Sunday, January 25, 2015

Stuff I've Learned

Lest you think I have resting on my laurels for the last six months, I thought I'd provide a list of things I've learned since my last blog post to prove that this time off was not for....naught.  So, without further ado, stuff I've learned since disappearing from the blogger world (most of which, has absolutely nothing to do with blogging): 

1. Never over trust a fart. 

     a. Sub rule: You should work really hard to only fart once in yoga class. 

 --If the sub rule seems unnecessary, you have clearly not been in a recent yoga class at the studio I have been going to.  I am a firm believer that happen and once in a while, especially in those standing separate leg stretches, you just feel relaxed.  It's inevitable that things will slip out.  What I don't understand is the multi-farter.  Were it me, I'd tamp that shit down after the first whoof.  If they are loud, multiple and Buddha forbid, stinky -- I think perhaps it's time to call it quits.

2. A motorized bicycle is a perfectly suitable method to transport balloons.  It does not in any way impede the traffic flow or cause hazards to you or other drivers.  Nope - does not....will not. 

 3. If you own a bus in Manila, you are required to pee on the front tire.  In the middle of the day.  In traffic. 

     a. Sub rule:  You may also be required to urinate in the car wash stall of a private condo garage because, duh, the actuall WC you could use is at least three floors away and the chances of you making it there before you piddle all means, don't risk it.  Pee three feet away from my parking spot.  Why not?!
     --I will never understand the lack of pee pee control here.  I can't help but think of the countless times my parents uttered the words, "You should have gone before we left."  Does that never occur to these folks?  I mean, I get it...traffic here can be horrendous and you drive for a living but surely SURELY there's some way to plan effectively enough where you are not forced to pee in full view of motorists at the corner of Makati Ave and Ayala. 

4. There is absolutely no way to explain to someone who doesn't live in Manila why it is so frustrating.  

     --We have tried to narrow the explanation down in to one or two little pithy phrases, "It's the land of not quite right," or "It's the little city that could...but didn't".  I have learned that we are in a privileged and exclusive club.  You're probably not in the club and that's ok -- keep never know.  There is nothing quite so fulfilling as complaining about Manila with someone else who lives in Manila. To become a member of this club, several things must occur in your life.  You must spend 3+ consecutive days in traffic for no less than two hours each way.  You must have gotten in at least two wrecks where the vehicles involved were not going over 3 miles per hour.  The thought must have occurred to you that, with half a tank of gas and 3 miles to travel, you probably should have gotten gas.  Why?  (see traffic requirement above)  And that's just life in your car.  There are approximately 725 additional pre-requisites for membership.  We are really really selective. 
5.  If you aren't an anti-social person, you might become one in Manila.  

     --I gotta say, if you don't live in my building, it's gonna be real real hard for us to be friends because it'll be a trash free day in Burgos before I leave the comfort of my apartment to get back out on the streets just to have drinks with a friend or see a movie.  If you have been lucky enough to score my time outside of the general Salcedo area, dear....have broken through.  Congratulations!  And if you're the one who has left your neighborhood to come visit me, well...I am truly honored. 

6.  One working elevator in a building with 36 floors and 4 condos on each floor is probably not going to go well.  

     --Don't even get me started on what would happen if there were a true emergency on the 32nd floor.

7.  Paris fixes everything. 

     --Frustrated by the complete lack of selection and general frustration brought on by shopping in Manila?  Just apply one super sweet husband and the city of lights and, magically, you're cured.  Christmas in Paris 2014 -- best.idea.ever. 

8.  The beach (and other Philippines getaways) acts as the same sort of mental health medicine. 

     --It is true what they say, you will like the Philippines much more if you don't allow Manila to be your only window to its soul.  We are making dedicated efforts to get out of town these days.  Failing that, I also enjoy staycations in my apartment -- putzing around in my art room, playing with Cassie, going to Yoga etc.  The point is, wherever you are, you must pretend as if you're NOT in Manila.  And...go...

9.  Yoga is my new best friend.  Shout out to Yoga+ Makati!!  

     --They are not preachy or bitchy or snobby.  Their classes range from relaxing to really challenging and they are less than a block from my front door.  Sold!  'Me time' is almost never better spent than at this Yoga studio.  
Yoga+ Philippines

10.  Salcedo Saturday Market is STILL the best thing about living here. 

     --Returning from Paris meant I was back in the mood to cook which could have also meant that I was mere seconds away from a deep depression.  The grocery shopping has gotten better here but you still can't find everything you need.  This weekend though, I was able to find fresh sage, rosemary, ground cloves, and....the creme de la creme???  Fresh Fennel!  Last night I made Italian Wedding Soup.  Tonight, sweet potato and cauliflower fritters.  Thank you Salcedo Saturday Market...thank you!
Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens; Photo credit from
11. BONUS:  Life is an adventure and no matter what happens, you just gotta keep living it.  Be grateful for what you have.  Rant about the things that bother you to the people who will forgive your ranting.  Find joy in the little things.  Adapt.  Overcome.  Thank the stardust super being, yourself, or whatever you believe in that you are still on this side of the top soil.  It's all one big circus and I don't know about you but I'm happy to be one of its acrobats/clowns/ring leaders/monkeys.  :) 

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