Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Checking in at the airport, I saw from the other line a familiar face. The check-in attendant was an old friend. So I changed line. Fortunate for me, I requested being seated far from the tail-end of the plane. I get headache and too much ear-pressure being seated there. Request granted.

At the airport, I saw a lot of men wearing hoods and in costume. There are a lot of Moslems travelling today. My cellmate reminded me that this is the start of Ramadan, a Moslem occassion. And she informed me that my timing was quite right because this is a peaceful occassion.

So I arrived at Cotabato and called our branch cashier, right away to inform her of my arrival. It being a city, I expected hoards of cab drivers ogling, waiting for their victims, err passengers rather. I saw none. As in none. I went to a nearby waiting shed. Except for me, the shade was empty. Most of the men I saw are in uniforms. Fatigues and camouflage to be specific. This is a militarized area.

So after about fifteen minutes of waiting, I saw this cab. A small red car which I wouldn't even flag down if I were in Manila. But I was in Cotabato, not Manila and even in the middle of noon I wanted to get out of the place right away.

The place however is quite peaceful. I am not sure but I think we passed at the least three military check points. The airport to the city was quite far. The travel, without traffic, took me almost thirty minutes.

So today is the start of Ramadan. A month-long event for Moslems where they fast during the day and feast during the night.

I'll expect this to be a peaceful stay.

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