May 26th, 2011
For the past couple of months, I’d been filling out forms, doing research, and basically spending a small fortune on couriers for various visas. The first one is a Schengen visa for a trip I’m taking to Bonn/Cologne, Germany for a media forum this June. The other is for my U.S. student visa, which required a lot of back-and-forth paperwork with Columbia before I could even schedule an appointment.
It’s happening all too quickly; I’m on my last few days of work with Metro, and I leave for the U.S. in a month and a half. The checklist of things to bring is getting longer, just as the time spent here with family and friends is quickly ebbing away. There’s barely enough time to spend with J, who’ll be leaving for Bangkok before I get back to Manila from Bonn; he’ll be returning a day or two ahead of my departure for New York. Whenever people find out he’s a pilot, they’re dismissive about the distance, saying that he can easily fly to visit me. Not really, because PAL doesn’t fly to the East Coast in the first place.
I’m excited and apprehensive, because for the first time in what feels like forever, I feel like I have direction again. I still don’t know where I’m headed for the next few years, but this feels like a leap instead of the baby steps I’d been making for the past couple of years.
May 6th, 2011
A stolen moment at the Heinrich-Heine-Straße train station platform in Berlin, Germany. It was close to midnight and my classmates and I had come from a show. The stations were under repair so some trains weren’t following their usual schedule, which upset a lot of the by-the-book Germans that we were with. Bored and restless while waiting for the trains, we started dancing and singing to “Jai Ho” on the platform. Silly, exhilarating and priceless.
February 23rd, 2010
I’ve been lucky enough to have classmates from all corners of the world. Other cultures are infinitely more fascinating and relatable when you know people from different countries. But once in a while, my classmates and I encounter language and culture barriers that make what we’re really saying seem a hundred times worse. Just now, a Bangladeshi classmate from a course I took in Germany messaged me on Facebook. What could’ve been a routine catching-up conversation went haywire somewhere in the middle…
Masum: hi, Bianca-how r u?
Bianca: good, thank you. how are you?
Masum: fine, what about u?
Bianca: same as ever, how about you?
Masum: Did u marry?
Bianca: no, far from! why?
Masum: just for information………
Bianca: oh i’m still unmarried; I’m just 25
Masum: u r too young, i thought u r at least 30.
Bianca (freaking out, having palpitations): you thought i was 30? i look 30???
Masum (immediately realizing his mistake): no dear. u look so young…..
January 31st, 2010
I just got bored with the scrapbook layout and went for something cleaner. Karlo, my website designer, hopes to finish everything by this week. Looking forward to that!
Delegates at the Berlin Reichstag
In other news, it’s been a year since I flew off to Berlin, Germany for the Multimedia and Online Journalism course. Sentimentality comes up in leaps and bounds when it’s time for anniversaries. I found myself visiting the Facebook site of this year’s delegate, a journ batchmate from UP Diliman. My heart literally hurt, knowing how much fun he was already having (particularly because I think it was his very first trip abroad), and because I was envious of what was in store for him. Weird, because I already went through the same thing.