Saturday, January 30, 2010

SALAMAT PO! Filipino Adventura

Saturday January 16, 2010
14 hours after leaving Sydney, we had finally landed in Manila. We made it slowly off of the giant empty seated plane, following the exit signs out.  We gave one of our cards to the flu detection people wearing masks standing in the middle of the airport along our way, before hitting the customs line. We made it quickly through; the adorable straight faced plump Filipino woman behind the counter stamped my passport and smiled, finally, when I thanked her. Now it was time to get our baggage. This was an even slower process then entering and exiting a plane. The entirety of the plane’s passengers stood around the carousel, crowding every crevice, every spot, every space available in front of, the yet to come out, luggage. A few minutes later bags began to circle around us, but none of ours were in sight. Then, John’s teal bag came around, as Liam ran through the few available spaces, weaving in and out of old women, large bags and trolleys, to chase down their bag. More luggage came out and then nothing.  Our bags were surely not the only ones missing as the remaining people stood around waiting anxiously for their’s as well. We stood patiently for the next round of bags. They began to come up and around. Chenoa now found her’s. Mine was the only one left and I began to freak out, even still, knowing I shouldn’t. Bags came out and went around, but still I was yet to see mine. Finally, it appeared and off we were to the final round of customs. We handed in our 3rd and final form and breezed through without question to the outside world. This is where we met our first bunch of friendly Filipino security guards.
I’ve never seen anything like it. Security, as we were to find out later, was everywhere. They lined the streets at random places; they stood at nearly every door of their many malls and yes, they lined the streets outside of the airport. Standing out from the just recently exited doorway, John took out his sheet of directions on where we were to meet our ride. As he stood there looking around in confusion, while Alex stood leaning against him, I’m not sure if he was closer to tears or passing out from pure exhaustion,  but a security guard came over to help. He read John’s email of directions and pointed us in the right way. We went down a small hill to another waiting area, overcrowded on one side with waiting ex-passengers and security guards, the other side with huge families waving signs in the air and jumping around in anticipation for the arrival of their long awaited loved ones. 
We stood there, our eyes gazed out in every which direction, looking for... well quite honestly I don’t think any of us really knew as to what we were trying to find. A tall Filipino man missing his 2 front teeth and wearing a weathered polo-esque style shirt came over and the next thing I knew, the procession of our group followed him to a white toyota parked in the middle of the street directly in front of us. We loaded ourselves into it, while the man went to get someone else. A few seconds later he came walking back with the other person who had been waiting at the other side for our arrival. The mysterious missing toothed man was in fact Arwin, our driver who worked for the other man, John’s father, otherwise known as Roy. How Arwin knew it was us, never having met us, was at first a mystery to me. After looking around and seeing but only one other caucasian man, still with dark hair, I realized the large group of all blondes  and the kids with blue eyes was a dead give away. We stuck out like a group of sore thumbs in a room full of hand models, swollen, bright, worn and awkward in this place where everyone else obviously fit the mold. All packed into the car, we were off to our sleeping destinations.
Even at nearly midnight the streets of Manilla were packed, polluted and noisy. With nearly 11 million people in the city, Manilla always seems to be crowded with cars, buses, motorcycles and the (new to me) Jeepney. This is a system of transportation, in which an opened back VW love van type mobile was crammed with as many people as could possibly fit on its side benches and then went around the city. We were just in one of the many cars, sitting in what was nearly rush hour traffic in the middle of the night, which just seemed to be a normal thing here. Even in LA we get a little bit of slack with the traffic in the wee hours of the night. 
I looked out the windows to see bright lights, tall buildings and pedestrians walking along roads where I wouldn’t think to walk, trying to take in everything, although my mind was withering away from exhaustion. After a good amount of time spent in the car, we finally reached a large apartment complex and entered into the driveway. We were walked up with Roy to apartment 10C, to his daughter’s house, where straight out of the elevator, we saw an open door to the kitchen with a plump Filipino woman sitting there watching late night soaps. She went around to open the main entrance, and showed us to our rooms. This was Tinet, the cook/ “maid” (a word I absolutely abhor!)
“You need water?” She asked us. 
“Um, well yes that would be lovely.” Chenoa replied back. 
“Okay, goodnight.” She said as she closed the door behind her, and went to her sleeping quarters. Chenoa and I laughed and sat down on our clean white sheet, perfectly made bed, while we debated whether or not we wanted to gather our energy to take much wanted and needed showers. Apparently neither of us did, as we both put on our pajamas, hopped into the pristinely done up bed and dozed off; excited to see the city in the light the next day.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Strip Clubs in Canberra

While I continue to write and catch myself up to date as to what's been going on so far here in Australia, here's a bit of what to expect in the future. Enjoy.

Thursday January 7, 2010
This could have been one of the most uncomfortable moments of my life. The one thing I said, if I sat in the chairs surrounding the stage “I just don’t want my face stuffed in their tits.” Josh assured me I would be fine. As soon as we sat down, her bra was unlatched. Jeff put down a 5 as she spun around the pole, a second later coming over to squat in front of me. She moved in really close to my face, pulling me and my hands forward as I tried to backup. I told her I think she had the wrong person and should probably move over to the boys sitting to my right. She just sort of smiled and grabbed my hands again, placing them down the edge of the stage, as I tried to move back again and bare boobs, and nearly nude vagina in a thong came closer to my face. What the fuck was going on?! Honestly.
“I can’t be serious when you look at me like that!” She said with a smile. Look at her like what? I was just watching wasn’t I? According to Paddy I had a look of pure terror and fear upon my face. I guess that made sense, as that’s exactly how I was feeling. I had no idea where to look, not really feeling like looking at her tits as she danced in front of me, instead looking at her face. Being my smooth self, having no idea what to say as I sat there tense, unsure as to what was going on, I blurted out, “You have very nice eyes...?” (and yes in a somewhat of a question form too!)
“Oh thank you.” she said as she laughed slightly and smiled. “Wait, wait, watch this.”
I moved back in my chair now as I wasn’t being forced to sit close anymore. She raised her arms above her head and made both of her Double D nicely done silicon boobs move, raising one, then lowering it as she brought the other one. Very nice peck muscles. I looked back at Chenoa and Paddy and we all smiled. Awkwardly, but amused.  “That’s pretty impressive” I said to her. Once again she laughed, looking at me and asking, “Do you want me to give boobies to him?” pointing with her eyes over at Jeff. I nodded enthusiastically hoping she would finally get out of my face. She did, and not only was I thankful for this, but I’m sure Jeff was too, as his face got smooshed into her tits. While he was in there enjoying the lack of air as he was nestled in between two gigantic plump boobs, the stripper on the other pole was shaking her ass, and biting her finger, as she all of the sudden fell down in a one legged split on the stage, landing herself hard over her legs as her body and giant black platform shoes made a large thud. She stood up a second later like it was nothing doing it again, and then shaking her ass some more, getting more and more into it as the song progressed, Nelly’s “It’s getting hot in here.”

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Dec 12, 2009
Steve and Rosemary greeted us with enthusiastic hellos and Chenoa gave her father a giant hug. They helped us with our luggag
e and led us back towards the car, stopping first to pay for the parking at an electronic machine. It didn’t seem to like Steve’s credit card very much and refused to function correctly, thus resulting in a human voice escaping it, having a full on conversation with him. After that was all cleared up, we got into the car and headed off.... To Canberra? To Canberra! Wrong.

“You girls hungry?” Rosemary asked. Our systems were off; Confused and over/under fed. They had offered us breakfasts on both flights and the times of both were different from the other, 2 hours behind for one meal, 4 hours ahead for the other, our bodies still on LA time, we weren’t sure what to think.

“Well...” We answered with a bit of unsureness.
“Good, cuz we’re starving.” Rosemary said back. We drove around through the city center for a few minutes before parking the car in a Wilson’s lot and heading down to the harbor.

We took a few touristy pictures in front of a giant cruise ship blocking the entirety of the harbor. Large gawking tourists in flowing shirts and bermuda shorts, cameras around their necks, attempted to take a picture with one hand, while holding a melting ice cream in the other, as their pale skin turned from a pasty white to a lobster red. We walked around to a little cafe on the other side of the water to relax. After a coffee and a rest in the breeze, we took a short stroll down to the Opera House and looked at the Australian artsy memorabilia in the gift shop, watched Aboriginal street performers in front of the water and finally, returned to the car.

Now it was off to Canberra, right? Nope. We had to stop at Steve’s house first.

Heading into a more suburban looking neighborhood than the previous central city section of Sydney, we arrived at a small little house. The front garden contained roses, green grass with patches of dry brown and the starting’s of baby trees. We walked into the house, Rosemary apologizing for the “mess” spread about, as we sat in the kitchen and waited. They wrapped presents and got other things together while Rosemary fed us more goodies; fruit and fresh tomatoes from her garden, while preparing more food for the car ride.

With everything ready and packed up, we were back in the automobile, on the road. After over excitedly peering out the window on the highway out into the dry bush for a little while, I was out. I awoke a half hour later, hot, tired and with an extremely full bladder. Lucky for me, a piece of the car was coming off of the back and they were planning on stopping at the next gas station. Thank god! So it would be soon. I mean, there are always stops every five minutes when you’re driving on the
highway. That’s how it works. That’s how it works, I’m telling you. Of all of the highways on which I’ve driven, of all of the long journeys, sitting in the backseat, patiently awaiting the next bathroom break, I was always sure I wouldn’t have to wait too long, as they were always within a five minute span; Why would it be any different here? A half hour later we reached our rest stop. Needless to say, as soon as the car stopped, my eager full-bladdered self, ran to the bathroom.

Chenoa ran along with me. When we came out, Rosemary was waiting for us, telling us that Steve had moved the car a few meters away to the cafe parking lot. Seeing as it had been a good hour and a half since Rosemary last fed us, we sat there, munching on the salads she had packed up, before shoveling back into the car. Next Stop, Canberra!...

Gotcha again. Apparently Australia has this thing, where placed throughout the
Country are “The Big Things”. In other words, gigantic objects, people, animals, etc, spread out over the Country at which Australians and tourists alike to come and gawk and take terribly ridiculous photos with. Next stop, Australia’s Giant Marino.

My mouth gaped open as a short ride later, a giant male curly horned sheep stood before our car; I squealed in delight. Inside was a gift shop, with every stereotypical animal, hat and item imaginable. Giant Merinos, kangaroos in hats, wombats, koalas, kangaroo rugs, crocodile dundee hats, furry boots and more. Through another door, were stairs where you could climb up the inside of the giant male sheep and read all about it. A quick peek around and I was ready for picture time!

Standing outside in the blazing Australian sun with a sweatshirt on, under which lay my smelly sweaty clothes that I had had the pleasure of wearing for the last, oh say 30 or so hours, next to Chenoa, we grinned cheesily. I indulged in the joy of being a tourist for the moment, as our picture was taken with a giant sheep standing behind us. I had my pictures, I bought a post card and now, it was (and I am serious this time when I say this) time to finally head home, into Canberra, to the long awaited house of Chenoa.

We drove some more, down the nearly vacant, long roads, dry landscape all around us and it was made known when we were nearly there, as they began pointing out the landmarks. We could see the Black Mountain Tower, a giant telecommunication tower, that offers a panoramic view of the city. When this was in view, you were near, if not in Canberra. We passed the National Gallery, Commonwealth Park and Parliament House, all before arriving in Chifley. At last we pulled into the driveway of an adorable house. Chenoa pointed out to me how to decipher her house from the rest on the street. Aside from the fact that it did look different, their’s was the only home on the block with a palm tree in front. I made sure to take note, knowing myself and how in one of the upcoming days, I would be lost.

Paddy ran outside now to give Chenoa a giant long awaited hug and greet the rest of us, helping like a true gentleman to bring our bags inside, all while a huge smile reigned over his face; his girl was finally home. Seeing as we came back later than expected, Paddy thought he wouldn’t be home to greet us earlier that day and had flowers, chocolate and a card waiting for Chenoa on the kitchen counter. It was quite possibly the cutest thing ever, or so I thought, only getting cuter in the coming days. After our bags were brought in, Steve and Rosemary left. I was shown my lovely little room and after we were settled in, Paddy, too, had to leave as he had work. ‘

Shower time! Chenoa jumped into the shower first, coming out a bit later, looking clean and refreshed. I ran in as soon as she was done, standing under the running water for a few minutes in pure relaxation, coming out feeling like a new person. There’s nothing like a long awaited and needed shower.
Our systems still confused as to what time it was and when we were to eat, we were feeling slightly hungry and decided to take a little walk down the block through the park to the local “Friendly Grocer”. It was nearing 8 o’clock at night, still bright and hot, although a breeze blew at us lightly while we walked. As we neared the store, we looked a little closer, only to realize it was closed. We headed back to the house, with me holding my dress down as the wind rolled around.

Back home, we rummaged through the fridge for food, finally deciding on eggs and vegetables. The other roommate was out of town and would be returning the next day, so it was just dinner for the two of us. I took out my knives from my suitcase and began chopping,; Chenoa helped to get things ready and beat the eggs. Shortly thereafter, dinner was ready. We sat down in the living room to relax and watch some TV.

Paddy came home from work late that evening to find us overly exhausted, sitting around. I made myself some tea, as I always do, to relax at night, pulling out the first honey I found as a sweetener; bad idea. I scooped a spoonful of honey comb into my tea, the solid wax melted and rose to the top of my glass, forming a skin of hot wax. In between sips, I would pull pieces of wax out of my mouth. On that note, decided I probably should put the tea down and head off to sleep. A few “goodnights” later, we were all out.