the journey to oz


Knock. Knock.

“Time to get up,” my dad called out as I woke up with a start.

“But my alarm hasn’t even gone off yet,” I groaned.

I reached for my phone to check the time. 4:29.  I had set three alarms before going to bed and I had slept through all of them!

Since my husband and I were meeting somebody at the bus terminal at five o’clock, we had to wolf down our breakfast and leave in a jiffy so we wouldn’t be late.  It was all for naught though because when we got to the terminal, there was no sign of our contact person and it took a while before I finally got hold of her.  She said she was going to be late so we should just go ahead without her.

The only bus that wasn’t bound for Cagayan de Oro (which is in the opposite direction) was a non-airconditioned rural bus bound for Kolambugan.  I wasn’t too keen about taking that bus but we really didn’t have much of a choice.

As I expected, it was pretty cramped inside.  The seats were so narrow and there was hardly any leg room.  Good thing I was traveling with my husband.  Otherwise, I would be sitting shoulder to shoulder with some random stranger.

Despite the bus’s rickety appearance, the ride wasn’t bumpy at all.  Well, except for the part where the road was still under construction but that couldn’t be helped, could it?

The bus was cruising along at a leisurely speed so I was able to bask in the scenery.  Soothing stretches of greenery to my left and enticing sand, sea, and sky to my right.

In one of the towns in Lanao del Norte, we passed this man who, for some reason, made me think of the Tin Man.  He had a log strapped to his back.

“Kinda like a backpack!” I exclaimed.

“Log pack!” my husband said.

Refusing to be outdone, I replied, “Back log!”

And we had a good laugh over that.

Soon enough, we got to this area in Napo where huge cargo trucks lined both sides of the road.  They all seemed to be in limbo and I couldn’t help thinking, “Is this Truck Purgatory?”

My husband explained that the trucks weren’t allowed to pass because they exceeded the weight limit.  So they had to transfer their cargo to smaller trucks waiting just a few meters ahead.

When we reached Kolambugan, I saw a house which made me regret not bringing a camera.  The house itself was just a non-descript bungalow but instead of a picket fence, it had a bunch of old cathode ray tube (CRT) television sets lining the front yard.  Some of the television sets even had dials on them! Talk about retro!

I was still gushing over the TV fence when we got to Mucas and got on the barge.  Twenty minutes later, I stepped foot on Oz.

Just like that, yes.

No flying houses and yellow brick roads for this Dorothy.

to oz


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