Tuesday, May 13, 2008

(Dis)Orientation

Day 2, back in Manila. I am trying to get my bearings, to learn how to function again in this environment. I was afraid I'd forgotten how to drive. But its like riding a bike. You never really forget. Its fun driving in Manila. Its a cerebral and emotional experience. You get frustrated, mad, exhilirated at various stages. Its almost like playing a video game. Ha, that is the masculine in me talking. I've had to recalibrate the spatial map in my brain. Which is Mindanao and which is North avenue again? Which side roads do I take to get to Ortigas? More importantly, how long a drive is it? I almost got lost a couple of times.

I was 40 minutes late for a job interview. Ah. This is Manila. Gotta plan for things to go wrong all the time. Gotta have contingency plans. But the interview went well, probably because my prospective boss is an old postgrad classmate. We were cracking jokes and laughing half the time. The oddest job interview, but I felt we were on the same wavelength...so its all good. Should I go back to teaching? I sometimes feel its not up to me. Sometimes it feels the decision is made for me. We will see.

I keep having to remind myself to look left first before crossing the street. I was almost run over yesterday and today. My first two days navigating through Manila and I've already been in 2 malls. Jesus. We can't avoid these consumer monstrosities. To have anything done (including net connection), to pay bills, to do anything, we need malls. Our urban landscape is such that we can't avoid these loud, crass, panacea of hyperconsumption. One would think we were rich. Is there anything else to do in this city? Is there any other place to go to but malls? Day 1 was Trinoma (after my interview). I needed to get my eye glasses changed. Again. Day 2 was SM North. I need net connection at home. I feel naked without it. Other than the usual reasons, my friends in Australia are obviously all online.

I feel as though I were in limbo. Trapped in-between. Not quite home yet...no longer in Australia. So this is what purgatory feels like.

6 comments:

Jon Limjap said...

You were gone how long -- a year, a year and a half lang right?

Bakit ang laki ng adjustment? :P

drfnbtch said...

buhay pa pala SM north? :-) the last time i went there was when i had to open an account at BDO. trinoma has become UP's new annex. nyahaha!

anyway, enjoy your stay here. (and while i and some friends want to go to Australia to study and/or work, you are actually here in the Philippines with us?)

TC said...

tapos na MA program mo?

Charo Nuguid said...

Hmm. I'm making plans with an acquaintance to go out of town one of these weekends. You want to join us to Avilon Zoo?

Nice way to get away from the usual malls. :D

sparks said...

Jon,

Siguro kasi boondocks ang skwelahan ko. Talagang tahimik. Kahit nung pumunta kami ng Sydney, hindi kasing ingay dito. Nakakahilo ang dami ng tao. Yun lang.

Charo,

Sounds good! Sige, let me know kung tuloy kayo :)

Drfn,

No choice, my scholarship stipulates I need to go back.

TC,

Yep. :)

Nightdreamer said...

"Is there anything else to do in this city? Is there any other place to go to but malls?"

That pretty much sums up why I'm tired of living in Metro Manila. I wish there were other places to go to, like libraries (so I don't have to keep buying books), museums (that is at least the size of a mall), and parks. Parks, most of all. I want a place where the plants and I can get each other's share of air to breathe.