The blog photo here was my dinner last night. I have got to admit, it was of the nicest host home dinners I've had.
VEGETABLES. I've never been so happy to see vegetables. But along with the usual rice and pork, it was nice - for a host home dinner.
I think I've adapted to the food here now. When I see rice, yes I do eat it without complaining, but I do avoid it if possible. Usually it isn't possible - if you just have the meat, you need the rice to fill you up.
Today was World Teacher's Day at the school I'm working at, and I gotta say, I was treated like a queen. All the teachers were covered in confetti, there was a disco, several performances done by the students. It was lovely.
There was a buffet, and obviously I avoided the rice and picked the noodles instead. I went to sit down with the teachers, and one teacher looked at my plate.
"No I don't really eat rice much. We don't eat them much in the UK." It was quite awkward, with all the teachers looking at my plate.
"Ah, losing weight?"
"Erm, no, I just don't want rice?" I didn't know how to respond to that at all, but they just laughed at me.
Since Christmas decorations are already up and selling at the mall, I was talking to my host family about Christmas the other morning, I was interested to know how they celebrate it. They have their Christmas dinner at midnight on the 25th December (the evening of 24th - if that makes sense) and they open presents afterwards. On Christmas morning, they go to the mall and do some shopping (I know I was shocked too!), and in the afternoon/evening, their relatives come over. Their Christmas dinner is often consisted of some special meat (don't know how to spell it), with spaghetti and rice and sometimes even pizza. I found this strange, and told them my Christmas dinner. It sounded rather boring when I told them, as I said turkey/gammon, with potatoes and vegetables - but they need to know how amazing this dinner really is!
My sister has booked her flight over to Cebu in November, and looking back to how I felt when I first arrived - I'm pretty excited at how she's going to react when she sees this place!
Especially with jeepneys. Jeepneys are my worst enemies - but you just cannot avoid them. On the allowance I'm living on - I can't get taxis all the time; I've had to start using jeepneys again. The awkwardness when you see your jeepney coming, reach your hand out to stop it, climb on the jeepney (with everyone staring at you because you're white obviously), squeezing past all those tiny Filipinos, trying to find a decent space to sit in - but end up having to squeeze into a tiny space. And then you're sweating once you sit down because it's so crowded and everyone just stares at you. And it becomes a staring contest. Getting your money out and tapping the person next to you to pass to the driver is just as awkward - especially when the driver looks to see who's paid and then sees you're white and doesn't give you your change. You then have to ask the driver for change, everyone stares at you because you're speaking English (everyone mostly speaks Cebuano or Tagalog here) and you're a white person. Why would you ask for change? You've got plenty of money?
I hate hate hate jeepneys but apart from taxis and motorbikes, they're the only way to get around. I guess I've gotta learn to love the Filipino culture a bit more.