Manila Day 2

June 26, 2009 at 17:37 Leave a comment

More on my sojourn in Manila.

19th June 2009

Morning – various times. Although I only hit the sack at about three, I woke up at six, six-twenty, six-forty-five, seven-ten and finally gave up at seven-thirty. This is highly atypical as I am normally the Champion Sleeper Of The World and like to rise at noon on Saturdays. It was not the fault of the bed as it was large, clean and warm, with four feather pillows and a cute little bolster. It could have been the fault of the sunlight; at six it looked like eight-thirty back home. It definitely had something to do with my alcohol consumption from last night. I spent pre-breakfast wandering around the grounds alone. The swimming pool is one of those blobby-shaped ones with bridges, slides and faux rocks lying every which way. Although we are smack beside the sea, there is no beach, but only a low concrete wall, because this water can be treacherous. At least there are deckchairs. And the smell of the sea.

1204. My first breakfast in Manila consisted mainly of natto – yeah! How many people can say that? After that, six of us took a cab and headed for the MOA again, mainly for the benefit of the four who had not seen it yet. But the girls in the group (Drug Rep, Consultant’s Wife and me) quickly got bored and decided to find the Greenbelt region in Makati for a better taste of the shopping scene… and also to find a place to buy cheap dried mangoes. We would have hauled the chaps along, but not one of them was contactable by handphone. So we found another cab which took us on a gut-wrenching (for me the Motion Sickness Queen, at least) ride to the place, where Consultant’s Wife promptly turned into a force of nature and whisked through the malls, straight through to the dried mangoes, with such breathtaking rapidity that I basically saw one place that looked like Suntec City, another that looked like Paragon, a third that looked like Takashimaya and a last that looked like Katong Mall, before finding myself magically standing in front of a big shelf of dried fruit and nuts. I made a modest purchase of some green mango and pili nuts, but CW must have bought enough to prevent scurvy in Africa for the next year. Did I mention she did several taste tests before paying? This is some formidable woman.

1513. Have spent the past two hours at the conference like a good girl, and heard what the most important speaker has to say. Therefore I can now go shopping. Again.

1828. Slipped off to Greenbelt once again, but this time with Watchman and ZoomZoom. And no longer for mangoes, but for swanky window-shopping in stores I can only hope to aspire to in this lifetime. I am amazed at the number of faces Manila possesses. Sewagey river-stink lies three minutes outside our hotel, whose sophistication is really as brittle as eggshells. Plasticky-bright malls hide inside sparkling gargantuan ones. And then you have Greenbelt, which feels like a sapphire set against dirty old velvet. I mooned about in Steve Madden while the guys moseyed into IWC and the like. I didn’t buy anything until we discovered Adora, the kind of department store that one hesitates to call a department store because it is that posh. Each section has its own greeter, and when you buy stuff, they get you to sit down while they fiddle with your credit card. And the washrooms! I cannot bring myself to call them toilets. I have never before seen a cubicle with floor-to-ceiling mirrors all round. And with an adjoining powder room with ottomans and floor-to-ceiling curtains. And I bought something from this palace of wonders – a bottle of Floris White Rose perfume. Mm-mm.

2005. We’d thought that leaving Greenbelt at six-thirty would give us plenty of time to get ready for the conference dinner at seven-thirty. After all, the ride out had taken less than twenty minutes. But noooooo. Noooooooo.We had reckoned without the legendary Manila traffic at peak hour. I can no longer complain about Singapore traffic. Manila makes sardine cans look spacious. Lane demarcations are just guidelines (yo ho ho, me hearties). You can never tell when vehicles will dart forward, sideways, and indeed backwards. Horns are used in place of signal lights. And pedestrians look like they are going at warp speed. The ride back to the hotel took one and a half hours. We got so hungry we seriously considered jumping out of the cab to take our chances with roadside stalls. My favourite part was when our driver coolly forged ahead of the pack to come to a stop on a set of train tracks. Trains were running in both directions every few minutes. Train comes now = we confirm die. It did not help that Watchman’s door handle consisted of nothing but a bit of twisted wire.

0233. Predictably, I got drunk after dinner. Again. The conference dinner was a simple affair, with good food but no booze. ZoomZoom declared a firm preference for bed and vanished for the night, but Watchman, Drug Rep and I headed for Le Bar once again, and got wasted on chocolates and two bottles of red. When Le Bar closed, we hit the seaside and talked rubbish on three deck chairs till we got chased off by security.

0341. Sat up in bed, jolted from sleep with the thought, WHAT THE HELL DID I SAY WHEN I WAS DRUNK?!!!


Entry filed under: Dear Diary. Tags: .

At The Airport Harper’s Island: My Prime Suspect Died!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

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)

Visit my photoblog!

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
June 2009
« May   Jul »

Delicious Bookmarks


Don’t say I didn’t say this…

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.


  • 79,450 times since 10 March 2009. Thank you and I hope to see you again!

%d bloggers like this: