Day 21: Legal

I just received my passport back - I am now on a Visa extension until the 22nd of November. During now and that date, I'm working to get a Special Work Permit (SWP) in order to extend my stay a whole 6 months through March of 2011. If I hadn't received my extension, I would have had to leave the country today.

A relatively quiet day for me. I went to bed last night in pretty bad pain - my right leg had locked up and was painful to extend. However, the leg in a bent position felt just fine. This made walking extremely painful, so I spent the day icing my knee and generally taking it easy. Catching up on my US based shows.

It's been a while, but there is a typhoon coming. Not just any typhoon - a super-typhoon. Super Typhoons are typhoons that have winds near the eye greater than 215kph. Sustained, not gusting. This thing will pack a punch. Crews have spent the better part of the last two days getting people out of the impact areas, and ensuring that families that are close to rivers are evacuated in the event of flooding. Good thing is that the typhoon is nowhere near metro Manila (north part of Luzon), but we're certainly going to have a few good days of solid rain. The other benefit that this typhoon has over other typhoons is that it's moving relatively quickly. 25kph - it's not just meandering. It should pass pretty quickly (<1 day).

The interesting part about the typhoons here is that the communication is handled differently than hurricanes or typhoons that I've experienced in the past. Typically, there are charts showing projected trajectories and percentages of swings based on computer model simulations. However, the best that I've been able to find from the local government is a projected graphic of how things might be. Official status: rainy.

Something that I have spent some time on in the last few days is that of physical contact. While walking around the malls, I find that a large percentage of females are often seen walking hand-in-hand, or even more common, one female holding close the wrist of another. Furthermore, many males often are walking embracing each other by the shoulders. The most interesting part yet is further south, males also walk hand-in-hand.

This is quite interesting to me, given that westerners often have a bubble. I have a hard time when the people closest to me (my wife) get too much into my bubble - yet most of the people that are close to each other often show that affection with physical touch. I'm not sure what to make of this, but I'll be pondering this in my own way and seeing if I can take anything from it. At the very least, it's amusing to me for some reason to see this happening.

In all, a rather dull day. Did laundry, hobbled around the hotel room, and iced my knee.

Hopefully tomorrow will be full of joy! We start with the new teams running in shifts starting at 7AM. I'm eager to see how that is going to work out.

I'm not sure why, but I understand and enjoy things like this now.