Friday, July 31, 2009

Give me the Green Light

What kind of establishment has to tell their clientele not to puke in the sink? Hmmm...

Apparently, there are quite of few of these seedy bars here in Batangas and we hit up almost all of them. One of them even had a sign prohibiting, sandos...or sandals for those less familiar with the filipino lingo, deadly weapons, guests under a high influence of alcohol, use of prohibited drugs, and sexual activity. Take all the fun out of it... geez.

At the bar, sporting our trendy tees...

(After leaving the mall earlier that day)

Me: (smiling)... You do realize you just bought 4 trendy tees? One True Religion, one Armani Exchange, one Monarchy and one Affliction??
Lee: -Silence- (He doesn't do designer...)
Me: I wish I could text Casey right now... damn.

(For those of you who aren't lucky enough to know Casey... the following is on a poster hanging in her bathroom... it should tell you all you need to know.)

The Girl's Prayer
our cash
which art in plastic
hallowed be thy name
thy Cartier watch,
thy Prada bag,
as it is in store
give us each day our Platinum Visa
and forgive those who stop our spending
and lead us not unto Louis Vuitton
for thine is the Gucci,
the Dior and the Armani
for Chanel No. 5 and Eternity.


... 2 vodka drinks later...

Someone decides to bring out flaming shots. You can't tell in this pic, because of the flash... but there's a flame. A big blue one. I don't know about you, but I don't think mixing fire with alcohol consumption has ever worked out well for anyone. Which brings me to the next part of the story...

Me: Ugggghhhhhhh. Why did I take that shot?! It's reeeeaaaaally hot here. Baaarrrffff.... It's really hooooooot. I wonder if anyone else is really hot... Yuck...I feel nauseous... I think I'm going to get sick... I have to get out of here. Where's the bathroom? Bathroom... bathroom... Bathroom!! Sweet. Yeah... I'll just go sit down in there for awhile. That's all I need, I just need to sit down for a while and I will feel better. Bathroom door... open? ... check. Toilet... Ugh... I feel dizzy... I just need to sit....


Omg! Omg! I just fell in the toilet!!!
Holy Sh*t!!
I just fell in the !$*#&@) TOILET!
I have a disease.... omg! What can you catch from a dirty nasty filipino toilet?
Can I catch herpes from a dirty toilet?
I don't know, but I have HERPES!!!!

The text sent to Lee's phone from the bathroom stall at 1:43 am:
"I have hepes its time to go"

Which I'm sure he looked at and said, what the hell is "hepes"?

Long story short, the drama queen made everyone leave the bar and take her home to shower... only to find out once she reached the house that there was no hot water for the bathtub... she spent the next half hour, lying on the floor, half naked yelling at the hot water heater to, "give me the green light!" (because the green light comes on, when the hot water heater starts working... obviously) before going to bed defeated and infesting her sheets with the awful virus.

Home Alone

"What do you do all day long?"
"Are you bored out of your mind?"
"Are you keeping yourself busy?"

People often ask me what I do during the day...

... to which I will reply... anything I want. Are you jealous?

Because last I checked not having to go to work 50+ hours a week to a job I hate kinda rocks. It's like college all over again... except now I don't even have to go to class. And there are less theme parties now than there were in college... which kinda sucks, because who doesn't like to dress up, drink to much, and make a fool out of yourself? But I'm working on that...

Exhibit A

Lynn turned 60... and we were all "wiggin out."

Lee was even less thrilled about the wig than he was about the fabulous hats... surprised?


I think my days go by pretty fast mostly because I'm easily entertained.

Like today for example.

Mall in the morning...

I bought two head scarves, nail polish, and hair clips. You know, the important stuff.

Burger King for lunch... don't ask me why. I don't eat Burger King in the states, and it's my first experience with fast food in the Philippines. Speaking of which I'm starting to feel nauseous.

I hunted cock roaches in the afternoon. Apparently the bug community has been gossiping about me. They found out I was talking smack about my bug killing abilities and they sent the cock roaches after me. No kidding. I've found four in my room since I started making people call me Michael Phelps. And these are not your normal cock roaches... these suckers are like 3 inches long. I trapped one under the bed and used half a can of bug spray on him before he died. I think I was high on bug juice for an hour after, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Then I watched Juno... awesome movie. "I mean, can't we just, like, kick this old school? Like, I have the baby, put it in a basket and send it your way, like, Moses and the reeds?" Classic.

After which, I labeled and color coded envelopes... You see, I'm trying out this new word Lee is trying to teach me, maybe you've heard of it? "Saving," or some crap like that... If it sounds foreign to you, don't feel bad... we are not alone... it's word most American's haven't learned until recently. Anyway, I decided to take Dave Ramsey's Envelope System advice.... he seems like a tool, but we'll see how it goes. If nothing else I entertained myself by making beautifully colorful envelopes with circles and swirly designs on them. (And yes I realize... my head scarves don't really fit in to that whole "saving"... and "not spending money on something I'll never use" concept... but this plan is not implemented until August. And being that it is July 31st, my money spending diet starts tomorrow.)

The rest of my day will probably consist of showering... so Lee doesn't think I'm a total bum and painting my toe nails purple. What could be more fun than that?

I'm pretty sure being addicted to the internet really helps keep me occupied. I saw this article on Yahoo! the other day, about getting paid to play on Facebook... which is really the ideal job for me, since you can find me on there at least 10 hours a day. I stalk people I don't even know... people should really use the privacy preferences... there are weirdos like me out there looking at your photos. (After, I just wrote this paragraph I googled "addicted to facebook disease," and this hilarious article came up. It figures theres a lame article about it... Dealing with your Facebook Addiction. I don't know what's better.. the article or the comments people left. )

When I'm not on the computer... I honestly feel like that little dude from Home Alone. Like I just got left here by accident. I'm in this big house, all by myself and I can do whatever I want to do... but because I'm a little kid, I can't really go anywhere... so I jump on the bed, watch movies I'm not supposed to watch, and eat a lot of junk. Plus... there have been some houses broken in to in the neighborhood, so now I can plan booby traps. I already have huge spiders all I need is some broken christmas ornaments, swinging paint cans, a blow torch and a hot iron and I can set my plans in motion.

One of these days I'm planning on duck taping my camera to my forehead and making the best video you've ever seen... "A day in the life of me." Then I can prove to you that I'm really not kidding about the bed jumping.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tony Horton I Hate You... And Your P90X Too

So... today should mark 12 weeks of P90X, one more week and the program will be finished.


Not really.

(I won't necessarily call it a failure... because I try to keep ugly words out of my vocabulary... but a success it is not.)

I can't say that my attendance has been perfect... If this were a college course, I would think I would have a very low C, and only because I won't give myself anything lower.

So last week... I decided to do some extra credit to make up for my delinquency.

One of the programs you can do is doubles, you do cardio in the morning and then whatever the heck other video you are supposed to do, in the afternoon. Naturally, I made it through Monday, and then decided that was an awful idea... but I had good intentions.

(Laying in bed, Monday night...)

Me: I did doubles today. (In my proud, smirky, I totally rock voice.)
Lee: Oh yeah.
Me: Yeah! Are you getting up early in the morning to work out?
Lee: Yeah... I guess. It's just so hard, I feel like we've been doing this forever.
Me: Oh yeah... day 2.
Lee: Day 2?! Yeah right!
Me: Yes. Day 2. You haven't worked out consistently since May.
Lee: Liar!
Me: Seriously, I know I haven't worked out since Hassan was here, and you haven't worked out since way before then.
Lee: You're a liar. I may not have done it every day, but I worked out in June.
Me: Whatever.
Lee: No whatever... get away from me... go back to your side of the bed. Go back to Liar-ville.
Me: Liar-ville? Wow....
Lee: Yeah, Liar-ville. Go back to Liar-ville and lie yourself to sleep.
Me: Lie yourself to sleep? You know I'm writing about this right?
Lee: That figures.

Sometimes I wish I could just record everything he says... you wouldn't believe half of it.

So I may not have lost a bunch of weight, or have a body like Britney Spears... (Yes. I said Britney Spears... according to OK! Magazine she is the Best Body in Hollywood in 2009... not that OK! Magazine is a good source to consider for anything... but whatever. If she can spit out 2 kids, go crazy, and then win a best body award... I figure anyone can. Here's the link if you're interested: Brit's Hot Bod.) ... but I do feel my days of P90X weren't a complete waste of my time.

Things I've Gotten Out of P90X

1. The ability to do push-ups. Yes. I know it's shocking, but there is actually an "up" in my push-ups now. In fact, there are about 10-15 "ups" before my arms give out and I hit the floor face first. And I didn't even break my wrist trying... Mom.

2. A little bit of a booty! I've been a long time sufferer of the flat ass disease. I'm not a full fledged member of the "junk in the trunk" committee... but I'm working on it.

3. Also, I can walk up and down the stairs and my legs aren't sore the next day. In fact, after a couple weeks of workouts my legs didn't even get sore after a million in a half lunges... The downside? There goes another one of my work out excuses... "I can't workout everyday. Who wants to lead a life of perpetual soreness?"

4. Tony Horton has lived up to my expectations; he is still as irritating as ever. You really never have a second chance to make a first impression....

(In one of my business classes, my professor told me that you have 17 seconds before people start forming an opinion about you... I think it's less than that. Probably because I'm judgmental... either way.. once I size you up, chances are you won't change my mind about you... unless I think you are even dumber than when we first met. This is probably why the list of people I actually like is quite short. Those of you who are the lucky few... congratulations :p )

From the first day, when I heard the words, "Do your best... and forget the rest!" it's been hard for me to keep on pressing play.

5. No exercise program can compete with my love of food. You know I actually make deals with myself about food...

"Ok... you made lasagna on Monday... and you promised yourself you would start eating better after that, but what about all those left-overs? Maybe you should wait until they're gone, and then you can start eating better. The filipino people would never waste food..."

Am I out of my freakin' mind?! I don't even like left-overs!

Moral of the story... my calorie intake will invariably trump my exercise routine, anorexia is always my best bet.

In conclusion, I'm not going to quit my P90X lifestyle. After this 90 days, I have decided to continue the torture... only I'm going to change it up a little bit, and do things my way. Surprised?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Gosselin Saga Continues...

So I know I wrote before about the train wreck that is Jon and Kate about a month ago in the entry Celebrity Gossip.

Well, I think that jerk is stalking me because every time I go to read entertainment or celebrity news there is a story about him... and let's face it, he's not entertaining or a celebrity so it's really annoying.

Anyway, I was reading one of the blogs I follow, and I came across this new entry. I couldn't have said it any better myself, so I'm posting it here. Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I am Michael Phelps... except with bugs.

There are bugs here.

I hate them.

This is not a secret.

However, if it weren't for the infestation of creepy crawlers in my home, and the lack of professional exterminators, or at least ones that don't use dog killing, cancer causing pesticides, then I would never have found my true calling....

as the Ultimate Bug Blaster.

Bugs don't stand a chance. I'm serious.

If it were an Olympic sport, I would be the Michael Phelps of bug killing. I amaze myself sometimes.

Spiders vs. Flip Flops?

Flip flops. Every time.... The key is versatility. Step on them... Take one off and smack them... Throw a flop across the room and hit it... it's whatever. (Actually, I've never tried the latter, but how sweet would that be?)

And the mosquitos don't stand a chance, because with them it's a fight for my survival. I stopped taking my anti-malaria medicine because it could decrease the effectiveness of my birth control. So if I have to choose between fever, nausea, severe flu-like symptoms, coma or death and getting pregnant.... in the Philippines.... I choose malaria.

But don't worry... my eye hand coordination is impeccable. One clap in the air, and they end up squished to my palms every-time.

What about the ants?

Well... they are still here, but fewer than before. When Hassan came he brought me a sack full of ant traps and lime juice grenades, of course the lime juice grenades were for margaritas and had nothing to do with ants... but a guy of middle eastern decent... walking through 4 international airports with a sack of something that looks like grenades??? Now, that's friendship.

And the ant traps rock! There are still a few ants but not nearly as bad as before. Now, I only find them in the kitchen sink. But I guess I can't really take credit for that... props to Raid.

The bloodiest bug battle went down last week, when a swarm of moth-like bugs infiltrated our bedroom.

Lee and I were sitting in bed on our computers... the usual seven o' clock evening activity. When I saw a big bug fluttering around the TV. Then there were two... then three...

Me: OMG... where are these bugs coming from?
Lee: ...


Me: Lee, look at the bugs. They are multiplying.
Lee: Yep.

Obviously, he was going to be of no help.

I pull back the curtains on our sliding doors to find hundred of those bugs fluttering outside the door. (It was like a scene from that Hitchcock movie, The Birds... except they were bugs.)

Me: OMG!!! There everywhere!

This was actually my mistake... crazy I know. I didn't think I made them either.

(Earlier that day... when Lee got home from work)

Me: Hey. How was your day?
Lee: Good. I have to pee.
Me: Well the water's off, so you won't be able to flush.
Lee: Ugh! I'll just go outside.

From our bedroom I hear him go through the bar, and open the door in to the garden.

Lee: Ugh! The gate is locked. Where's the key?
Me: Just pee through the gate.
Lee: No way!
Me: Why not? It's not like you'll pee on the floor, just go for distance.
Lee: Ok...

This seemed like the perfect opportunity to snap a photo... obviously. So I ran to find my camera... but once I found it the battery wasn't in there... its on the charger... so I find the battery... fumble with putting it in the camera.... swing open the doors from our room... slide the screen over and snap a picture.

(You didn't actually think I would put a picture of my husband peeing on here did you?)

Lee: Ha. Too late.
Me: Dang.

Defeated, I closed the sliding doors... and I didn't close the screen. Big mistake.

The sliding doors aren't sealed so there are huge cracks all the way around the doors... I didn't realize this until the flying army of bugs penetrated our layer a couple hours later.

My first move was to open the sliding doors so I could then close the screen and no more bugs could get in.... mistake number 2. Maybe I'm not Michael after all...

I opened the door and of course they all flew in...

Lee: What the hell are you doing?
Me: Shut up. You are not being helpful.

I ran and grabbed the fly swatter... then I went Rambo on their asses. I was swatting the TV, the floor, the chairs, the curtains... wings and body parts were flying everywhere. It was a massacre.

But the bugs were still coming in... I had to move to plan B. Which should have been plan A... but I'm way to impulsive to think rationally during a crisis.

Turned off lights in bedroom.
Turned on lights in garden.
Opened door from bar, instead of bedroom, to get into the garden. This should have been a no brainer...
Open screen from the outside, so bugs would fly outside and not into my bedroom.
Screamed at bugs and beat them with fly swatter.
Yelled for Lee to come keep a giant gecko from getting in the house.
Yelled at Lee for making the giant gecko go in the house, instead of making him run the other direction.
Sealed screen back to door... even though the giant gecko was now sealed inside.
Back inside.
Turn on bedroom lights.
Bugs are still coming in!!
Shove a towel under the door to keep bugs from coming in under the door.
Lee leaves the room and goes to the kitchen because I'm bothering him. Ass.
Turn off bedroom lights.
Bugs fly at me hitting me in the face. I can't see them in the dark.
Turn on TV. Genius.
Bugs fly to TV.
Beat the hell out of the TV with the fly swatter.
Turn on lights.
Bug guts and wings all over the room.
Sweet victory.

Lee comes back in an hour later, and turns the lights on. I'm sitting in bed on my computer and watching TV. Fly swatter still in hand.

Lee: Wow.

A bug flies over my head and lands on the wall behind me. Without getting up... I smack the wall behind me with the fly swatter... smashing that little sucker to the wall.

Lee: That was impressive.
Me: I know.

Monday, July 20, 2009

How much you like?

So.. we have these people that come around the neighborhood selling things. There is the fish man that walks around with a cooler strapped to his back, the bread man that rides around on his bike, the ice-cream man that comes by playing the infamous "ice-cream" song on his tricycle, the lady that sells orchids, and there is even a man that sells junk.

Literally, he sells junk. It says it right on the side of the big barrel he pushes around, J-U-N-K. I guess he buys and sells the things people don't want. A traveling garage sale? Doesn't sound like a great business plan if you ask me, but whatever.

I am usually interested to see what they are selling... not that I'm buying... but I think it's interesting. I can never tell though because I swear they all say the same damn thing.


Thats great... but what hell is that?

I asked our driver one day what the man was saying, and he said he was saying fish. But the word fish, is "isda"... and that's not what he was saying. So I don't know how you are supposed to know if you want to go outside and buy what they are selling if they all say the same thing.

Anyway, I was outside doing laundry this morning... which means I was in an incredibly joyous mood already, when I heard a man yelling the same non-sense as all the others. He was walking down my street carrying a giant picture under one arm, and a keyboard under the other.

He stopped at my gate....

Man: Mam you buy?
Me: No, thank you.
Man: Mam buy?
Me: No, thank you.

Now normally, the people know that if you don't go out in the street to stop them, then you don't want to buy. You literally have to chase the bread man to get him to stop for you. Sometimes I think he doesn't want to sell bread, he just likes riding his bike.

So... I only do 2 no "thank yous" before I start to lose my patience. I know he understood me, and if he didn't get the "no" part the rapid back and forth motion of me shaking my head should have been a pretty good clue.

Man: Mam you buy picture?
Me: No. I don't want your picture.

I am still trying to be nice... after all, these people go out of their way to be nice to you, but seriously... I wanted to shake this guy.

Man: How much you like for?
Me: I don't want it. NO.
Man: Mam, you like? How much you like for?
Me: Nooooo. (like maybe if I slow it down it will be better)

Ahhhhh... No I don't like!!! Look buddy, I don't want your flippin' picture! And to be honest, nobody else in the neighborhood is going to want it either, so you might as well turn around and go somewhere else. It is a picture of a pink sunset and black birds. It looks like something that would be hanging in a cheap nail salon on the wrong side of town. It is by far the ugliest picture I have ever seen. You couldn't pay me to take it from you.... go away!

Man: You want keyboard?
Me: ...

I had no words. I stared at him for a while, and turned around and went inside.

Potty Break

I think it's time I expose the tragedy that is the public bathrooms here in the Philippines...

When we first arrived here in the Philippines I was told that the most important thing to keep on me at all times is not my passport incase I need to show it to the proper authorities, nor is it my cell phone in case of an emergency. It's not even mace incase I need to ward off a potential attacker. No. In fact... it's toilet paper.

Why? Might you ask....


In the Philippines, the restroom is referred to as the "comfort room" or the "CR." I can state with complete conviction that there is little comfort when it comes to these facilities.

A side from the normal complaints regarding cleanliness, there are a number of other issues to worry about.

Let me explain. The first thing I noticed about the public restrooms here are the toilet seats. And the fact, that well... there aren't any. For the most part there is just a toilet bowl and a tank. This means you must choose between a balancing act or a leg work out... take your pick.

Toilet paper here is a hot commodity and it is expensive so it is not provided in public restrooms. You have to bring your own. They actually sell toilet paper here without the card board roll so it takes up less space in your purse. Genius huh?

At first, I was confused about this no toilet paper business. So I asked Chat about this. She is the best source when I need to ask embarrassing questions...

Me: Hey Chat. Why isn't there toilet paper in the bathrooms?
Chat: Mam?
Me: You know how in the mall... or in the gas stations there is no toilet paper?? Why is there no toilet paper in the bathrooms?
Chat: Oh Mam, hehehe. You know, it is expensive.
Me: So, if they did put it in there would people steal it?
Chat: Yes. People would steal.
Me: So you just bring your own then?
Chat: Yes mam. Much better. But you know, if you just wee wee then its ok. But what if a poo surprises you? hehehe.
Me: hahahaha. So true.
Chat: In your country... you have paper in the CR?
Me: Oh yes. We get cranky and complain if we don't. We are needy Americans.
Chat: hehehehe.

If you are smart enough to remember your own toilet paper, don't even think about flushing it down the toilet. The water system here is very temperamental... (just like everything else) and the toilets are easily clogged... imagine that. Therefore, there is a garbage can next to each toilet... and I'll let you use your imagination on what the contents of that look like.... barf!

As I mentioned before the toilets are unpredictable, which means they often don't flush. But don't you worry because the Filipinos have thought this through. In every bathroom there is a community bucket. This bucket is to be filled with water and poured down the toilet when it refuses to flush.

This happens often... fabulous.

This bucket is quite functional because it is also used as a portable bidet. And honestly... I can't find the right words to even begin to explain how I feel about that...

Forget soap and paper towels... not gonna happen. You may get a hand dryer... but chances are, it won't work.

Well, soon after we arrived in the Philippines I went to get my driver's license. In order to get your driver's license in the Philippines you have to pass a drug test. Which means you have to pee in a cup. Always a pleasure...

The drug testing facility was packed... a long line of men in a small, non air-conditioned, and definitely not properly ventilated room about the size of a closet. Since I was the only woman, and being the gracious people they are, they insisted I sit, which would have been fine if the only chair had not been positioned in front of the bathroom... the bathroom in which the "fill the cup" portion of the test would be taking place.

Which really wasn't a bath room at all...

It was a small nook in the corner of the room with no toilet, (so I hope they all have good aim) and a door which was to remain open so they could be monitored. Unfortunately, I think it was me who was doing all the monitoring. I kept inching my chair as far away as possible.... while resisting the temptation to reach over and pinch their butts.

The whole time I couldn't help thinking what was going to happen when they called my name, and handed me my cup.

Me: "So...I'm not peeing in there. There is about 30 people in here... and men at that. They want me to pop a squat, in a closet, with the door open... over a cup?! They are out of their damn minds. It's not like I can just turn and face the wall, like a guy... Oh this is ridiculous. I'll probably get stage fright... or pee all over my hand."

The lady at the front interrupted the conversation I was having with myself when she called my name and handed me my cup.

Lady: You can go to the back.
Me: Oh thank God!

The back room was slightly better... but I can't say I was impressed. The only good thing about it was that there would only be one girl watching me "fill the cup," instead of a room full of men.

The back "bathroom" consisted of a toilet bowl and a wet floor. Wet with what... I can't say, and I'm not sure I want to think about it. All I know is my flip flops were sliding all over the floor and whatever that liquid was... it was in between my toes.

And when I say bowl... I mean just that. No handle for flushing... why? Well, there was no tank. And definitely no seat. It was the most naked toilet I have ever seen. Plus, it was positioned in the middle of the room...

Me: Hmmm... go in here?
Girl: Yeah, don't close the door.
Me: Ok....

So there I am... determined to keep all parts of my feet on my flops... like that will protect me from the sewage under my feet. Plus, I'm trying to juggle my huge purse and "the cup" while struggling to unbutton my pants, trying to keep them from touching the floor and struggling to maintain my balance. Not to mention the fact that I risk diving face first in to Lake Pee-pee. I knew it wasn't going to work.

Me: Hey, will you go give my purse to that tall white guy out there?
Girl: I'll just set it here. (She sets in the middle of a table filled with people. None of which are Lee."
Me: Ok... thanks...

Great. Everything I own is in that purse... passport, driver's license, credit cards, cash, camera, cell phone... if somebody steals anything in there... I'll kill them.

I have to pee fast!

I run back to the back.... slipping and sliding... trying to go as fast as I can.

I'll spare you the rest of the dirty details... I didn't fall in... thank heavens! But just know I left there with wet feet, wet shorts, and pee on my hand; but hey... at least my dignity and everything in my purse was still intact. I have never been so happy to give someone my "cup."


Before I posted this entry, Lee read it. And he said that he has never run in to any of these issues regarding the toilets. Which makes sense... since he has the luxury of standing.

But it reminded me of the fact that it is legal to urinate in public in the Philippines. In fact, I think people actually walk outside to pee. You would be amazed at how many men I've witnessed peeing since we've been here. It's gotten to the point where I've started counting whenever we go places.

By the airport there is even a place labeled "Men's CR." But it is just a wall to hide yourself from the traffic. No toilet, no hole... just a wall. Classic.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Red Cross

Ever since I've been here I've been wanting to do something to get involved with the community. I figured if I can't get a job, I should at least try and do something more than hanging around the house all day.

After a couple months of trying to figure out where we could be helpful, our group teamed up with the local chapter of the Red Cross and started a school feeding program.

The program consists of feeding local school children who are not getting all of their nutritional needs met for one reason or another. The Department of Education picked out a school that they thought would benefit from the program the most, and we will be feeding those children everyday over the next three months.

"The Wives Club" goes up to the school twice a week to help serve the food, and to be of service in any way we can.

On our first day the children put on a program welcome us to their school.

It was what you would typically expect... cute little songs and dances that the children had put together.

The kids were really shy at first, but by the end of the day we had made about 50 new best friends.

After the program, we got to take a tour of the school while we waited for the food to arrive.

Look how well behaved they are. Not all the children performed in the program, and the ones that didn't were left unattended in the classrooms. If this would have been a classroom in the states, we would have found those hyper little monkey's hanging from the ceilings...

(I have great respect for people who have the patience to be teachers... because God knows I am not one of them. Maybe I could have been one back in the day when you could paddle them or pop them with rulers... but not now. Now, you can't even get them in trouble because it's bad for their "self esteem"... oh please.)

... but not these kids. They all stood up when we came to the door, and in unison said, "hello visitors." We looked at their books and school work, and the made sure we embarrassed each of them before we left. And by the way, these kids have some of the best handwriting I have ever seen! And in english! The teachers told us that they learn to write in english first before tagalog because they know it is important to learn english first so they can provide them with better opportunities.

After the school tour it was time for lunch.

Most of these little kids shoveled the food in their mouths and many wanted seconds and thirds. You could definitely tell they were hungry.

During lunch some of the dancers came back out for an encore presentation....

And this video is definitely worth a minute and 15 seconds of your time.



Me: So who choreographed the dances?
Teacher: (puzzled look)
Me: The dances... that the kids are doing... who taught them the dances. Like that one we just watched.
Teacher: Oh me! (big smile on her face)
Me: Oh... they're great.

Really? The teacher taught her 8-year-old students that dance. That's appropriate.

I actually think our cheerleading squad may have gotten in trouble for using some of those moves... our sophomore year in high school...

I showed the girls the video of them on camera, which of course they thought was the coolest thing in the world. Which then started a really fun game of, "Take a picture of me!" "Can I see it?" They all thought this was amazing.

So here is one of the many...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Third World vs. Developing

In regards to the comments concerning the title of my blog and the use of the term, "Third World Country" in reference to the Philippines, here are the facts.

The Philippines is considered to be a third world country according to the geo-political world model from the time of the Cold War. It is considered to be third world because it is not part of the first world which includes western democratic-industrial countries, and it is not considered second world because it is not an eastern communist-socialist state. Instead, it falls into a group with the other three quarters of the world's population known as the third world.

Have my smarty pants knocked your socks off yet?

For those of you who are visual learners... here is a color coded map courtesy of Google. My most trusted source when proving my point.

Many think this system is an outdated way to categorize countries, and that may be true. But when explaining your current existence to a person with an average level of intelligence, the term, "third world," gets the point across.

I am aware that these "third world" countries prefer to be called "developing" countries, and that's fine.

There are a number of things I prefer to be called.

For example, aww inspiring, unparalleled supreme goddess of the universe, hell... I'd even settle for keeping things simple and just going with perfect... whatever. The point is, I'm going to call it like I see it, and if you want to also, be my guest.

Plus, "The Undomesticated Housewife - From high maintenance to hell: The adventures of living in a 'developing' country," just doesn't have the same ring to it, now does it?

In case you haven't already figured it out, my blog is not about being politically correct. It is about me... and my opinions, my experiences and the daily life I am growing accustom to one "mis-adventure" at a time. If this makes me a, "typical American bitch," that's fine... it's not like I haven't heard that one before.

Of course, I will obviously replace typical with perfect... as previously mentioned, and we can leave it at that.

I will step down from my soap box to note that my experiences here in the provence may not apply to all areas of the country, and are probably much different from someone sitting up in some lofty Makati high rise. Manila is a wonderful place, it could go head to head with many of the best cities in the world, and it is the place I go to fulfill my need of a little Americanism... and a Starbucks latte.

But you would be hard pressed to get me to trade my experience in Batangas for some cushy condo in the city. It is amazing to me to see the differences in the lives people lead all over the world, and yet realize that we are all basically the same. Being here has opened my eyes to a completely different way of life, and given me a new set of priorities.

Now, I'm not saying I'm tossing the Burberry and forgetting Jimmy Choo... let's be reasonable...

All I'm saying is I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to be submersed in a society where the people have such an outstanding disposition, even when many of them have so little.

Hold Your Horses

After more than 2 months of trying to convince friends and family that visiting me in the Philippines would be the "ideal vacation," Hassan finally conceded. And of course Lee and I were pumped!

We wanted to do something different while he was in town, and we had heard that riding the... and I'm quoting here... "the boney-ass horses" up to the volcano was fun. And the idea of seeing Hassan up on a "boney ass horse," was just to funny to pass up.

The Taal volcano sits in the middle of Taal Lake. Taal volcano is the smallest active volcano in the world, and they call it the "small but terrible"... or something like that. So we charted a boat across Taal Lake to get to the volcano.

It was only after we had taken about 20 pics with our heads next to the "volcano" when the boat man, Raul, told us that what we were taking pics of wasn't the volcano.... great. He said that most people think that is the volcano, and most of the pics and post cards show that piece of the island to be the volcano, but the volcano is actually a much lower point in the middle of the island. He said that the peak we were looking at makes for a better picture, so everyone uses it instead. Yes.. because that makes perfect sense... only in the Philippines....

(Notice the life jacket in my hand??? Well, there is a rumor, or a legend, that the Taal Lake "takes"... as in kills... one person every year. And since I'm not sure if it has "taken" anyone yet this year... I wasn't taking any chances :) )

When we got to the island we had to sign in at the Visitors Bureau.... I guess this is in case we get lost up on the mountain, or fall inside the volcano??? Very reassuring...

After haggling over the price of the horse.. (which I'm positive increased by 50% as soon as we walked up..) and getting no where.. we were introduced to our "guides," and our horses.

And by "guide" I mean small child...

Exhibit A

And to make things worse... we saw this child smoking a cigarette later... I mean seriously?! He looks like he is about what? 10-years-old.? Maybe 12?

And the "boney ass horse," is by no means an understatement. This was the smallest horse I have ever sat on, let alone haul my ass up a mountain. If PETA was pissed about fly swatting, then I can't imagine what they would think about this pony exploitation. (Which reminds me... check this out. PETA people have always made me laugh... I mean.. don't get me wrong, I'm all for stopping animal cruelty, but I think there comes a point when they just go too far. This is one of them... it might be the creepiest thing I have seen PETA do... Click here.)

So... I have now signed my life away at the visitors center, gotten on top of a horse I'm pretty sure I could carry up the mountain and my life is the hands of a child. Fantastic.

Here is a little video footage from our trek up the volcano....
Keep in mind, that while my filming skills are usually horrendous they are even worse while on the back of a tiny horse who is huffing and puffing up a mountain. It is a minute and 15 seconds of bouncing that is sure to make you feel sick. Enjoy!

So.. the best thing about this video is obviously how big Lee is in proportion to his horse. I mean, I felt bad for my horse... but Lee's horse??? He was about half dead by the time we got finished. The guide couldn't even ride on the back because Lee was too big... Hilarious!

And did you notice the terrain... not ideal for horseback riding. The chances of the horse tripping and breaking it's legs and mine seemed pretty good. Hassan continuously reminded me to keep my feet barely in the stir-ups in case I needed to jump off. (Honestly.. I don't think it would have mattered... If the horse was falling... I would have been screaming. I'm not the type to be rational and just jump off the horse. I'm not that cool.)

The way down was much easier then going up... and to make things even better, my guide started to play her radio. This next video is worth watching just to listen to her song selection.

Yes. That is George Michael.
Yes. That is Careless Whisper.

How rockin' awesome is that? That song came out in 1984... (the year I was born)... I shouldn't even know that song. How the heck does she? It was too hilarious for me not to record, even if it was only for 30 seconds.

We did make it to the bottom minus head injuries, and without any broken bones... which I consider to be a success!

In case you just can't get that song out of your head now... Click here to see the music video!
God Bless YouTube and God Bless the 80's!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

P90X Day.....

... I don't even know anymore. I lost count, and I'm too lazy to get up and figure it out.

But I have been getting harassed about putting up pics that show off how buff I've gotten...

So for all of you that have been wondering about my total body transformation... here is a sneak peek for you...