Day 18: Guilty Pleasures

I have a confession to make. Every time I hear the song Tik Tok by Ke$ha, I get a little skip in my step. It turns out that a pop song comes around occasionally that I cannot get out of my head, and I don't really mind. Past guilty pleasures included Mmmmbop by Hansen, Grace Kelly by Mika, and this song. I'll certainly admit that this is the exact opposite from the music that I traditionally listen to - political punk, progressive rock, big band jazz. The lyrics are meaningless... literally. Can you tell me what flower is going to grow? Give me a break! However, some music just has musical cocaine within it and I just succumb to it.

Filipinos love American culture - TV, Movies, and especially music. Filipinos have a specific affinity for music - they love Karakoe! Even so much that if you have really good, classic songs (say for instance Frank Sinatra's My Way), and you sing it really poorly, then you're putting your life at risk. Literally - you could die if you try to sing My Way and cannot pull it off. It's not a joke.

Being in the Philippines doesn't help me with this guilty pleasure. Thanks to the love of all things American Media, Tik Tok is playing at every department store about every 15 minutes. My guilty pleasure is so bad that I've imagined a dancing flash mob going to town with this song, and being part of it. Filipinos are known to do it, so who knows - meetup anyone?

Yes, I admit it. Not proud, but what can you do. Music cocaine, remember? If you tell me you don't have these guilty pleasures - I'd probably call you a liar. Just flat out. It happens - there is a reason that the machine keeps pumping out crappy music set after crappy music set. It's because eventually they hit gold and find a catchy tune that people can't get out of their heads.

I did it. I ate balot. First off, let me tell what balot is. A balut is a fertilized duck egg with a nearly-developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in the shell. Sounds pleasant, doesn't it? It is such an interesting dish that it's been featured on Fear Factor as a challenge. It is also the first dish that anyone that I have known has asked me if I would eat once I got over here.

Eating this delicacy has its own special dance. First off, you have to enjoy the delicious juice inside of it (the albumen), and make sure to avoid the hard white part. The embryo is at a point in development where the bones have not yet formed, and the hard white part is the calcium deposit that would eventually form into bones.

I'm not sure I would have had the same reaction if I hadn't eaten durian a few days earlier. However, this was pleasant in comparison. The juice itself had a taste that reminded me of smelling stinky shoes, with a hint of smoke. The actual duck tasted like eating a yolk, quite frankly. The only odd texture was the beak, which was small enough to just ignore and move on with life.

By no means am I saying that I loved it. I have to be honest - it wasn't that bad. But, I can now proudly say that I've done it!

I've come so close to actually being able to use Rosetta Stone. I have the disks, but the version I have will not work with OSX. Okay, fine. I have an Intel Mac - so I'll install Windows. Naturally, I want to virtualize the instance, and so I install Windows 7 using VMWare Fusion (non-bootcamp). Once squared away, I then go after installing Rosetta Stone. Success! Loaded! However, Virtualization isn't quite 1:1 with the actual hardware, and so what happens is the virtualized sound card turns the microphone input into garbage. As such, Rosetta stone freaks out and tells me I have no idea how to speak Tagalog (this is true, but for the wrong reasons). I'll have to break down, install Boot Camp, and then try it the right way if I ever want to have a chance of saying more than salamat po - thank you.

Tomorrow we'll be having an activity with the team - laser tag. I'm actually looking forward to that.  It turns out all of this crazy food eating that I've been eating over the last several days goes a long way. Most folks won't try it. But you know what they say?

When in Rome....