There are a few things a Western city dweller needs to get used to when living in a small barangay (= village) in the Philippines. Saying hello and good morning to every single person you see on the street would probably get you sectioned in Sydney, but your new barangay neighbours (and their neighbours and their second cousins) will wave to you and greet you like a long lost friend…every time they see you. If you normally head to Woolworths for your big weekly shop, then shopping at the tiny store that sells everything in individual sachets (including tooth paste) may require an adjustment in your shopping frequency.
Remarkably enough, on the approximate 10 square meters that the corner shop occupies, you can still pretty much find everything you need. Or is it that you simply don’t need so much anymore? I can tell you personally that my shopping strategy has become substantially more efficient now that I don’t have to choose between 35 different types of cereal for breakfast.

Anyway. You also soon learn to haggle down the price for a tricycle ride into town, a practice which is accepted with a smile and a wink by the courteous driver, who nevertheless operates his tricycle like it’s a formula one car. As you close your eyes in fear of a head-on collision with one of the many goats randomly grazing by the roadside, you can’t remember the last time a Sydney city bus driver even acknowledged you as you pressed your Opal card to the yellow reader…
Soon enough, you find you have slipped into an easy rhythm. No need to set your alarm, as the neighbour’s rooster will ensure no ones sleeps after 6am (if that one fails, the family next door and the one next door to that will each have a back-up rooster, like some weird natural snooze button). When the sun sits high and lazy in the sky, unobscured by clouds, you know it’s time to take a midday siesta. Dinner time is announced by the smells of rice and BBQ pork wafting in from the street. So, when you’re hungry and feeling uninspired to cook, instead of dialling the nearest pizza joint, you find yourself wandering down the road to sample the day’s offerings of street food. No menus, no wait time and no delivery charge.
And all of a sudden, you realise that the big adjustment might be to go back home…

This entry was posted in 2015, Ans, Puerto Galera, The Zoox Experience Programme and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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