Every morning I get woken up by the children. Some mornings, FB looks out of my bedroom window and sees the little dogs that live here, down in the common garden. ‘The Doggies, the Doggies!’she exclaims excitedly. ‘I want to pat the doggies!’ OK, gone are the days of getting up, getting breakfast and waking up still in my jammies. Oh no, now we live in a condo, with windows and a shared garden. So up I get, throw on some clothes, get the kids dressed and out we go. I grab my iPad or phone and I sit on the grass with the residents here who use this cool part of the day to walk the little housebound dogs. Give them a run and some air. To suggest they actually ‘walk’ or ‘run’ is probably a little farfetched. These are pampered pooches, who, aside from one energetic pup that runs around digging in the sand, sit contentedly as their owners groom them, meticulously combing out every matt, trimming the hair between their claws, their ears, around their bottoms, and their eyes. These dogs know what this is about and they love it. The children think they are great – except the one who snapped at BB the other week. That one we aren’t so fond of. The others however, are so cute, friendly and little ‘like babies’ says FB. So we sit out here a while, I sip my coffee and sometimes get to engage with these women. On this day, they have finished grooming and they are looking at recipes. I hear them talking in Tagalog and get the gist that they are discussing how best to cook the recipes they have in front of them. When to add the garlic, when to add the spices how long to simmer for.
These aren’t the only pampered pooches here. On our trip back before Christmas, I saw a little dog wearing a nappy….enough said about that. Just a few weeks back in the MegaMall one night I saw another little pampered pooch wearing socks. The dog’s owner/mother carrying a baby bag with items for this ‘baby’.
This last week has been a little quieter. So I thought I’d share some of the small day to day ‘experiences’ we are having here, that make up our new day-to-day life.
Last weekend we continued our ‘exploring the markets’ adventure, heading off to Legazpi Markets in Makati. These open-air markets compliment the Salcedo Markets. In addition to offering a full range of products from the wet foods and home cooked meals. This place also offers arts, crafts, clothes and nick-knacks for sale. A large open space, it is designed to be a place for small business owners to market their products. Each stall is assessed to ensure it is individual, appealing and that it fits with the local community which is a melting pot of local and expat patrons. This place is jam packed with shoppers, therefore
very noisy. Being a Sunday when they are open, there was a
church service in full swing as well. The word of the Lord echoing out across a loud speaker, adding texture to the natural sounds of a market place. We walked up and down the rows taking in everything on offer, sampling any delights that took our fancy. Macaroons, fruit salad drinks, sticky rice and Japanese Dumplings. This is a good overall market for finding the odd treasure, along with getting access to some fresh fruit and veg.
Monday morning I decided we needed to bake some Honey Joys to put smiles on little faces. The ants here are so tenacious they were climbing up the saucepan while the butter, sugar and honey were bubbling away.
trendy place. We were attracted to it as it was listed as one of Spot.ph’stop ten places for the best Margherita pizza in town. So we thought we’d give it a try. The review said ‘OTKB’s Margherita is highlighted by the milky white patches of buffalo mozzarella…’ mm-hmmm. So the pizza itself was fine, tasty. The milky white patches on our pizza – were cream. Yes, cream. I didn’t send it back, because this is one of those ‘welcome to the Philippines’ moments. It actually didn’t taste that bad. Just clearly not a classic Marghurita.
here and his family moved to Australia when he was a child. He told me about their Banana Catsup. He said due to the lack of tomatoes, this product was created using bananas and coloured red to look like Ketchup.This was before American Ketchup was readily available over here (I have not been able to find a source to confirm this story). Well I found it and of course brought a jar. It is sweet and sour in flavour and actually quite tasty. You can taste the banana in it, along with all the artificial yuckies. However for a dip-dip sauce with a difference for your fries or anything else, this has been an interesting discovery.
The Agra-Aqua Network Markets (AANI)
This Saturday we headed off on week three of our ‘exploring the markets’ adventure. We went to some markets I had been keen to explore from the start.
This market is out of town a bit and our taxi driver did not know the market or that area of Taguig so we drove around for a fair while with our driver stopping to ask directions every so often.
As we drove through some extreme poverty I started to get nervous at the isolation of this place, and I wondered how we would get home again. Eventually we found the markets and it was busy. The car park it is situated next to was quite full, and on entry we found long narrow walkways and a market brimming with produce. There was so much to see here. Garden shops where you could buy seed, seedlings and fully matured plants through to pet shops which I have to say, I had a lot of issues with. Roosters were tethered with coconut shells containing water and food. Clothing, jewellery and home wares stores all nestled comfortably
alongside each other. All alongside local kitchens cooking their fresh foods. We walked around taking it all in and brought some fruit and veg. I brought so
me local snacks for the children – banana chips and strawberry lollipops. Finally it was time to leave and this is where the fun started. It took ages to get a taxi due to the lack of internet reception. When we did, the taxi did not know where we were as Google Maps did not even know the area. After feeding the children local ice-cream to keep them calm, and fending off local children trying to sell us food and other children slowly getting closer to us and staring at the strange looking Westerners out in these parts; we decided our best bet was to catch one of the many Tricycles parked near us, and head to the local supermarket. From there the taxi should be able to find us. The four of us squished into the tricycle sidecar. FB on my lap in front, BB with his dad in the back (yes these things can fit all of us in!). Off we went zipping down the street.
It was so much fun! The kids thought it was awesome, and I wanted to take this ride all the way home! It was also super cheap too. Once at the supermarket our taxi found us and we headed home for a well deserved swim and rest.
Something funny to finish up with
Here is a snapshot from my Facebook this week. All names have been changed for privacy.