Waiting In Vain


This blog entry about the events of Sunday, January 16, 2005 was originally posted on January 21, 2005.

DAY 456:  I woke up in the Hangin House on Bulabog Beach with a slight hangover headache to a welcoming sound coming from behind my room’s window:  the rustling of palm trees blowing in the ocean breeze.  Wind.  Soon, kiteboarders were inflating their kites on the beach, launching them, and venturing off into the surf — but not without some snags.

“It’s gusty,” Mars the German-Filipino reported.

“Gusty” meant the winds were blowing, but weren’t consistent in the flow.  There were unpredictable updrafts that made kiteboarding a tad harder, even for the most experienced.  One portly eastern European kiteboarder could barely get his kite in the air without losing control of it.  At one point it flew out towards the crowd on the beach with no tension, and then quickly caught a draft and tensed up the lines in a sort of dangerous way.  If anyone was in the way, there might have been one of those throat-slitting accidents I had heard about.

The morning kiteboarding session of the pro boarders was cut short because a heavy downpour came through, grounding everyone except a few of the insane hardcore guys (picture above). 

“There’s wind now, but now there’s rain!” my instructor Merck said on the shoreline.

The downpour was just a passing storm as most tropical storms are, and soon there was a blue sky again, but with lot more gusts — not a good condition for a boarder-in-training like myself. 

“Are you going out?” one of the female pro-boarders asked me as I sat on the beach with Merck.

“I don’t know.  What’s going on?” I asked Merck.  “Are we going?”  I was eager to complete my training, getting more and more restless as every kiteboarder zipped by. 

“It’s too gusty,” he said.  “Just one mistake…”  He didn’t have to complete the sentence, I got the gist of it.  I could accidentally kill a guy or something.  Still wasn’t I just better than when I first arrived at Bulabog with no experience?  But I’ve learned so much since then! I whined in my head like Luke Skywalker.


“Hey,” I answered.  Erik the Vancouverite came by to visit and check out the scene of Boracayan kiteboarding culture.  “I haven’t been on a board yet,” I told him.  “There’s too much wind.”

“Too much wind?”

“Yeah.  Funny, huh?”  We made plans to meet for dinner; I hoped to arrive with news that I finally got out there on a board after all.  Erik went off to work on his blog, while I continued to wait for better wind conditions on Bulabog Beach.  I hoped I wasn’t waiting in vain. 

I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna wait in vain, I sang in my head to the melody of the legendary song by Bob Marley and The Wailers.

“Maybe eight meters,” Merck suggested.  The winds were too strong for a regular eleven- or twelve-meter one, but eight might do the trick.  Of course I assumed he was talking about an eight-meter kite for me, and I grabbed a harness.

“What?  You’re going out?” he said to me.

“Yeah.  Let’s go!”

“[We’ll see.  I’ll try out with eight-meters first.]”  Merck went out into the surf with the eight-meter kite and zipped back and forth around the bay, catching air and doing some jumps with the updrafts.  It only made me more restless and eager to get out there.

“What’s the word?” I asked him when he came back.

“Gusty.  It’s scary when I do the jumps,” he replied.  I think he noticed the disappointed look on my face — it was my last day in Boracay, my last opportunity to kiteboard after all — and so he suggested, “Okay.  Eight meters.  After the black clouds.”

The drizzle that was coming down had turned into another heavy downpour, which everyone assumed would pass as fast as the first one, but it just kept on raining for another hour, then another, and another — all afternoon. 

Oh c’mon.  I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna wait in vain.  I sat in the Hangin Kite Cafe, covered with an awning, wearing my shoes and harness, still optimistic that the weather would clear before dusk.  Most of the other kiteboarders were grounded in the cafe with me, eating soups, pasta, and sandwiches as the hardcore boarders and windsurfers still went out to challenge themselves and Mother Nature. 

By four o’clock I saw that the kites were being deflated and gear was being put away into the gear shed.  My waiting around for my last opportunity to finish my Jedi kiteboarding training had been in vain after all.  To make things more depressing, I had been kicked out of the Hangin House since someone else had a reservation for that room that night.  I was shifted over to a rundown house down the beach that looked like it had been abandoned for months.  (At least it had a private bathroom.)

With the day gone bust, the only thing I could think to do to salvage the rainy afternoon was get a much-need haircut.

TWO DAYS BACK IN BORACAY to go kiteboarding and it didn’t happen.  Fortunately my return to Boracay wasn’t a complete bust; it led me to meet Canadian Blogreader and fellow traveler Erik, a decent fellow, who I met for dinner that night.  He couldn’t believe I had waited all day for nothing.

“We had a lot to drink last night,” he came to a realization.  With that said, we just had a couple of beers over a couple of pizzas at an Italian place on the beach.  The beer was cold, the pizza was tasty, and really I had nothing to complain about.  Suddenly I was singing a different Marley tune, for pizza, beer, and good company is all I ever need…  Redemption Song.  Redemption Song.


Next entry: Island Hopping

Previous entry: Delusions Of Grandeur

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Comments for “Waiting In Vain”

  • Erik…just be glad you’re not back in NY. We are in the midst of a blizzard right now. Upstate is getting 16+ inches. Enjoy the warm while you can!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/21  at  03:05 PM

  • Leah…..ditto here in south/western Ontario.  Erik, be happy you are there and not here!  Even though your plans did not work out you are still in a better place than me! LOL White sand I would take over white snow anyday!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/21  at  03:42 PM

  • but just as tranquil as that white sandy beach…this white snow falling is very tranquil….

    tranquilo, tranquilo….

    Day 503 is coming…NYC…make those travel arrangements!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/21  at  07:51 PM

  • GREETINGS FROM BACK IN BANGKOK…  More to come for the WHMMR…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/22  at  01:54 AM

  • Another day, another visit to the E.R…  Details to come as soon as I can catch up…  (I’m fine, it’s nothing.)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/22  at  09:46 AM

  • don’t say the ‘s’ word!!

    Posted by Liz  on  01/22  at  12:15 PM

  • Ok - polls on - how did Erik hurt himself this time?

    My guess:
    while strolling along the beach, a coconut fell and grazed his ear (if it had hit him on the head, he may have died, so I’m going with whishing past his ear).

    Posted by Liz  on  01/22  at  12:17 PM

  • got drunk, passed out on the beach and then the coconut hit his head

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/22  at  03:31 PM

  • So, how many visits to the hospital in how many countries does this make?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/22  at  03:37 PM

  • Way cool, new posts on a snow day!  Just dug myself out over here.

    -Hey, hope another sign didn’t fall on your head!

    -I don’t think I have the patience for kiteboarding!

    -Thanks, checked into the Sony DSC-U30, seems like a nice little camera for quick pics, and affordable too! and there’s the U60 for about 40 bucks more, waterproof.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/22  at  03:38 PM

  • HARRY:  Yeah, I was looking into the U60… but it’s bigger and therefore not as spy-worthy.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/22  at  03:47 PM

  • hey erik yesterday i tried philippine foor for the first time at the restaurant down the road.  thanks for the inspiration!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/22  at  06:02 PM

  • HARRY - I have the U50…it’s like the U30, but it has a swivel lens and is a little longer but skinnier….

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/23  at  01:17 AM

  • HA HA HA!! I know the reason!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/23  at  02:28 AM

  • SCOTT:  What did you have?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/23  at  02:31 PM

  • It’s not a sign falling, can’t be HAPE, probably not another insect bite… I can’t stand the supense!!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/23  at  02:36 PM

  • I took him there. I went the day before. Or two days before… very clean, but not the “only internationally accredited hospital in Bangkok.” The nurses even wore those old-skool white hats with red crosses on them. Very spiffy.

    I could tell you, but that’d spoil the suspense. That wouldn’t be any fun. Suffice it to say that you now have more information than before.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/23  at  02:47 PM

  • it must have something to do with his much-needed haircut. maybe the barber nicked his ear!!! didn’t you just get a haircut anyways? how come you need another one?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/23  at  04:14 PM

  • i had some soup that i think was called sinigang and then some noodle dish with chicken and shrimp and vegetables.  good stuff! (except the soup.  too sour and sort of nasty)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/23  at  05:12 PM

  • SCOTT - it’s an acquired taste….the more sour the better…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/23  at  05:14 PM

  • hmm ... I got it !
    Erik wanted to complete he’s kite surfing training sooo bad he improvised by buying a toy kite from one of the souvenoir vendors & rented a skateboard from a kid selling magoes, took to the road but little did he knew the wind picked up & carried him into traffic where he was saved by a tuk-tuk driver that was taking a korean couple sightseeing inturn joining them at the aligator farm while there taking pictures the flash scared the gators whom jumped out took a bite at a swedish girl who turned around & thought was Erik feeling on her booty which she decked him leaving him a bruised nose that had to be attended by a “katoy” nurse. The End.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/23  at  06:08 PM

  • simf2p:  Nah. too obvious.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/24  at  02:46 AM

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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by BootsnAll.com. It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

Praised and recommended by USA Today, RickSteves.com, and readers of BootsnAll and Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree, The Global Trip blog was selected by the editors of PC Magazine for the "Top 100 Sites You Didn't Know You Couldn't Live Without" (in the travel category) in 2005.

Next entry:
Island Hopping

Previous entry:
Delusions Of Grandeur


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