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I had a sweet time yesterday aboard Ceres bus with a lovely couple from the Land Down Under. While I couldn’t deny the fact that I found Mike hot and smart, I kept complimenting his girlfriend, Ingrid, on her beautiful Australian German features. And I wasn’t just saying it: she’s really a beauty both inside and out. I felt beautiful too, simply because the handsome Aussie engineer befriended me back despite deciphering a hint—maybe—that I instantly had a crush on him the moment I sat a few inches across his seat.

“Hi!” I smiled at the Caucasian hottie who, like I, was trying to make his seat work fine: him for a more comfy ride to Moalboal, me for a usual bed-of-roses experience coming home to Malabuyoc. “Are you alone? Where are you from? Would you like some biscuits?”

Mike smiled back, “I’m with my girlfriend. She got off the bus to buy something to eat, and I thank you for the offer anyway. We’re from Australia and have been enjoying every day since last month, when we set foot on your gorgeous soil.”

When I hopped in to the bus earlier, I came across a Caucasian girl whose beauty I’d like to describe as doll-like. There were plenty of vacant seats towards the front, but when I spotted a blond-haired and deliciously white-complected guy towards the back, why would I not follow where my heart wanted to go? And I’d been right, for I guessed the girl to be his companion.

As the bus went on, we discussed their itinerary, our different cultures, and so forth. Mike said he was surprised to have seen Filipinos buying sacks of rice, whereas in Australia his one kilo of rice could last for up to a month or so. Considering the fare from Cebu City to Moalboal, I asked how far could they go with a hundred and eleven pesos (in Australia). A couple of suburbs, they answered. And they couldn’t be more surprised when I said that they could have had three meals already with that amount—that is, if they’re frugal like me.

We paused conversing for several minutes and were trying to catch forty winks despite occasional bumps that felt like turbulence on an airplane, not to mention droplets that leaked through the air conditioner to their laps. One big bump awakened me, thereby making me squint at Mike to my right, who was looking so gorgeous even if his eyes were closed, and his hair was uncoiffed due to hectic weeks of meandering around our exciting country.

Thanks to Mike’s open-mindedness and Ingrid’s friendliness, not only did I have fun in our conversation, I’ve also gained new friends who taught me to toss my shyness out of the window—because, honestly, I’m still trying to develop confidence in the art of conversation with someone I’m guilty of having a crush on.

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