Travel can be fun. You get to see lots of new sights, meet interesting people, visit exotic lands, eat strange food. It can also be a real pain in the ass. Long flights, cramped plane seats, long lines, cab drivers who rip you off for 2x the fare, sitting on your glutes for 8+ hours, the plane is either sweltering or freezing, you have good old Ms Bighair who cranks her seat back into your lap, the one time you really, really have to pee, that's when the pilot decides to fly through turbulence and makes everyone stray in their seats for a looooong while.
Back home after a very long trip and a very short, but fruitful audit. I was adding up the miles in my head on the plane back and I realized that we spent as much time in the air or at the airport as we did in Manila. Three long flights with very little time on the ground in between flights. Added two new airports to my list of destinations. Honolulu and Manila. I've done Honolulu once before on our trip to Maui. Nice airport, but it is weird to me to see an open air set up (no windows). The Manila airport was definitely at the bottom of my list of places not to visit. Long lines, surly agents, dirty, general chaos, everything had a price. We even had to pay an exit fee (540 Pisos) to leave the country. Found it interesting that one of the main news stories on the local news channel was how the airport had moved UP on the ranking of worst airport. It was no longer the worst airport in the world, just in Asia.
We really didn't have much time outside of the audit and we didn't get back to the hotel until late. Unfortunately, that means no Balut this trip (dang it!). We did go to an authentic Chinese restaurant for Peking Duck and Kobe beef. With an hour to kill before we headed to the airport, but it was basically wandering around the downtown mall next to the hotel. Nothing you could see at a local mall over here. On the way to/from the plant, we tried to take pictures of some of the sights. Lots of jeepney's, trykes, general traffic congestion. Amazing how people can navigate the roads over there without major injuries or accidents. We came to believe that the lanes on the roads were more a general guideline, not a hard rule to follow. Still, an interesting trip. Wish we had more time to explore the area outside of Manila.
|typical Jeepneys we spotted on the streets of Manila|
|Another Jeepney - they were hundreds of them all over town|
|A demolition site next to the hotel. Watched the guys as they removed the debris, rubble and did general clean up. From what I could tell, I believe that several were living there as they worked the site.|
|Security dog at the hotel that sniffs for explosives in guest luggage. |
Sort of reminded me of some other "Custard" looking dog..
|Crossing the International Dateline|
|Some cheesy looking mannequin at the airport gift shop.|
|Airport gift shop - see any interesting gifts you might want to take home to the family?|
|How about now?|