URBIZTONDO: The intimacy with my seatmate

Travelling alone means you will have to, eventually, be sleeping with strangers. And I developed a love-hate relationship with my seatmate during the trip. I was cold because I left my jacket at home when I went back to get my sandals.

All that kept me alive was the thin bandana my beloved KRS gave me for my birthday. It was so  thin I could see the conductor walking by whenever I drape it over my face.

One time, as I temporarily gained consciousness during my REM, I was shocked to see my forehead directly in a ‘too-close-for-comfort’ contact against seatmate’s forehead.

Her being unaware of it made things worse because she didn’t hold any precaution thereafter. I had to sleep sitting straight and every so often, would wake up to check if I did not contaminate her shoulder with my drool. It was so uncomfortable I’m amazed I survived it.

My forehead encounter filled my trip and I was never the same again.

My sandals love La Union. Like really.
My sandals love La Union. Like really. (Photo form my Instagram acount)

Then a thought struck me as I checked her out in my peripheral vision: If aliens sucking intelligence of humans were true, and if she was an alien, could I have just given her secrets to everlasting things?

The remains of the trip were uneventful until I checked my phone for my current location during one of the stopovers. I half-panicked when I thought I was 20km past Urbiztondo already. Too frugal to take another trip back, I was contemplating on moving forward to Laoag and call the whole thing off.

I arrived past six in Urbiztondo. I just finished half of my morning prayer inside the bus.

I alighted after making friends with the driver and the conductor for a couple of minutes, in hopes they’d help me locate my hostel. I realised I just had to rely on my pure gut.

I saw one landmark, turned left to a private road and bit my hand from the chilly wind freezing my fingers.

Hello, San Juan. Bring it on.


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