So here we are in Manila.
I tell you what, I haven’t had a chance to scratch myself since we got here. It’s been crazy, manic, hectic from the word go.
Within the first ten minutes of being here I nearly got ran over by a motorbike as we walked (ran) down the side of the traffic laden street.
I mean I had to turn my body sidewards, against a parked truck and suck both my belly AND my breasts right in to avoid being hit. Don’t ask me how you suck your breasts IN, but believe me it’s possible.
But even BEFORE that I had the biggest major anxiety provoking experience…
Landing in Thailand (We stayed there overnight before coming to Manila)
So…there we were, after eight looooong hours about to land. My favourite part. Yay! I get to put my feet firmly back on the ground where they belong.
So we’re descending, ears popping, chewing gum like mad, looking excitedly out the window as the ground is coming closer (when you can see past the smog that is.)
The houses are looking like little lego houses, tiny cars are coming into view on little weeny roads….rice fields (I don’t know….wet fields of something they looked like) patchworking the landscape…and there is the runway, aaaaand we’re almost there….I’m just waiting, holding my breath waiting for the inevitable bump as the plane touches the ground……aaaaaand…..VRRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!
We’re going up?
We’re zooming up into the air again….
Are we going to make it?
What about the tail?
Umm….there was another plane in the way.
In the bloody way. A great big airbus taking it’s merry old time down there on the runway… MY runway, where I want to be safely set down on the ground THANK YOU, and it’s right in the path of the plane I’m trying to land in.
Can you imagine?
I’d never imagined that scenario….or the feeling of that roar of power when you’re actually still suspended in the air!
Man! What a truly frightening feeling.
Probably quite ok, for the pilots to, at the very last minute, pull the nose up and roar back up into the sky, but quite freakishly- almost need a change of underwear- nightmarish for me!
So where was I?
Oh yes, getting run over by motorbikes.
I’ve figured out, by watching the locals that to cross a road here you just have to walk…cars don’t stop you see. Pedestrian crossings? Na…purely for decoration.
So you just have to pick a moment, and GO…and do NOT hesitate, for he who hesitates, is…. no more.
Somehow, the cars and jeepneys, buses and motorbikes will dodge you. Not you dodge them…you just walk and God is with you.
Something like that.
God is with me anyway. “Oh God, oh God, ohhhhh God!”
Better still is if you cross with a whole bunch of other people.
Like lemmings, all running towards the cliffs edge.
Somehow, you just join in….and the cars swerve round the lemmings.
It’s absolute madness.
Everybody in a vehicle here honks their horns.
I don’t think they told the Philippino’s what the horn was actually for.
Nah…they’ve made up their own rules.
Honk if you’re impatient.
Honk if the light is red.
Honk if the light turns green.
Honk if the traffic is congested.
Honk if the road is completely clear.
Honk if you’re happy.
Honk if you just farted.
Honk ….just because.
I tell ya, it is driving me INSANE, and what is driving me even more insane is that this apartment we are renting, is eleven floors up, and if is as though we are on ground level and there is NO glass in the windows.
It is SO loud, and all we can hear is the incessant…..honking.
The good thing about it being so incredibly noisy here is that you can fart in public and nobody at all can hear it.
And there are bad smells drifting in and out of gutters and alleys and out of street food carts….so nobody is the wiser.
Hey, there’s always a bright side.
The kids have taken it all in their stride, I’m pleased to say.
We haven’t had to scrape their jaws off the ground too often, but there have been some experiences thus far that have been a little bit….nerve wracking.
I’ll leave those for further blogging when we get back.
The one child (grown child – my eldest daughter who is back home taking care of the pets and house while we’re away) is NOT coping well.
Actually she’s quite traumatized by the paranormal activity going on there.
She’s just moved back home see, from Western Australia. She’s never stayed at this new house before, but has been quite self sufficient and independent for quite some time now. Quite used to living alone.
Now she knows.
Now she KNOWS.
She’s been hearing and sensing it.
We’re seriously going to have to do something about this situation when we get back.
Just a quick blog for tonight.
I have to be up early to go to have my new porcelain crown fitted. Yes, visited the dentist….all is going well except for when the temporary one fell out as we were sitting in a public place having coffee- right before we were about to go to dinner. (Front tooth….nothing under it but a homeless person looking stump)
I could slip it back in, but to eat with it all just “sitting” there like that would be impossible. I’d swallow it!
The kids were impatient, and hungry.
“Mum just take it out and put it on the table while you’re eating then put it back in when you’re finished!”
I don’t think so! Not there in hoity toity central with millions of well groomed, fancy shmantsy folk around.
So it was a rushed taxi trip back to the dentist so they could cement it back in.
I’m grateful they GAVE me something temporary for a few days while the porcelain one is being made.
In Australia you either walk around with homeless person looking stumps or else pay an exorbitant fee for a temporary more aesthetic fully toothed look.
(Actually, in Australia unless you have loads of money to throw around, you’re usually stuck for good with the homeless person stumps.)
I think it was the incredibly bumpy boat ride the day before that worked that damn temporary tooth loose.
Lucky I didn’t lose it as we battled waves, and buckets of water being thrown in our faces….
More about that….exciting boat ride later.
Now….will the dodgy internet connection let me actually connect long enough to post this?
That is the question.