Only in the Philippines!

In recent news from Manila…

  • I’ve learned that not only are Asian people obsessed with taking selfies, but they use “selfie sticks” to hold their cameras at a further distance and better angle
  • I’ve been serenaded in a department store by a woman who decided to test out the karaoke machine and sing several songs from the Adele 21 album
  • In the span of one day I’ve now ridden in a car, plane, Jeepney, Van Van, and pedicab  
  • I’ve eaten coconut sticky rice and mango ice cream (that was phenomenal) and green mango ice cream with shrimp paste (that was disgusting!)
  • I’ve experienced my first monsoon-type rain and flooding.  The sidewalks were like rivers, and I had to walk in the road, dodging traffic as I tried not to get swept away
  • I’ve also experienced the flooding in Manila.  There was a thunderstorm that lasted about an hour.  My roommate Sarah and left work at 6pm and were heading to a class at a gym in nearby Makati.  The streets were flooded, and we walked along the sidewalks trying to reach the train.  The line was so long that we decided to walk to the next stop.  The line there was even longer, winding down 2 flights of stairs and down the sidewalk!  We continued walking and got to a point where the water was so deep that some boys had set up narrow benches and were charging a fee to cross!  I paid the P1, was escorted across, only to be again trapped by more water!  We were almost walking in circles, trying to find either a Jeepney or a cab, and finally ended up just walking the whole way home.  After several attempts we found a cab that would use a meter (costing about $2, not the inflated $6 flat-rate the others were trying to charge), and then we inched along through traffic to reach the gym.  A trip that should have taken 20 minutes took us over 2 hours from the time we left the office!  We missed our class, and ended up just getting dinner!  As I was laughing at the the ridiculousness of the situation and admiring the ingenuity of the boys and their makeshift bridge, my bridge escort yelled out, “only in the Philippines!”
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