Monday, April 14, 2003

Saturday and Sunday, April 12th and 13th: Local Flavor

Saturday and Sunday, April 12th and 13th: Yet another interesting weekend. Is this what we have to look forward to forever? How come I haven’t read tons of journals of travels around the world and the weird stuff that happens? I must be looking in the wrong places.

Saturday morning we went to Seafront for the Easter party. Another taste of home with face painting, cotton candy, egg decorating, a sack race and an egg hunt. It was hot though, very hot. Thank goodness for the tents but even so we couldn’t seem to keep hydrated enough. The girls had their faces turned into flowers while Nicholas had a spider on his cheek. They had mini cupcakes and begged some yogurt drinks off a friend. All in all, a success with the kids.
We needed to head somewhere cooler, so we went to the Rockwell Powerplant mall. It really is a nice place to wander around. Cool, clean and not crowded. We discovered some new areas as the mall is like a bicycle wheel with a center, spokes and an outside ring. There are plenty of little alleys to check out and we found a Lush store. An honest to goodness B&M store. I passed it the first time then doubled back because I just had to pick up something. Well, bath bombs are pointless at this point (though I may stock up before our next post) because we have no tubs to soak in, but I did pick up a bar of shampoo for lifeless hair. We’ll see if it does any good in this humidity. We had lunch out at an Italian place and while the food was good, the boys were nor well behaved so it wasn’t that enjoyable. Oh well. Before heading home, we picked up a couple sets of padlocks for the window bars at home.
At home, we broke into the pomalo that I’d bought. It’s a grapefruit, without much of the tanginess. Not bad, though Jonathon wouldn’t touch it.
Today being Sunday, we went to church and being Palm Sunday, we were pounced upon when the van door opened by a dozen men and boys selling palms that had been tied and twisted and decorated into works of art. They were being sold for P25 each, so we bought one for each of us and entered church just as the priest was coming in and started blessing the palms of all the folks who had gathered in the back to hear the Gospel. The whole service was very short, especially for a Passion Sunday. We had the abbreviated version that lasted only 5 minutes. That was good, as I’d forgotten my missal at home.
After church we went to Glorietta. There’s a Rustan’s there and I needed eggs (we dyed all of ours yesterday at the Easter party and had to throw all the eggs out anyway since it was so dang hot out). And Ian needed new khakis. OK, need is a strong word. It’s true that some of his pants are wearing at the pockets and cuffs, but in reality he needed pants because he only packed 2 pairs to last him until our HHE arrives. He has suit pants but those are hot and way too dressy for his job here. We wandered around the mall for a bit then decided to check out the large department store next door since we’d heard that you can find some great deals. Well, you can find great deals if you’re willing to fight the zoo and you’re very thin. There weren’t many men’s pants bigger than size 30, but even more frustrating was that most of the pants didn’t list leg length at all. So, we left. Ian wasn’t handling the store well and the boys who hadn’t been behaving well already, were really starting to get annoying. Jonathon has begun a limp noodle act that he thinks is hilarious but most definitely isn’t.
We went back to the main mall and found an uppity store that had pants Ian liked. Cheaper than the $50/pair for Dockers, they still didn’t have Ian’s size. Ah, but not a problem here. They have on-site free alterations in about an hour. Perfect. Spoiled, you say?
Not so spoiled. We decided to have lunch while we waited and our first attempt at eating at the Jollibee (local alternative to McDonalds) was not going to happen with the crowd of people and the too loud obnoxious music. We skipped out of there fast and instead went to a food court. This food court was truly a unique experience. The stalls had offerings like piles of fish heads and one sported a full roasted boar’s head. Looking around, Ian didn’t see anything that the kids would eat except for a Shakey’s pizza trolley, so he picked up some slices then went to get food for himself. The first place he stopped, he placed an order and ended up trying elsewhere when everyone behind the counter… left. He has no idea where they went, but they all left the counter, leaving him standing there with no food. His second attempt was at a salad place where he ordered a fruit salad, and was given a plate of what looked like Caesar salad only with a mustardish dressing. He tried to pass it back and ask again for the fruit salad that he pointed at, but the woman said she didn’t understand what he wanted, gave him back the plate, and that was that. He was getting worn down, fast. Back at the table, he took a couple bites then pushed it aside. Ice cream. That’s what we were going to have. He picked up a couple of the local favorite dessert, halo-halo, which means mix-mix. And it’s not kidding.
See, at home in Virginia we have a Filipino grocery store where we’d bought some halo-halo ice cream. Vanilla ice cream with bits of various fruits. Yummy, to be sure. What Ian brought back from the ice cream counter… wasn’t. Mix-mix. A pile of shaved ice. Red and green flavored jell-o bits. Clear unflavored gelatin. Corn kernels. A small scoop of some yellowish ice cream (no idea on flavor). Small scoop of brownish ice cream (mocha? Not sure). Some stringy stuff we couldn’t identify and black bits of.. something. Some sort of cream poured on top.
If you have the option, pass.
At home, both boys took long naps and it made a world of difference for Nicholas in the afternoon. He’s been a bear in the evenings the past week, but after a 3 hour nap he was pleasant, and even better was he sat at the table like a human and actually ate his dinner. So much nicer than the whiney, floor-rolling non-eating monster he’s been at dinnertime. Oh yeah, Jonathon ate the pomalo. I just put it on his plate then ignored him and he almost cleared his entire plate of dinner. All the other kids ate their pomalo too.

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