Friday, July 18, 2008

I've Arrived!

I arrived in Manila Thursday night around 1030 pm (930 am on Thurs IA time).

The flight was long long long. the food was bad bad bad. Tokyo was very unorganized and security was lax. From Tokyo to Manila i rode in the upstairs of the plane! that was kinda cool. Except my bag got jammed in the overheard compartment and i had to stand on the seat and have two little Asian guys hanging on the compartment to unjam it. There was no car for me at the airport so i took a cab. The hotel was about 45min from the airport. I showered, snacked, and collapsed. Kurt got here ok too. (on Tuesday).

Manila is hot and dirty, but pretty American. Kurt got home from work at 5 am. we went of for breakfast and then walked around the area. We're going out with his "team" Saturday morning. We're not sure what that means.

While Kurt slept, since he is staying on IA time. I went out for a few hours. I slathered on the sunscreen and headed to the farmer's market. Manila really reminds me of Mexico City. The heat. the pollution. the smells.

The farmer's market is open air, but covered. There was plucked poultry and raw meats hanging around. None of it is refrigerated, but I didn't see any flies. I haven't seen any bugs. Although I have seen 3 Filipino pee-pees as they just whip them out and pee where ever. I told Kurt and I think he thought I'd been skulking around in back alleys, but it was just here on the MAJOR road where we are staying. Back at the market, I hadn't had lunch so between the smells and the heat I thought I was going to lose it. I went back to the perimeter and continued my way around. Then I got to the seafood area. All kinds of clams, mussels, crabs and fish lying out. Again, not on any ice. Some of the fish may have been on ice. The other two corners of the market contained flowers and produce.

I took some pictures but I didn't bring the cable to transfer my pictures to the computer.

I also went to one of the many shopping center/galleria areas. Very American/modern. Lots of stores like Lacoste, Body shop, Guess, Levi etc. I went to Rustan's which is a grocery store and got some pretzels, chips, sodas, and bottled water.

It was hot; I was tired so I took a cab back to the hotel. It's probably only 4 or 5 blocks but my bags were heavy. It cost 40 pesos (just less than a dollar). I only had 500 peso notes (approx $11) and US 20's. I had a $5 though so I asked if that was ok. At first he wasn't sure, but then he realized what it was and got a huge, but brief smile, "yeah it will work".

i came back and napped with Kurt for a few hours. He got up around 6:15 pm. We had a few hours before he needed to go to work so we went for supper. Sunset is around 630 here. We ate at "the Seafood Place". We had a "boodle" which i think means a pile of food. They brought it to us on a giant table sized tray covered in banana leaves. It had a pile of white rice with a tray with chunks of fish (tilapia maybe) in coconut vinegar with a salad of onion, and red pepper. It was very good. Around the edges of the rice was a crab, grilled squid and octopus, a grilled fish, a baked chicken (adobo chicken), and we think fried fish head/skin. We didn't eat any of that. All of it was very tasty.

We came through a mall on the way back. I got a hanky (to wipe off the sweat more gracefully, and Kurt got 2 short sleeve Polo brand polo shirts to wear to work instead of long sleeve dress shirts. That was only around $22, too.

Kurt's back at work. I'm blogging and watching some weird (do they come any other way) Stanley Kubrick movie on TCM. I think it's getting around bedtime for this bozo. Oh, wait, that's Bonzo, right?

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