Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Six Months Later.....

Well, the Christmas tree did not work out. It turned brown way before the 25th and by the time New Year's came, it was probably a fire hazard. I am going to have to bite the bullet next year and buy a plastic one or buy some weird bush from a plant store and decorate it.

In the past six months, we made two trips to the States: Hawaii and San Francisco. I realize when I go back, I really do miss San Francisco. I love it there. Where else in the course of an evening can I have fondue for dinner, eat Gingerbread-Guinness ice cream, have drinks at a crusty dive in West Portal, and end up in the Castro at a drag show? I miss it a lot. Nowhere else am I able to buy items like biodegradable plastic bags made specifically for picking up after my dog on a walk. Besides my family and friends, the city is just awesome. Home is always home to a certain extent and I will always, always love San Francisco.

I realized that I am coming up on three years now living in the Philippines. People no longer think my pidgin tagalog is cute and are starting to wonder why I do not have a better grasp on the language now. What can I say, I suck at languages. I have gotten much better at understanding the language, it is just my speaking that sounds like a drunken five year old.

We have been in our new home for a year now. We are settling in to the neighborhood well. I have found a fantastic neighborhood vet for my dogs at Animal House, found a fantastic source for eggs from one of the houses in our village (eggs here tend to run small and this place has larger ones), Ado found a nearby gym for her workouts, and we have only had three brownouts in a year. Life is good here.

We had a lot of visitors from overseas this past year, and I have found that they tend to see things that I overlook now or take for granted. Below are some random images (mostly taken by said guests).

The girls are wearing uniforms that are typical of a high school here (although I am thinking this picture was taken in the province). The skirts are always much longer than you would see in the US and the shoe is always the Mary Jane style. Although I would have hated to wear a uniform in high school (nine years of elementary was enough), I can't get enough of the students in uniform here. I think they are so fricking cute.

This was the store in our previous neighborhood. One stop shopping for the basics.

I absolutely love this picture which a friend of mine captured while we were in traffic. What can I say? This sums up the Philippines for me in so many ways.

Ah, while most of the food here is great, there are certain culinary delights I cannot wrap my head around. Hot dogs and marshmallows are one of them. This is really common at kids parties and I cannot figure what twisted fucking mind came up with it. It's a hot dog! With marshmallows!!
Finally, a picture at the market in Tagaytay. Leave my mother alone in a wet market with a camera and this is what you get. I have no idea how she got the guy to pose with some pig legs but I love it!!!!

9 comments:

Andrew's Daddies said...

Wow.....finally! Good to know you are alive and well.

Pupunta kami sa antipolo sa October 1-24th.
I agree about san fran. This is where I live and LOVE it. I live in bernal heights neighborhood and am walking distance to restaurants in noe valley and mission. I know when I finally retire in the philippines, that I will miss san francisco.
Don't they offer tagalog classes there?..I always wanted to attend UP and take tagalog classes and just submerge myself in it.

jonnifer said...

Keek! You're alive! (Ok, I knew that but I like to pretend that the only knowledge I have of you is through your blog.) Glad you gave us a Xmas tree update, that was a very suspenseful 6 months.

About the language: I think maybe you are too hard on yourself. You live in a mixed English-Taglog environment, and speak all English with Ado, so you aren't anywhere near immersion. Not to mention, 3 years isn't that long. You could spend 10 years learning through osmosis or you could spend the next 6 months working at it every day and making fast progress. Make word lists, listen to phrases on youtube and repeat them over and over for the accent, ask the people you know to have all-Tag. conversations with you. Learning a language is awkward and embarrassing and frustrating for everyone. We all sound like drunken 5-year-olds when we're learning. So go easy yourself.

Really great post btw. It's interesting how you've adjusted so much you don't even notice things other people do. You seem very happy there.

Christine said...

WHOA! You POSTED! It's a freakin miracle! I had almost given up on you! I haven't even read the post. I'm just so shocked not to see a Christmas tree!

kikas_head said...

They do offer tagalog courses at private schools. I really should research it more which I have not done. My first few months here I had a tutor. October is such a great time to be here--fantastic weather. When do you plan to come for good?

Andrew's Daddies said...

not sure yet. But since we have adopted and have another coming in Dec...not sure when the actual move date can/will be. Although I am very impressed with the children's private schools there..

CebuAngloBoy said...

Hot dogs with marshmallows? I had trouble getting accustomed to the hotdog slices & raisins in their spaghetti sauce; let alone the brightness of their red hotdogs in the first place.
(still, it was good & I am just now getting used to it)

Anonymous said...

Even our local corned beef (the ones in cans) are so artificially red. UGHH! In the US, there are city and state colleges which offer Tagalog or Pilipino courses. In case you need me to translate any word or phrases in Pilipino, just lemme know. I can give you my private email if you want.

I enjoy reading your blogs. I wish you could post more blogs.

Anonymous said...

Even our local corned beef (the ones in cans) are so artificially red. UGHH! In the US, there are city and state colleges which offer Tagalog or Pilipino courses. In case you need me to translate any word or phrases in Pilipino, just lemme know. I can give you my private email if you want.

I enjoy reading your blogs. I wish you could post more blogs.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the duplicate post. Feel free to delete the dupe. Thanks!