I can't believe it's taken me over two years to go through and catalog my pictures from my last trip home in 2011, but better late than never, right?
Some pictures on the way home:
I had a 4-hour layover in Japan that turned into a 6-hour layover. Our airline gave us a voucher for 1000 yen (about $10) to buy some dinner at McDonald's as a form of apology. Mickey D's is insanely amazing overseas. In the Philippines, you can have fried chicken with rice or spaghetti in addition to the regular fare of hamburgers and fries. In Japan, they had the burgers, too, but I opted for the Shaka Shaka Chicken. It's a chicken patty that comes in a paper sachet with a packet of powdered cheese. On the back of the paper sachet are instructions (middle picture) to pour the cheese over the chicken patty, roll up the opening of the bag, and shake so the chicken is covered in cheese. The shaking sounds like "shaka shaka". Maybe it was because I had already traveled 14 hours by plane by this point, but I found the packaging super cute and amusing, and while my description might have sounded gross, trust me, it was delicious.
Six hours after my shaka shaka experience, I landed in Manila, slept a few hours at my uncle's apartment, and promptly boarded a bus heading north to my province of Ilocos Norte. 10 hours later, I opened my eyes to see the capitol in Laoag through the bus window.
A half hour later and I could finally see the ocean. The moment I can smell the sea water is the moment I really feel as though I've come home.
And another half hour after finally seeing the ocean, I enter Bangui and see the main bridge running through town.
A sign at the foot of the bridge instructs me to turn left for the windmills and travel the last kilometer home.
After thousands of miles and some 35 hours later, the tricycle comes to a rolling stop and brings me home. I don't feel tired at all.
For the first time in four years, my eyes can see this. How can I be tired?