June 3rd was the start of our non-work stay in Europe. Having gone out the night before with friends from Tripaneer, we woke up just a bit earlier than usual. However, too lazy to move, we took our time with coffee, cigs, and thinking about how we should arrange our things.
I brought two pieces of luggage for the trip – one quite huge (my Samsonite bag that I’ve had for ages) and Justine’s gray one. Because Vueling has crazy restrictions, I had to be strategic with the clothes and things I bring.
So much thinking and strategizing, though. It was not until an hour or two before we should have vacated the apartment that I started packing my bags. It was rather funny that Pat and I were rushing and bumping into each other, especially in the living room, where many of our conversations happened.
Then, it was time to go down. Pat and I talked about how we should tackle the conundrum of carrying the three heavy luggage plus a couple more small ones through those crazy narrow and steep steps of our apartment. We were smart. We took one heavy bag downstairs, and I waited and watched our bags while Pat went up and down to fetch the rest. Poor Pat. His legs ached for a few days after that.
We then dragged our heavy luggage along the bricked-paved streets combo of Amsterdam. People seeing us must’ve had a better idea of how to make our lives easier, but they kept it to themselves. It was funny because, while I was having this love-hate relationship with my luggage, I also enjoyed every bit of it. Trying to remember every piece of memory I have of those sidewalks, our neighborhood for the past couple of weeks, and the many, many laughs we had walking through them.
We finally arrived at the office to meet Dhika and leave our bags there. Joyce, who was also there, had this great big idea that we leave our luggage at the office and just bring what we need for our vacation. It was smart ‘cos we didn’t have to carry our luggage up the uber-narrow steps of Rina’s apartment. Just thinking about how to do it already makes me feel tired.
After some dilly-dallying, we finally said goodbye to Joyce and promised to contact her when we return to Amsterdam. Hey, we also don’t have any choice cos our bags are in the office anyway.
We then set off to Rina’s apartment for lunch and to leave our bags. We wanted to do a bit of shopping before we headed off to Rome. I bought Palladiums, which was a tiny bit cheaper than if I bought it in Manila, a couple of shorts from H&M, and a trolley for 22.50 EUR. I spent a little over 100 EUR for that lot, but I consider it an investment. I rarely shop back home, and when I do, it’s always for necessities.
Dhika, Pat, and I returned to the apartment and saw Rina and Jesus, who had picked up Vladimir at the airport. They invited us for some Indonesian dinner, but we were too tired from all the walking, so we declined. I also needed to finish tons of work so I could forget responsibilities while I was on vacation. So while and after dinner, I continued with my tasks with Rio accompanying me via Viber and the rest of the household sleeping.
I finished just in time to do a bit of preparation before our departure. I had a swift and reflective shower, packed my bags, and started waking up the Roma gang. Exhausted from zero sleep, I was excited to board the plane and catch a nap for 2 hours.
We arrived at the airport 3 hours before our flight. We were one of the first few in line, and given the conversations we had under such low energy, I was sure the trip would be fantastic.