You get what you pay forMy brother picked me up at the Detroit Metro Airport and immediately culture shock hit me full force. Everything moves so fast here. Yet, when we exited to the outside and stepped up to the marked pedestrian crossing area the fast moving cars came to an immediate stop for us. I'd forgotten its supposed to work like that.
Kevin grabbed my suitcase and in short order we entered an elevator for the parking garage. In seconds we were on the 6th level and at his car. No fuss, no muss. Without ever even seeing an attendant he paid at a little kiosk using a credit card and he did so before even climbing up into his 2007 Jeep. There was no waiting in line at all, not even a moment's hesitation to get out of the parking area. It seemed so unlikely.
Soon we were swooping our way around the airport looking for the right hiway exit. He missed the one he wanted, but no worries, he swooped back around in another loop and got into the correct lane this time. Even with the missed turn we were on the hiway heading home 5 minutes from the garage exit. That scenario is completely impossible in Manila where there is no uninterrupted "swooping" of any kind, where instead traffic moves in fits and starts. I'm trying to think of at least one advantage to this inefficient method of vehicular movement, but for the life of me nothings comes to mind.
He changed hiways several times during the hour and change trip north to my parents' place and it all happened so quickly that I lost track of exactly which stretch we were on. It was a good thing he was paying attention, or was he? A warning bell sounded and he casually commented that it was time to get some gas. Promptly, both of us forgot about it, so intent on chatting and "catching up" we were.
Only two miles from my old stomping grounds in Birch Run and my brother casually declares that we are out of gas. That's my brother, always understated and cool. Well, unless someone makes him mad, and that doesn't happen too often.
Putting it into neutral he let the Jeep coast along the shoulder, getting a full half mile of engineless travel. Now what? This isn't the Philippines where a trike or jeepney is always within hailing distance for hire.
Even better, he pulled out his cell and called information. He asked for a wrecker service close to the next exit and he was quickly connected. Soon help was on the way and in 15 minutes we were back on the road--minus the $55 dollar wrecker fee however. Things are more efficent here, but they are exponentially more expensive as well. Still, you get what you pay for.
Speaking of paying... I watched gallon after ring up on the pump and 23 gallons later his credit card was down another $65. I was beginning to feel guilty about him having to come out and get me. I need to buy him a couple steak dinners before I head back to my inefficient tropical wonderland.
Got to go... My grandson beckons!
Labels: 2007 USA visit