Posted by: neblinoso | October 4, 2009

A Day of Rest

Metro Manila was virtually unaffected by Typhoon Pepeng today.  I’ve been monitoring it’s path, which seems to be circling around Luzon, almost as if it is taunting us, not quite finished leaving its mark. 

IMG_3626I spent the day with Arnel, who accompanied me around the city, desperate to find squid balls for me to try.  We went to see Surrogates, my second film here in the Philippines. Films are so cheap; it was only 170 Php (3.60 USD)!  And a large popcorn and can of soda was about the same.   

Since we had some time to kill before the movie started, Arnel showed me around the arcade and we played a view games, one of which was bowling.  The pins were like puppets, hanging from strings.  When you knocked them down, they looked like injured dolls, tilting diagonally as if their legs had been broken.

Though we could not find squid balls, Arnel suggested i sample some local dishes from one of the food vendors found at the SM grocery. IMG_3619The yellowy one on the left was made of rice and the other had noodles and pieces of beef and egg.  I prefered the rice dish.  I really don’t think i could ever get sick of rice.  Though i don’t have it for every meal back home, it does tend to dominate my dinner concoctions.  Here, however, everything is made with rice, even sweets, and they are just as delicious.

Once we had filled up on soups, we headed back out to find a Jeepney i could ride.  As we walked along, Arnel quizzed me on the correct phrases i would need to know when riding a jeepney.  The first was “Bayad Po”, which means “here’s my fare, sir”, to be said when handing the driver your 7 Php.  The second was “Para” translating into “stop, i would like to get off,” at which point the driver will pull off to the side of the road and let you exit the vehicle. 

When we hopped on there was only one other person.  Arnel handed me the coins, encouraging me to say the phrase.  “Bayad po,” i said, and the driver held up his hand for me to drop the coins in.  I squealed with glee.  Not only was i excited about saying the phrase, but i had said it well enough for the driver to understand.    A short distance later, two women got on board and passed their money to me as i was closest to the driver.  “Bayad po,” i said again, and the driver once more held up his cupped hand and i dropped the coins in. 


I looked back at  and the ladies, clapping my hands a little, laughing and yeah-ing.  I’m sure they thought i was a fool, but i was very delighted to be learning the ropes of jeepney travel.  Near our stop Arnel nudged me again and i said, “Para” somewhat hesitantly, almost like a question.  The driver immediately yanked the wheel to the right and stopped so we could get off. 

IMG_3625We found a building in which our company had offices and were able to be let in to see the facilities.  Arnel also showed me the tallest building in Manila, the PB Com Tower.  It was dark when this picture was taken, but i swear there is a very tall building towering behind me. 

By the time we made the walk back to my hotel it had started to rain again.  I don’t mind the rain, but i’m not sure i’m ready for another typhoon…or at least the aftermath.


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