Friday, October 25, 2013

Materialism ...

One of my favorite billboards so far. I don't know who Anne Curtis but I guess she is quite the fan of Century Tuna. Perhaps she was once famous in the States and is now in the twilight of her career and making some cash advertising overseas - I know several Hollywood types do this - Arnold carrying an Obachan in Japan for some tea drink, Deniro sipping Suntory Whisky in a sophisticated turtleneck-sportcoat combo ... or perhaps she is completely fabricated - that would certainly save on the signing fee for the tuna folk. Anyway, a billboard that I contemplate each day as I pass by it on the way to work.

 Costco, Sam's Club, Makro (in Indo) and S and R - the big box store here in Manila - extremely well visited by Filipinos and expats alike. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Ayala Park

So much can be said relating to the title of this post but it is late Saturday night and I finally have a full on EPL game with Chelsea, with Terry, so I can full on "hate" Chelsea and thus will not have much of a post.

What does this have to do with Ayala Park ... the family (Ayala) is old school - propertied by the Spanish - so they have massive amounts of land in Manila. The entrance to this park had an interesting sign - read something like - this is private property and we can do whatever we want with this land whenever we want so enjoy it while it lasts. And a lovely park it is indeed. Wide open grassy space, easy next door parking, row of eateries, the cleanest bathroom I have experienced in a public place ever (even though it is officially private - thanks to the Ayalas).

While at the park the girls were having a run around and came across two other little girls having a run around and ended up playing tag and such. We met the owners of the little ones - a couple who teach at the Brit school across from ISM. They have been here a few years - Malawi being their last post.

Following are some pics of the park.

The girls playing tag with their new friends.

Halloween Season - this weekend one of the neighborhoods near our house where lots of expats live, Bel Air, is hosting "trick or treating" - get to pilfer my share of treats from the girls bags.

Girls at the Park

Finally figured out how to get to church, parking, etc. Large international church in the business district of Manila - Makati City, which is technically where we live. We picked a good Sunday to go - international day to celebrate the churches 99 anniversary. They had food from all over the world representing the various nations in the church. It was rather chaotic as this is a no line culture and we didn't want to deal until I heard the sound of a cleaver hitting wood - coming from the Filipin table - could only mean one thing - Lechon - whole roast pig. So I muscled my way in to have a taste - good eats. I got the girls a purple looking something from the Hong Kong table. It was a muffin like item according to the girls. We then headed out for a walk around the area. Across the street was a nice park and a bit further on, the massive Greenbelt mall complex - Greenbelts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Lunch O' Champions! Good eats at 7-11

Emmerson enjoying her "big" gulp. Any true blooded US person would scoff at this puny imitation but its the large size (thank goodness).  I can not say American any more when I mean the US because I am around lots of Americans who are not USians and it doth offend....

Something to say about familiarity - today we hit up the 7-11. Even though their are more of the stores in Japan and the world wide franchises are run out of the Tokyo headquarters, it is very much a US institution. This morning, I whisked Ada off to a play date in the San Lorenzo housing community (more on that later), Alicia was off conducting a yoga class with the girls cross country team - so it was just Emmerson and I. She is pretty game at exploring and such but today she just wanted to eat a hotdog for lunch. We checked the eateries on the ground floor of my complex - UCC Cafe (Japanese), Apt B-1 (International), a bakery, a Euro - cafe, a wine-shop, and a Starbucks ... no hotdogs. So we left the complex but before crossing over to the mall to continue our hotdog hunt we decided to walk around the other Rockwell apartment complexes and see what they had to offer. As we passed by 7-11, I mentioned that they had hotdogs. Emmerson's eyes lit up and I realized - we were about to have lunch at 7-11 - too late to backtrack! Food snob I am not but I have not had a lunch at 7-11 or any convenient store for that matter since my Japan days when it was part of our post surfing ritual ... oden at 7-11. Strike that - since Honduras - but it wasn't lunch and that's a whole nother story ....

So I retrieved a 50 cent hotdog for Emmerson from the steamer box and then scanned the options for something I could get. There were two large crock pots of hardboiled eggs so I made my way to them for a closer look. I was curious as to why two ... bit of an explanatory tangent necessary here. One of the infamous foods of the Filipins is balut - a very unique form of hardboiled egg (fire up the google machine). It is very common street fare but I have yet to try one or even see one. So I was wondering if one of the pots was balut and the other regular. I could have asked but thought it would be more interesting just to select one and see what happened. It turned out to be a regular old hardboiled egg, which is good as I was not in the mood for my first go at balut. Next time, when feeling a bit more balut worthy, I will draw from the other egg pot.

Food selected and paid for, we saddled up to a window seat to enjoy our "comfort food". But at least their was a bit of adventure - when I asked for ketchup they gave me not only ketchup but a mysterious green packet of "Manhattan Sauce" .... exciting indeed! It turned out to be whatever you call that mayo and mustard concoction. We did not partake.

The exciting Manhattan Sauce!