Culture shock

Work trip to Manila…

Arrived after a very long flight, connection in Singapore – and I have to say that Changi airport is damn impressive!  Koi pond, with foot long koi, inside the terminal!  Two of them!! :D

Anyway – flight was ok – saw some films, slept a little, food was decent..  Arrived Manila to be greeted by hotel reps, who shuffled me off to the hotel car & the hour drive to the hotel.  I tell ya, lucky I was using official hotel transport and was the only one in the car – I passed out and slept for most of the journey!

Hotel is nice indeed – 100count cotton sheets, massive bed, kitchen & washing machine, the shower even turns into a steam room!

I’m here til Wednesday next week – can’t tell you why I’m here (Ssshh! Secret projects!) but it’s all going well..

Dinner last night with local lawyers – who took me to the most amazing place – Sentro 1771.  Got to try some proper Filipino dishes – which were very tasty indeed!  There was a particular favourite, Singang Na – which is meat & veg in a tamarind broth.

Kind of the Filipino version of miso soup, but it was a particular favourite. This one made with corned beef that was so tender – beautiful! There was also squid with dried mango, ‘Drunken Shrimp’ (marinated in rum then tempura fried), Smoked Fish rolls (kinda like sushi but with duck egg and tomato – not my favourite, but quite good), a lamb stew, and a green mango salad with tamarind and anchovy.  All in all, a fantastic meal and one I won’t forget in a hurry!

Followed by drinks and conversation at The Tipsy Pig gastropub..  two pitchers of cocktails later, headed home for sleeping – which didn’t come easy..  damn jetlag!

The culture here is odd – everyone has a driver, who delivers you to your destination then hangs about waiting for you..  Everyone has a maid, who looks after your house, cooks, cleans and generally takes care of everything for you.  Quote from an expat local – “Dishwasher?  We have a dishwasher – her name is Tess!”

But the people are all incredibly polite and very lovely – lots of smiles, good mornings and kind thoughts.  Traffic is a nightmare – 30million people in Manila means lots and lots of traffic.  Meanwhile, just down the road from here is one of the largest Malls in Asia – 1km long and 5 storeys – ye gods!  What a temple to capitalism!  TV has 5 different religion channels, lots of American sports overage (basketball in particular) and lots of USA bias – but that’s understandable, really.  There is an Australia channel – mainly covering news & A Current Affair type human interest stories.

Weather is hot.  damn hot.  hot and humid.  Taxi drivers telling me the heatwave is March/April (45+) but then settles back to mid-30’s for the rest of the year.  Also tell me that it’s actualy rainy season, but I haven’t seen any evidence of clouds yet..  Think they might be pulling my leg!

Well – most of work done for the day now – though have to get out there and find some photo frames..



About Miss J

Gen-x Australian female - out of my mind and my country. Cast adrift, as it were :) Enjoys: cat-cuddling, books, movies, music, theatre, travel, rpgs, cricket, F1 racing and all things to do with the sea..
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