today will be one of the longest days of my life.

i’m eight and a half hours into the manila day, and in another eight and a half hours, i will be on a plane back home. after a thirteen hour plane ride, i will be landing in vancouver three hours before i actually took off. that will make today, saturday the 7th of october, a day of 40 hours.

the first thing i will do after i return home (and drop off my luggage) is go to the comic book store. even though i was able to pick up some comics here, i am going through withdrawal. after that, i’m going to relax, read, and hopefully play some sudoku on my roommate’s nintendo DS. oh, the joys of lazing around. ūüėČ

as much as i long to see my friends, sleep in my own bed, and return to the world i know, i can’t help but want to come back here in the future. there’s still so much to see and experience.

next stop: vancouver.

– fuji

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my hotel room is clean, and that can only mean two things: i just got here, or i’m getting ready to leave.

in less than 48 hours, i will be on a plane, heading east over the pacific back home. it only really hits me that i’m going somewhere when my suitcase is packed. everything is neatly folded and packed away to protect the expensive or delicate items of clothing. the only items that remain unpacked are two bottles of shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, contact lens stuff, pomade, clothes for the next two mornings, and the laptop.

while i know i haven’t seen as much as i would have liked to, i’ve also seen more than i ever thought that i would see. i’ve definitely learned more than i thought that i would here. as with any experience, the important parts are what you take away from it and what you leave behind (which hopefully doesn’t include your passport, but rather the impact you had on those you met, worked with, etc.).

with the storm off the eastern coast taking a turn for the north, it looks like i will be leaving makati as bright as it was as when i arrived. the lights are back on, and every now and then a bolt of lightning will flicker in the sky.

fuji

October 4, 2006

as i mentioned in my last post, i’ve been spending a lot of time at work. in one 36 hour period, i spent 24 hours at work. i’m tired beyond belief, but it’s worth it. work has always been rewarding for me, and i know eventually i will get the sleep i need.

some thoughts and highlights from the past little while:

tropical storm neneng appears to be moving north along its course, which is good news. this means that the storm’s centre is expected to stay over open waters.

on saturday, i had pizza for breakfast. well, i guess it wasn’t really breakfast although it was about eight in the morning. some of us from the office had finished our night shift, and decided to go down to yellow cab pizza co for a bite before the weekend. to my knowledge, they don’t actually own any yellow cabs, but rather yellow vespas, which they use to deliver pizzas on. they claim that they own the most vespas in the world, save of course, vespa themselves. since we were there at 8 am (along with many other people), it was safe to assume that the place was open 24 hours a day. it’s nice to see that so many restaurants are open all night long, or at least until the early hours of the morning.

the night before, on the way to work, things were still pretty crazy on the streets. we told the cab driver at the hotel where we wanted to go, and he just shook his head (even though he did agree to take us there). traffic in that area was a mess, mostly due to the fallen billboards and the efforts to safely remove them. we expected to sit the traffic out, but the cab driver ended up taking us another way, one that we were not familiar with at all. we cut through parking lots, alleys, and anywhere and everywhere you could think of. at one point, he had us lock our doors because we were going through a dangerous area of town. his “shortcut” was a long alley with shops and lots of people hanging out in the street, probably because they had no power indoors. we had almost made it through the shortcut when we turned a corner to see a huge tree blocking the exit. it almost looked like there was enough room to fit the car underneath, but if it was my car, i wouldn’t have tried it either. we went back, and took another unfamiliar route.

we did make it to work in about 45 minutes time, probably the most interesting car ride of my entire life.

* * * * *

the billboard debate is heating up in the area; you’ll read no less than five articles¬†today in the paper. after multiple billboards (some say up to 40) fell and caused injuries and casualties (which our cab drivers never fail to point out when we pass one of the fallen billboards), there is serious concern for the safety of neighbouring homes and businesses. there is concern that banning the billboards could be a violation of political or human rights, but i think that the banning of the billboards would promote the human right to feel safe (or safer) should such circumstances arise again.

not all of the billboards need to be taken down. but when you have a billboard that is standing probably 70 feet into the air, i think the size should be reconsidered.

another note on the damage from the recent storm: there is talk about taking fallen trees and making them into art exhibits representing the typhoon. this is an interesting idea. i’m not sure how many trees were left intact after the storm though, as the days that followed saw cut up trunks and stumps all over the sides of the road.

– fuji

it’s a known fact – nature doesn’t fight fair. a week after milenyo passed through manila on the island of luzon, tropical storm neneng threatens to follow through with another, possibly devastating blow to the residents of the island.¬†

according to what i’ve read, and the pictures i’ve seen, it appears as though neneng will hit the north part of the island around the 6th or 7th of october. it is also reported that many residents in this area still do not have electricity or a safe drinking water supply. hopefully efforts will be concentrated around this area when the weekend hits to minimize the effects of this second storm.¬†

we may experience some bad weather in manila, but the hardest hit areas will be north of where i am. since i’m not familiar with this kind of weather, i’m not sure if planes will be grounded, but if they are, my return trip will be delayed.¬†

i’ve been working a lot lately, and have been having difficulty connecting to the internet in my hotel room, so i haven’t been posting much lately. i’ll see if i can write a little more about what i’ve been up to in the coming days.