So the first thing Anoushka did was to attempt to locate where we were—a feat that had eluded me for two hours but which she managed to accomplish in five minutes.
“We’re on the Coastal Road,” she told me.
“The what???” I asked, having heard her plainly enough.
“The Coastal Road,” she repeated patiently.
“Why would they call it a Coastal Road?” I asked in exasperation (having never remotely sensed the sea in all my travels to and from Tagaytay). “Where would the coast be?”
“Right there?” Anoushka replied, gesturing towards the horizon at what, I had to admit, did look like a sizeable body of water. (At this point, Lydia, who had managed to retain her gracious serenity this entire time, began to emit noises that, if I didn’t know any better, sounded suspiciously like chuckling.)
Then my phone rang and the melodic voice of Tria came trilling over the line:
“Alien, where are you?” *
“On the Coastal Road,” I wailed piteously. “I took some wrong turn somewhere and now the sea’s where it shouldn’t be and there’s an awfully tacky mall on my left that seems to be called the Coastal Mall.”
“Oh, Alien,” Tria giggled. “This is so like you. Don’t worry, just stay on the road and at some point you’ll find the Mall of Asia on your left and EDSA on your right and you’ll be home in no time.”
“She’s right,” Anoushka said after I’d put the phone down. “We just need to go straight ahead and we’ll be fine.”
At that point, the light turned green . . . and I discovered that I couldn’t go straight ahead as I’d put myself on the left-most lane.
“It’s okay,” Anoushka reassured me as I sobbed my way down yet another wrong turn. “You just need to make a U-turn on this road and we’ll be right back at the intersection, and then we can turn left and go our merry way.”
Fifteen minutes and two stoplight signal changes later, we did manage to go on our merry way—except I never did manage to sight the Mall of Asia and only began panicking (again) when I realized that the road we were on . . . looked suspiciously like Roxas Boulevard.
(Stay tuned for Part 3).
* The genesis of this name will have to be explained in a future blog post.