I've been dreaming about going to Boracay since we came back from there April 2004. For now I'll have to content myself with memories. This is an entry from my travel book...
The Ship Virgin Mary, en route to Boracay. April 26, 2004
You can feel the ship tilting underneath you. We decided to go tourist class, and though this isn't bad, maybe the few hundred bucks extra for deluxe is worth it. Mom is in her element though, making friends left and right. For those who can't tolerate the crowd and crying babies, it's best to ante up for a cabin. Forty two rows times eight bunks equals a lot of people.
Families indian-sit on their bunks, eating out of Tupperware and microwaveables (you can never get away from rice!). Cans of biscuits, bags of food and boxes of appliances occupy half the bunks sometimes, sharing space with people all curled up underneath towels, sheets and jackets, their legs thrown over suitcases. If they aren't asleep, then they stare up at the ceiling or at the bottom of the bunk overhead. The lights never go out, yet it is never bright enough for the lower bunks, which are so low that you can sit up and bonk your head.
I heard that it's so much hotter in the economy section, with no aircon at all. I guess that's why people prefer to sleep on newspapers and cardboard along the slightly airconditioned hallways; and in the lounges where signs clearly state "No Sleeping". There are also signs that say Cabin Class or Economy Class or Deluxe Class--people classified according to how much money they shelled out.
It's a wonder that anyone gets to sleep, with the lights, the constant hum of conversation, coughing, non-stop flow of people drifting by, and crowing of roosters with warped sense of time. People, on the other hand, have a warped sense of space. You have complete strangers sitting on your bunk, engrossed in enthusiastic conversation with your across-the-aisle-bunk-neighbor. And feet and other body parts constantly cross bunk boundaries. If you don't position yourself correctly, you could end up playing footsie--or worse, smelling footsie.
Shoes are a sort of quandry. Do you not take them off? Take them off and keep them in the bunk with you? Or take them off and keep them under the bunk where they could get kicked, even stolen? Or what if the ship rolls and they slide off into oblivion? And if you're on the top bunk, it's worse. Technically, you don't have any space on the floor--how would you ever keep an eye on them, unless you hung over the edge of the bunk, terrorizing your under-bunk neighbor?
Across the sea of bunks and people, perhaps the most noticeable things you see are feet. And if you're unlucky, you can smell it too. All sorts of shapes, sizes and conditions--from the wide, toes-far-apart variety to the cracked-heel-and-soles to the pristine, to the gaudily pedicured.
How much of a person's life can you tell from their feet? Is Gaudy Pedicure a housewife who does her own pedicure in between dishes and laundry and cooking; who perhaps owns a single bottle of nail polish? Did Pampered Feet splurge her last paycheck on a foot spa, hence stuck in the tourist section?
At any rate, I can't wait for my own feet--slightly dry but nicely pedicured, thanks to the ship's sole (pun intended) manicurista--to sink into the powder white sand of Boracay.
Bare feet and Boracay. Perfect.