When I have been communicating with friends and family back home, and telling them of the week I’ve just had, I hear a lot of ‘oh that is just so hard/challenging/frustrating, you poor things’. The funny thing is that despite feeling the odd bit of frustration, I don’t actually have that ‘OMG this is SO hard’ thing going on. It’s kind of like I expected it, so I’m okay with how things are working out. What is hard is the physical and mental exhaustion I am feeling and I know SB is feeling too. This however, is manageable. It is about how much I want to push myself to get things sorted. For SB he has just survived his first week in his new role, in a new country, whilst trying to move and deal with all the stuff I’m dealing with. He has a very good reason to be exhausted.
Here are some highlights from our fist week (gosh it feels a whole lot longer).
He finished the very cool pop song and mentioned it as a Justin Beiber song (show’s my age when I just do not know what that Beiber person sings). This is one of the hilarious elements here. The ones that just keep you interested. In stores that sell electronics, it is common that the employees will sing and dance with the karaoke machines. The first few times as a Westerner from a conservative country, I looked and though ‘wow, I don’t know what to make of that’. Then I got used to it and thought ‘you know, it is kinda cool that people here accept this kind of thing, and feel free enough to do it’. Because, the singing over here is pretty awesome. Filipino’s can sing. Beautiful, stunning, extraordinary voices ring out through stores and it is most often the employees.
When I was shopping I found this wonderful quote. I plan on hanging somewhere I can see it every day.
The meal I had at this café was the best meal I’ve had so far. It was home made pasta and the children had toasted ham, cheese and truffle sandwiches on home made bread. The coffee was stunning and the kids drank fresh juice. It was so refreshing. The children loved the red lanterns and gold decorations hanging from tree’s and the ceiling, to celebrate Chinese New Year.
My new friend here has been showing me around. She introduced me to Santis Delicatessen. I was so excited to find my Twining’s Tea amongst other things. I did a quiet squeal in delight when I found our beloved Vegemite!
Another wonderful friend lent us his car and driver for a few days. The children were delighted when they got to see their favourite dash dogs again – Bluey and Pinky. So named when we first met them before Christmas on our scoping trip here. The children would cuddle, kiss and give gentle pats to these furry friends as we drove along the streets.
I love taking in everything I can see as we drive along. Through the grime, dirt and not so pleasant aspects, I find beauty. The Street Sellers face tells a wonderful story of his life, the bright blue wheel burrow and simple broom look so pretty under that tree, and the cracks in the pavement create patterns and add detail to an already complex scene.
Every time we get into a taxi I check out the dashboard to see what treasures I can find. This is one of the best.
Finally, last night we went to the Philippine International Pyromusical Competition. This is a week long, annual event where two countries a night perform and a winner is declared at the end. It started in 2005 and is held on Manila Bay, outside of the SM Mall of Asia. The participants load up barges with their fireworks which are set off just out on the water, which means people can sit right at the waters edge and watch. Last night we watched the UK battle with Canada. They were both great, but I did feel the UK was best. The music selection was great and the timing of the works was beautifully choreographed.
They did a set to Coldplay’s ‘I Will Miss You’ and it was so unbelievably moving and stunning I had tears in my eyes and was fighting back the desire to just cry. Canada’s finale was stunning. I only had my iPhone so my pics weren’t great so I created a collage to hide that fact for you to see. We had the most wonderful night. It was so great to get out and just have a bit of fun with new friends, after such a busy and complicated week.
I hope you enjoy this sensory overload. I thought I’d share my view…