home stretch of a marathon - the point wherein you are fatigued and running on adrenalin.

Before this of course, my port of entry was Detroit's Metro Airport. After handing over my custom's form to the officer, against my better judgment, I made a beeline for a porter to help me with my luggage - a large suitcase and a box (Balikbayan Box). Not knowing how much to tip the guy, I handed over a 20. He gave me a look that said, "That's all you're giving me?" To which I naively replied, "I'm sorry I'm not familiar with how much I should tip. I've lived overseas for 27 years... Is this enough?"

He smiled and said, "I just want to make sure I always give the best service, ma'am."

Not being sure if he meant this as a hint that I didn't give enough or that it was more than enough, I handed over another 20.

Big mistake. I walked away sensing I just paid for part of his groceries for a week. Upon meeting my friend/pastor in DC an hour and a half later, I confirmed that I indeed made a costly mistake.

Apparently $3 would have been enough.

I consoled myself with the thought that the guy may have had a desperate need. And that I just paid a relatively high price for the cost of my first tipping experience in the US.

Promptly doing my research now on these things. Don't want to end up paying someone a year's worth of gas now do I.

On the brightside, I looked at two possible places to rent. Will make a decision on which one tomorrow. That, and find time to go back to CVS Pharmacy. It has everything!!

Lesson: $40 is too big a tip for airport porters and 20 minutes is not enough time at CVS Pharmacy for a first time shopper in need of toiletries after an international flight.


Kevin M. Keating said...

Wow. You made it! Congrats and hooray and all that jazz. I hope things are great as you settle in. Look me up if you take a trip up to NYC. :)

Fernando R. Gonzalez said...

Hi Thelma! You finally made it. Even if I don't comment very often, reading this blog is like watching a great adventure movie. I can't help to miss a single post. Every step of the way, I want to see the protagonist succeed! And you should! (What with the Good LORD on your side?)

God bless you always, my friend. Jeremiah 29:11.


Thelma said...

thanks for the welcome, kevin!! =) i'll definitely look you up for that cup of coffee or glass of plum wine with your beloved.

Thelma said...

don!! super thanks for the rah-rah! i'm so touched to know you've actually been reading our saga! think it has potential for one of your future films? =)

God is amazing, isn't He?