Everywhere we go, people know our names and shout "Good Morning", "Hello!", "Where are you going!" Children flock to the street so they can see you and shout Hello! You feel sort of famous... it makes me wonder if the novelty of us being here is going to wear off ever.
2. THERE IS NO "BREAKFAST" FOOD
In America we have certain foods reserved for breakfast: cereal, oatmeal, pancakes, etc. In the Philippines there is no such thing. It is perfectly normal for my breakfast to consist of rice (what meal is complete without it), fish and fried chicken. Some other foods that frequent my table are various soups made with either fish, chicken or vegetables. Dessert is usually fruit, and the mangoes are delicious! Other foods that I eat often include shrimp, crabs, squid, eggplant, and cucumbers.
Like I mentioned before, we also snack throughout the day. My snacks usually include some type of fruit I have never heard of, and various sweet treats. And when I say sweet, I mean SWEET. Filipinos love their sugar and like to put lots of it in everything!
|This deliciousness is a banana turon and is basically banana|
coated in sugar. Yeah its pretty much amazing.
3. NO DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME
We are pretty close to the equator here so we have 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark. Also taking into account how hellish the heat is at midday, the town in up and running around 4 am and pretty much quiet around 8. My friends and I closed the local bar the other night at around 9pm.... yep.
4. SPIDERS ARE A KIDS BEST FRIEND
My host brother, Jan-Jan, was running around with a little matchbox and kept poking at what was inside. I asked him what he was keeping in there. Imagine my surprise when he takes out a giant spider that starts to crawl all over him. It is a very popular game with the kids, especially the boys, to catch or even buy spiders and then fight them. No lie! (I guess I should also mention that the spiders are not dangerous. No Black Widows here!)
|Jan-Jan with his spiders. I love the fact that he happened to also be|
wearing a spider-man shirt when I took this picture.
5. ANIMALS ARE NOT PETS
This is probably the hardest thing to get use to here. Stray dogs and cats litter the street. And there is definitely no such thing as a fat animal here. The dogs and cats are all skin and bones. Cock fights and dog fights are a common occurrence. At the resort bar that we hang out at there is the saddest little monkey chained up with a broken foot. His chain doesn't even allow him to reach the shade so he is stuck in the sun during the heat of the day. This is a very harsh reality for me to understand here. I have to come to the realization that these are cultural differences. Cock fights, illegal in the US and cruel-seeming to me, are a part of the culture here.
On a lighter note, my host family and relatives actually do have pet dogs that are purebreds. They are well taken care of and treated nicely.
Ok since that last one was a bit of a downer, I will leave you with smiles!
|Filipino kids are the absolute cutest!|
(My host brother is up front in the orange.)