The Rider in the Blue Box

The road from Puerto Princesa to El Nido on Palawan is a long one, taking about 6 hours, half of which is on an unpaved road.  Given the length of the trip and wanting to be able to spend time in El Nido when we arrived, we got on the early morning shuttle, which left at 5:00 am.  So blurry-eyed and weary, we scrunched into our seats in the minibus, popped in our headphones, and started barrelling down the road.

IMG_2386We continued in this manner for about an hour, when the driver suddenly pulled to the side of the road where a man was waiting, sporting a backpack, and carrying a blue box.  So the man settles into the last available seat, plops his back down and rest the box on top, and we cruise along in the pre-dawn light.  About 30 minutes later, the sun finally crests the top of the hills and that’s when our new passenger let’s his presence be known with a definitive, “Cock-a-dooodle-dooo!”.  Yes, apparently the blue box was a makeshift carrying case for this man’s prized chicken.  Now this immideately brings to mind 3 questions: 1.) Why does this man need to deliver a chicken to a location roughly 5 hours away first thing in the morning?  2)  Why does this trip necessitate bring a single chicken? – Is this some type of super chicken?  Perhaps the chicken James Bond?  3) Seriously, a chicken?

Unfortunately, I have no answers to these deep questions.  What I did find out through that fateful trip is what chickens do when they’re cramped up in a box on a road trip.  The answer, is that they cock-a-doodle-do…a lot.  If you would like to try to simulate this experience, I would suggest packing yourself in a box with an alarmclock that you cannot turn off, but can only snooze, and then only sometimes.

On the upside, the chicken did bond us to our fellow passengers, much as Elves and Men bonded together to face the common threat of Sauron (yes, it’s on the same scale).  We would constantly look and each other and laugh, with a shared shrug and wink.  In the end, we all, chicken included, made it safely to El Nido.  I can only hope that that chicken was delicious.

Posted on by Aaron in Aaron's Blog

2 Responses to The Rider in the Blue Box

  1. Morgan

    Rooster, maybe?

    Pretty absurd story. Of course, international traveling, especially in less developed countries, is a sure bet for obtaining several of them. I’ve never gotten over the surreality of South America.

    • Aaron

      Absolutely. Though I think Nao figured out the mystery. She remembered that there were cock fights going on near where we were headed about a day or two after we got there, so my guess is that was his best fighting cock that was headed for the big match. I imagine he had a rooster championship belt on, though I never saw him to confirm that.

Reply to Aaron