I cannot believe we got to Manila 4 days ago. And if you’re wondering, no, it still hasn’t hit me that I have MOVED here. That I won’t see my wonderful DC friends for two years (unless they get their butt in gear and visit me, of course).
Saturday, Sarah and her husband came to pick me up and take me to our future home in Makati. The place is gorgeous!!! Tall buildings, clean streets, everything brand new. Imagine a few blocks of lower Manhattan. Then make everything just a few years old, brand new buildings and everything (sidewalks, roads…) just CLEAN. That’s Makati.
Sarah is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. Here she was dragging around a stranger, making her feel welcomed!
While there, we bumped into Michelle, who I had spoken with through Facebook, after our friend, Tessa, introduced us. What are the odds? So I got to see her apartment, that’s supposedly the same floor plan as ours, in the building we’ll be living in, and I about died. Now knowing what I’m missing here on compound living, makes it much much harder to wait in temporary housing. The Embassy had told us 3 weeks, and as soon as we arrived, that quickly changed to a month. I don’t think I can’t wait a month.
Michelle tagged along for a tour around Makati (she arrived here just 2 weeks ago, so everything is still new to her). And the tour included a Shiatsu Massage at The Spa. Probably the nicest place I ever got a rubdown at. And for those of you runners out there? Shiatsu is the PERFECT post-workout massage. Not only it’s deep pressure but they twist you like a spaghetti, in a way my marathon legs were craving for last year. Stretching AND massage? I can get used to this life…
Sunday, Karl and I ventured over to the Mall of Asia (the 4th largest mall in the WORLD), and after eating a very cheap lunch (it came out to about 2 bucks), we finally bought ourselves cellphones so we can again feel connected to the world. We also bought groceries, which means now we have FOOD!
I’m not going to lie, and say life is great and dandy. After the weekend was over and Monday dawned on us, Karl went to work and I was faced with a full day in compound-living with nothing to do. A workout was out of the question as my body just wasn’t up for it (my stomach was not doing too good, I wasn’t going to be the one to test out its limits). So here I was. Alone. In the middle of nowhere. Knowing where I’m supposed to be living. Knowing I’ll have to keep myself busy in this place for a month. A MONTH! And don’t get me wrong, I know we’ll move to countries where compound living is the only option. Some, where we won’t even be allowed to leave the compound. I’ll deal with that then. But now it’s not the case — there’s a whole world to explore around me, and I just don’t know how to get there.
Last night we explored a bit of Pasay City, where we are, and I saw a glimpse of the Manila everyone warned me about: ridiculous traffic of cars, jeepneys, buses, bikes, motorcycles, tuktuks (or whatever it’s called here)… Seeing mothers on motorcycles, holding their toddler with one arm. Sidewalks packed with people, garbage, stray dogs and cats. It was terrifying, but a bit awesome to know that just a block from me, there’s all this life going on. And I’m definitely going to wonder and explore around me… Maybe even take my camera around, since images will portray this much better than words can.
Today? I’m hoping to hop on the treadmill for a bit (nothing too crazy, probably just a half hour or so), and swim a few laps — I got a half mile in on Saturday morning, while I was sleep deprived and jetlagged, so want to take it easy and not burn myself out until my body gets used to the time difference, the humidity and the heat (but boy, I love the heat!).
Maybe boredom will be the best cure for those 10+ pounds I put in since December, while nursing my running injuries…