Day 29/30: Sushi

I love fruit here. There are so many wonderful fruits to enjoy - in raw form, in drink form, in smoothie form. Many of the fruits here are Citrus based, and have their own unique flavor.

  • Calamansi - Wonderful small fruit that has a tart flavor. Philippine lemonade.
  • Dalandan - A very sweet citrus fruit. Orange meets Lime.
  • Mango - Who doesn't know/love mango?
  • Mangosteen - I don't even know how to explain this fruit. Heaven? You can get the flavor from Smoothie King in the US, but the fruit itself is absolutely fantastic!

Yes, I am a bad person. I haven't posted for a few days. Apologies. Life has been busy.

The crazy part is that I can honestly say that day 29 was the first day since I've been here that something crazy has not happened to me. It was a plain old day - wake up, go to work, come home. I looked! I really did - what is around me that is noticeable? What conversations can I have with people? What crazy food can I eat today?

Nothing.

Today was a little different. Last night I only got about three hours of sleep, thanks in part due to the various automated calls I received from my workplace last night; my US workplace seemed fluctuate in and out of tornado warning, and I was called to join emergency calls.

The main goal of today was to attend a class that was titled Living in the Philippines. My hope was to attend this class to gain further insight into the life of a Filipino, and maybe this knowledge would help me with my team, or in interactions with other people.

Turns out, the class was actually designed for a loved one of a person who has been sent to the Philippines for work... so the target audience was wrong. The class consisted of the instructor, the wife of a person who is out here outsourcing, and me. The crux of the class focused on adapting to the local culture as opposed to attempting to bend the culture to the whim of American, and I was once again informed by the instructor (an American who has now been living in the Philippines for the last 10 years) that if I am not taking advantage of helpers, then I am not truly enjoying the Philippines.

However, helpers come with a whole set of issues that make it seem counterproductive to have. I have to setup a payroll system, account and contribute for social security, leave, contracts, provide room/board - all so I can have the privilege of some person living in my house, doing my laundry, and cooking my meals. The scenarios that the instructor provided included scams where helpers might tell me that their families are sick and they need money. Or scenarios where drivers steal bank checks and attempt to make a withdraw. Any number of horror stories.

I came out less enthused. I did, however, get a wife's view on her trip to the Philippines... and how she had traveled the world and been to many an exotic place in the world. However, this wife was 'knocked off her feet' when arriving at the Philippines. We spoke about how women need to feel safe, and how some of the things she saw and experienced did not make her comfortable, etc. Needless to say, I began thinking about what this experience might be for my wife.

I'm hoping that this will be fun! I really am. However, I have no idea how my wife will respond - it really is a different world, so I can do nothing but do my best to prepare my wife for what is coming. I received plenty of tips related for nice places to take my wife for relaxing.

I have also spent the greater part of this week focusing on a special diet - a sushi diet! Eat some amount of sushi for lunch and dinner. The best part of this is that sushi always fills me up quickly by eating only a small amount, and then I'm hungry again within about 30 minutes so my metabolism is running. Maybe this and the exercise I am doing will help out.

Finally, I think I found the place that I'm going to live. It is the best apartment yet! Take a look!

Tomorrow I have my first bowling lesson with the great Rafael "Paeng" Nepomuceno.