Week Five 5-Count

It’s hard believe it’s Sunday and I have one week left in the office. I have one more weekend in Cebu and then it’s off to the “vacation” side of things.

  1. I am always amazed at how global the Filipino economy is. My juice comes from Cypress, South Africa or Australia. A lot of fruit is imported from the United States. The “Imported” section at the supermarket heavily focuses on goods from America, Western Europe and Australia before it does other parts of Asia. Laughing Cow cheese is one of the top brands for process dairy and Nestle rules the world manufacturing just about everything through some of their brands. Lots of goods from outside the country bare a very big “Imported” sticker on them when you buy them. Standing inline at the supermarket, more people will stand in the “10 items or less, cash only” line if they have more than 10 items or if they are just paying cash despite some of the other lines being shorter. I don’t quite understand it.
  1. I am amazing at the volume of American culture and Western culture that dominates clothing here. There’s not just the American brands like Guess and whatnot that adorns a majority of clothing, but also sports brands and cities. The Chicago Bulls, football teams, college sports teams and shirts like “I’m so glam I bleed glitter.” I see shirts like “I heart Cebu” and what not. But a very high volume is icons and logos that are very familiar after growing up in the US. I see American flags and Old Navy. I see Union Jacks and other things. It almost seems like if someone my age isn’t wearing a school uniform (which everyone wears here for school), half of them are wearing very American clothes. It’s equal parts alienating and welcoming.
  1. “Ma’am” is almost interchangeable able with my first name here. Every time I enter or leave any building, it’s always “Good morning/ afternoon/ evening Ma’am” when I go anywhere. Even by people who are my age, I’m not “miss” I am ma’am, which is very peculiar. Very common here by all means, but it comes across as noticeable if you have not grown up around it or are not use to it. All sorts of people are very quick to hold open doors and I happily say thank you and grin ear to ear on a very frequent basis. It’s a mannerism that is regional in the US but here is very commonplace.
  1. Tuesday night was when I first came down with the cold. Wednesday I was running about 75% and I stayed home Thursday with an awful fever and felt like I was hit by a car. I was miserable. By the end of the day I was feeling better and Friday I went back to work. After not feeling great Tuesday-Friday, I finally felt well enough to clean yesterday and got everything else tidied up today for the rest of the week. It feels good to fight back the chaos and for everything to be streamlined and clean.
  1. As part of my “spring cleaning” I sent some of my laundry out. Most people do not have washers and dryers here and if they do their laundry at home, they hand wash and air dry it. It is very common to have a Laundromat do your laundry for less than a dollar US per Kilo (2.2 pounds) and within two days; it is washed, dried, and folded for you. Summer 2015 marks the first time in over a decade I have not been self-responsible for my laundry and it feels very odd, I miss the zen feelings of doing your own laundry and folding. It was peaceful. But at the same time, being able to pick up laundry on my way home from work and not having to deal with any of the hassle is great too.

Today, Sunday has been a rest day. I’ve done a bit of work for my online class, did chores, and chilled. I’m sure in the next 24 hours there will be a recount of my weekend up. It’s been a whirlwind and I’ve been tired. So soon.

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