‘Murica Day 0

I think it’s been over 24 hours since I last took a bath. But don’t blame me, blame the 13-degree Celsius Daly City temperature.

I’m here abroad, but my body is still kind of stuck in Parañaque. As I write, it’s 4:40 am local time. I’ve been up the past 60-plus minutes. And I can’t do anything because everyone’s still dozing off; I can’t turn the lights on, I can’t FaceTime with anyone, I can’t walk around.

That is why I’m writing.

Day 0

We left NAIA on time (11pm) and so we got to SFO Airport on time as well (a little before 8pm local time). I couldn’t really sleep much on the near-12 hour flight. But I survived thanks to the last three episodes of Suits’ third season and the 2011 documentary I Am Bruce Lee.

Upon arrival, we waited so long in line at the immigration counter. It was NAIA-like. For over 30 minutes we wee standing in line. I could see why. There were over 300 passengers that arrived, and there were only five immigration officers available.

After we cleared this step and got our luggages, we waited outside for my mom and my other relatives. The first sign I saw was a “no parking/waiting” sign outside the airport. It had a fine of $43. I don’t know how much the fine is back in the Philippines, but what I know is $43 is a lot of money. And maybe if back home we did have high fines, we would be a slightly better nation with less violators. That is one big maybe.

This car then came and parked, with his car’s trunk wide open and his engine and hazard lights turned on, about ten feet from where the sign was posted. A few minutes later, the car was empty, and a police officer approached. He inspected the vehicle, noted the plate number, and wrote a ticket. A minute later the vehicle’s driver came back. I’m not sure if the officer gave the ticket, but I saw how swiftly they followed the rules and implemented it.

So that’s Day 0 of our US trip. Today is Day 1, and it started really early for me.

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