Thrilla in Manila

First things first, this is my new theme song… its not “new” in terms of being recorded anytime in the last 50 years, but it is still unbelievably current as it pertains to me: Del Shannon – The Wanderer

I left Taipei today and took a 2 hour flight south to Manila, Philippines.

Here is the Taiwan wrapup before I move on to the flip side:

I ended up spending a week in Taipei… in retrospect it was all a bit of a haze. I never really seemed to get into the flow of things, and my hotel room didn’t really have any windows in it, which totally didn’t help… I never knew whether it was day or night as it was…

I arrived on a Monday, went out with a friend on Tuesday, but was supposed to go out with him Wednesday, because in Taipei Wednesday night is the 3rd best night of the week (after Friday and Saturday) because it is Ladies Night everywhere and girls get cheap drinks. But because we went out so late on Tuesday we skipped Wednesday.

Then I was supposed to hook up with the hotel girl (here is a quick pic taken: Hotel Girl) on Friday, but she came down with a cold that day, so I decided to go out by myself that night… I was out until around 7am and then slept all the way until Sunday… I was supposed to go out with my friend on Saturday but missed that because I was sleeping again.

Anyway, that was how the whole week went… never seemed to get it together. So, here was me this morning on the airport bus. As you can see I am pretty much constantly posing.

I arrived in Manila around 4, hopped in a cab and came straight to my hotel. It is nice… a Best Western in the heart of the nice, foreigner part of Manila called Makati.

The girl at the reception desk was quite cute, but I don’t want to start getting too predictable, so I haven’t done anything yet. Yet.

My very initial thoughts are that this is much different than Taipei. Taipei was kinda interesting… it had a bit of ghetto side to it, but definitely had the money side as well (Taiwan is a fairly rich country) with their giant skyscrapers and lots and lots of very nice malls, clubs etc.

Here in the philippines, everything seems a little bit more grungy… they are a much poorer country and you can kinda sense that. There are billions of these cab/bus things called Jeepneys here, with people hanging off them everywhere.. very Mexico.

As well, if my flight is any indication, everyone here is not much taller than 4 feet tall!

But already have seen many very cute girls… they kinda have a neat style here cuz they are sorta asian, but kinda have some polynesian… have been taken over in the past by Spaniards, who turned them all Catholic (thank gawd for my new phone which plays mp3s so I can tune out all the xmas music everywhere!) and gave a lot of them Spanish names… and everyone here speaks English. So it is a very mixed sorta place.

I heard there is a pretty crazy part of town called P Burgos and it basically looks like I am less than a block from there, so should be an interesting few days here.

Outside of my hotel is Wendy’s and Pizza Hut, which made me pretty happy after spending an entire week in Taiwan eating at all the local ‘buffet’ Taiwanese food places. I’d have to say, of all the places I have been, Taiwanese food is one of the less good ones… The hotel reception girl took me out last night for ‘dessert’, and it was basically a choice of “ice or hot?”… I tried a bit of each. The ice was a bowl of sweet tofu with some beans and ice cubes… the hot was some taro root in hot brown water. MMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmm.

Its 7pm and I am feelin a bit tired but I think I am going to force myself to at least go take a look around tonight… maybe not a big night (but it almost always turns out to be). We will see.

Here was a pic of me posing in the cab on the way to the hotel in Manila.