Observed: Lovely Locals & Karaoke

Things that have crossed my mind or that I’ve seen as of late:

  • Went to the movies and forgot a warm layer. I don’t know why I can’t remember that as soon as I step off the sweltering streets, I’m at risk for pneumonia.

  • The movie theater allowed people to bring in their own food, and lots of it! Starbucks, Pizza Hut, take-out… it was amazing. More amazing: most people seemed to eat their very own medium pizza!

  • People here are so nice. The gentleman seated next to me on the bus insisted on wandering around Baguio with me for 20 minutes helping me to find a hotel when we arrived, even though he was in town for only 12 hours to see his wife and son. I had to beg him to leave me to it!

  • The first, shoddy, overpriced hotel I stayed at had two curiosities in the lobby – a bright green python curled up on a stick in its cage and a Cockatoo that could talk! Birds are so smart. I felt really sorry for it with its dingy feathers and bald patches in its dark cage. I chatted with it for awhile.

    "Hello. How are you?" asked the Cockatoo...

  • “I like your teeth.” This compliment came from a teenager who had just sold me a tasty sour sop fruit. Her brother followed it up with, “I like your earrings!” (faded silver numbers that I haven’t taken out for two or three years)

  • Almost daily I make a spectacle of myself eating juicy tropical fruits, as I usually conduct my consumption in public squares or parks. I need a knife to make the process slightly less messy. But you can’t beat mangos and soursop for pennies!

  • As a karaoke lover, I have to say I’m not tooooooo annoyed by the constant, everywhere-I-go karaoke. I will admit it was a bit painful the other night listening to the noise coming through the wall while stuck for HOURS at an internet cafe. Why hours? Pat and I are applying to be on the Amazing Race. That’s how long it took to upload our video footage.  You can see the fruits of my labor – our application video – here. After watching a bunch of other application videos on you tube, I think we might actually have a shot. Many were insanely hokey or boring. I feel sorry for the casting staff!

  • Fish tacos and fries were almost the highlight of my night yesterday. Better: stumbling upon an open mic featuring a woman with a KILLER voice. She was incredible! And she took requests! (I really regret not trying to buy her a beer at the end of her set.) I’m going back to see a finalist from “Phillipines Got Talent” tomorrow night.

  • Cigarettes are annoying. I’m not anti-smoking. I am, however, anti-breathing cigarette smoke in enclosed spaces all the time. I hate it that internet cafes (which are always upstairs) allow people to smoke in the stairwell. It doesn’t matter where I’ve been, when I come home at night my clothes always reek.

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