At The Airport

June 22, 2009 at 21:06 Leave a comment

Because Internet connection was really expensive at the hotel, I didn’t post this online, but most of it was written in Manila. Here’s events from the first day.

18th June 2009

0847. This entry takes place, not in Manila, but at Changi Airport. Being anxious about this trip, I didn’t sleep well and for a wonder, actually got to the airport and checked in pretty early. I haven’t found anyone I know yet! But I suppose I also relish the feeling of being by myself here for the first time. Without realizing it, I have become so accustomed to familiar surroundings and company that simply flying alone is a strange and exciting experience. How sheltered my life is!

1037. On board the plane. Because of Internet check-in, I have a window seat – 43K on SQ910. I am pleased that the seat directly to my left is empty. Next to that is a rich-looking young Filipino lady with a Louis Vuitton bag and (possibly) Armani sunglasses. Her Bebe jacket is labelled L. Good grief. She is quite petite; if she takes L, there is absolutely no hope for me. Behind me are two Frenchy-accented guys travelling together. They are joined by a well-maintained Filipino lady in her fifties, who is obviously a total stranger, but that doesn’t prevent her from telling them her life story, complete with intimate details. Even I know now that she is divorced from her cheating ex-husband, and that a black Shih Tzu is the only souvenir of the marriage, unless you count her 25-year-old son who’s working in London. She stays in Singapore but runs a business in Manila and has a house in Beverly Hills, “where all the superstars stay, and I am one of them, hahaha!” One of the guys ask for her email address, because he’s going to be in Manila for six weeks, and the woman actually gives it, along with a contact number! This level of trust is simply incomprehensible to me. I would never, never, never give a stranger such information, even if I were drunk. And I was not drunk, even after white wine and beer, courtesy of SIA.

1505. Checked into Room 331 of Sofitel Philippine Plaza. Nice view… of the carpark. No bathtub, but there is a rainfall shower. It was 15 minutes from the airport in moderate traffic. I got my first glance of a jeepney! It’s something like a pickup, with a tin roof and benches along the side, and is a form of public transport in Manila. No two jeepneys are exactly alike; they are decorated (or not) according to the whims of their owners. It looks like you can squeeze in about ten, maybe twelve, folks. I haven’t worked out the payment system. It looks like people can hop on or off anytime. How do they even know where the damn thing is going?

2005. After a snack (tuna tartare and mango juice for me) at the Spiral restaurant in the hotel lobby, we set off in the hotel shuttle to the Mall of Asia. “We” means the two drug reps, three consultants and one of their wives, and moi. The MOA is the third largest mall in Asia, but I’d call it one of those places that you should visit just once, just for the heck of it, then go and see something else. It’s really just a larger version of Vivocity or Suntec. I bought a top from Mango (truly pointless, but I wanted a souvenir) and then visited Kultura for some local tidbits, for which I probably paid twice as much as I needed to. One thing of mention I bought there was… cigars. Wood-tipped multi-flavoured ones. And. I Don’t. Know. If. That. Was. Illegal. Bwahahahaha. Then dinner at a Spanish restaurant, where we were endlessly serenaded by three musicians till we finally figured out that they wanted tips. That was also where I got my very first taste of ox-tongue. It is surprisingly melt-in-the-mouth tender. 

2107. Back at Sofitel where we met the later contingent from Singapore, which included two of my old friends. After supper at the Spiral, I thought that was going to be it for the day, and got started on my shower. But halfway through, I get a call from the drug rep inviting me to drinks at Le Bar – three of us trainees, plus herself. So I go down again.

0206. Argh. Became the alcohol dustbin. Argh. Rum, red wine and Long Island tea. Argh. And cardboard-textured nuts. Argh. Argh. Argh.

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Entry filed under: Dear Diary. Tags: .

Preparing For Takeoff Manila Day 2

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Welcome to my blog!


My blog-name is Katie but I will not respond if you call me that in real life because it's not my real name. Yes, I do practise virtual-world paranoia. No, I do not enjoy stalkers. But I do enjoy writing and having folks reading said writing, so welcome to my world. It's nice to meet you.

Playing in my head over and over again argh

I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song (Jim Croce)

Book(s) of the moment

Hogfather (Terry Pratchett)

Books read in 2010 and 2011

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows (JK Rowling) - 'cos the movie's coming out!
Frankenstein: Lost Souls (Dean Koontz) - ah, bugger, it's part of a series! Now I hafta find all the books...
Dismantled (Jennifer McMahon) - oh, good one
Tigerlily's Orchids (Ruth Rendell)
Shutter Island (Dennis LeHane) - reminds me too much of work
Holy Fools (Joanne Harris) - it's official: I prefer her scary books
A Series of Unfortunate Events; The Unauthorized Autobiography; The Beatrice Letters (Lemony Snicket)
The Little Friend (Donna Tartt)
The main books - 11 so far - of the Southern Vampire series; the Aurora Teagarden series except for A Fool & His Honey - that makes it 7; Sweet & Deadly (Charlaine Harris)
The Woman in Black (Susan Hill)
Full Dark, No Stars (Stephen King)
Room: A Novel (Emma Donaghue)
Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs)
The Bachman Books (Stephen King)
Men At Arms (Terry Pratchett)
Carpe Jugulum (Terry Pratchett)
The Fifth Elephant (Terry Pratchett)
Beauty (Robin McKinley)
The Sandman, Vol 1 (Neil Gaiman)
The Burden (Agatha Christie) - her crime novels are waaay better
Snuff (Terry Pratchett)

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I started my first photoblog on 3 May, 2009. Each post features one picture, with a little story of how it came about. Do take a look by clicking on: Manx Pictures
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Disclaimers: 1) I cannot help but bitch about work sometimes, but everything here comes under the realm of personal remarks, and nothing here is said in my professional capacity. Nor does anything here reflect the opinion of the institutions that employ me. This is just me shooting off. 2) Most identities have been anonymized, particularly those of folks I know on a personal basis. Same goes for my workplaces. However, commercial and public places and figures remain named. Otherwise some things just wouldn't make sense. 3) Links and sources have been provided where appropriate and possible. They are not meant to challenge anyone's ownership. If this causes any discomfort or offence, please let me know.

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