This report will cause Janie to smile the smile of smug wives everywhere.
As planned, today, our last full day in Baguio will consist of a very long and tedious concluding meeting. Last Friday, we gave the staff a long list of questions and requests for information. In today's meeting, we will receive those answers. We will also review other critical information we gathered. This meeting will be a big deal.
Not as planned, we will leave Baguio for Manila late this afternoon instead of early tomorrow morning.
Why are we leaving this afternoon?
Taking advantage of the laundry service available at our hotel a few days ago, I had a pair of my pants washed. Although that might at first sound responsible, it was, in fact, S.T.U.P.I.D.
I did not remove my passport from my pants and so my passport got thoroughly washed in a washing machine with detergent and dried in a dryer with sweet-smelling softener. This is only important if I want to eventually leave the Philippines and return to the U.S.
Question: what does one do with a washed passport?
Answer: NOTHING. All it is is nice clean paper. Passports now contain electronic security whatsits that do not tolerate washing and drying. In all honesty, my business card means as much as my washed passport - neither will get me out of here.
So - I have to go to the US Embassy in Manila tomorrow (they have been really helpful and nice).
Here's the bad news - the friendly and efficient US embassy is only open for business between the hours of 7:30 and 11:30 AM. That means we have to leave this afternoon, ride the bus for eight hours, get in late to a Manila hotel, and then go to the embassy.
Imagine, if you will, the smug look on Janie's face. It is the husband-emasculating look of a wife who knows full well that, had she been here, her helpless husband would not have made this foolish mistake.
Now imagine, if you will, the look on Alan's face. He has a lot of Janie's personality, but not very much of her patience with me. After I explained this to him, I got this sideways "My father is an old idiot, possibly suffering from pre-Alzheimer's" look.
Then he became positive and came up with a great plan. We'll leave Baguio this afternoon instead of tomorrow. We'll get a room in Manila tonight. That will split the travel into two days. That will also give us an opportunity to put a day and some distance between ourselves and Baguio. Tomorrow (scheduled as a time for us to work on our report anyway) will still attend to that task. We will actually be better prepared to get it done.