Friday, September 14, 2007


We started the morning by walking up Roxas Blvd. At 8am it was already sweating hot.
Kim stayed at the Silahi Hotel when he was last in the Philippines in 1984. It's been renamed the Grand Boulevard Hotel. The Aristocrat Restaurant is still next door, and Shakey's Pizza is still next to the Aristocrat. (The first Shakey's Pizza opened in Sacramento, and Kim's grandfather knew the founders.)
We walked up to Luneta Park.
In the afternoon Tess' former roommate Ched, and her husband Dominic, accompanied us to the Nissan in Quezon City where Tess had worked for 5 years doing claims and accounting work. Luckily they were having a birthday celebration, and Kim did not decline the offer for a slice of the pizza.
Next we went to the TriNoMa Mall, a new four-level mall that just opened in May 2007. They had a shop selling the rubber water-shoes, made in China, that we got in the USA for $10. This trendy shop was selling them as the hottest fashion, for $40! (I should start an import business from USA to China?)
We went into Red Box Karaoke, stayed for a few hours, and decided to move tomorrow's party to there.
We then took the LRT (light rail transportation) to SM Megamall. Unlike light rail in Sacramento, everyone was clean and behaved. The lines for tickets and having to push on and off was similar to a Tokyo train.
While others waited for Ched's sister, Kim had steam bath and full massage at Monpelle Inc. on the 5th floor, for $20. Afterwards Kim found them at Goldilocks.
We did some shopping at the huge grocery store (38 checkout lines, with double cashiers) then went outside to get a cab. Holy cow there were no cabs in sight and 40 people waiting in the "cab line here." The cabs are supposed to pull to the front, but, maybe because I'm white, a cab stopped next to us and offered fixed fare $8 for the long drive back to the condo. (Regular fare would be about $3.) Tess talked to the guy and agreed. I felt like a real jerk as everyone in line watched. But there is so much economic injustice in Manila, I don't think I can change it by waiting an hour for a cab.

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