Friday, October 12, 2007

The Four Day Thrilla in Manila

Cause that's how long I was there for. About 4 days. How uber decedent is that? It's not really answering Al-I-Just-Won-A-Nobel-Prize-For-Making-A-DVD-And-Putting-On-A-Rock-Concert Gores Call is it?

I did have a really good time. To not bore you or me with the tiny little details, such as realising I'd eaten pork in one form or another in every single meal (bar one) for the entire 4 days (and I was on holiday remember, so I did actually eat breakfast), here is my holiday, cliff notes style:

Fancy Dress
As I said, I was there to watch my mum get an award, so there were award ceremony dress issues going on. I ended up bringing with me about 3 different outfits for her to choose which she preferred. She said she liked what I'd worn to new years eve (that's me in it in my profile pic). Good news: When I got to Manila, I tried it on again, and I don't know how it happened, perhaps it expanded on the flight over, perhaps we'd flown through some weird time/space portal, perhaps trying dresses on right after I've just eaten a big meal is never a good idea, but it fit! Bad news: Her dress was almost identical, except in a different colour. No way in hell was I turning up in matching outfits. So I ended up going in a skirt C lent me, and a red satin lace up corset that I usually wear to Hollowween parties when I'm dressing up as a dominatrix. It's funny how the lack of a leather choker, short skirt, leather boots and a whip will turn a slutty top into nice formal evening wear.

We went to Mall of Asia, which is apparently the largest shopping mall in, yup you guessed it, Asia. This place is massive, chockablock full of shops, restaurants, departments stores, an ice rink! Unfortunately they had all the same shops we get here in London, an in some of the stores they even had the exact same merchandise. I saw a dress in Zara I had bought only a month ago there. I saw winter trousers I had tried on just 2 weeks ago here. Winter trousers. In a country that doesn't get temperatures lower than their mid 20s. Why? Even more bizarely the prices where the same! I can't understand who could possibly afford those things?

So what did I end up buying after 2 hours in The Mall of Asia? Any exciting clothes or shoes or accessories? Nope. Asian Trinkets? Nope. Stationary even? (I have a love affair with stationary). Nope.

No, I went to the Mall of Asia and all I bought was a bag of pork scratchings. Uh-huh. That's it. I really am a crap specimen of a girl.

Pampering Time
I went to get a massage at the hotel health spa, which for a 75 minute Swedish shiatsu mix was only about £15. I love getting massages, and always make a bee line for the hotel massage service whenever I go away, but this. I've never had one like this. The dull ache I was feeling in my shoulders turned into a blinding, sharp, mind numbing pain afterwards. This woman was so painful, that I actually lay there squirming to try to get her to stop. But she didn't even notice! She just kept prodding, kneading, and pinching my skin with her nails. And just when it could get any worse, the woman shocked basic masseuse/client decency by farting. Twice. Loudly. Oh god no.

Top 3 most embarrassing holiday moments
Which brings me delightfully to my top 3 most embarrassing holiday moments. Hey, I was only away in Manila for 4 days. You couldn't have expected me to make a total dick of myself more than that? Right?

Number 3
Being asked to dance at the awards shindig. Why I was asked I have no idea, since I clearly looked much more interested in talking to my mum, her friends, and seeing how much free wine I could score. Not quite knowing how to say no, I got up and danced, only to be rejected one song later after I was asked if I was from San Francisco, and I said no. So much fun having the guy grab his boss or someone old, and say "here you guys should dance", and then watch him run away and grab some other poor girl. Annoyingly, I then got stuck dancing with this other guy for a bit, which did not go well because he tried to do partners dancing, but he did such a piss poor job of leading I had no idea what he was trying to do. He then proceeded to count in a really patronizing way "1 and 2 and 1 and 2 and.." with me grinning like an embarrassed fool, trying not to step on his feet or fall all on my arse. We were both extremely relieved as the song ended, cause we both dropped each others hands, turned and walked away, pretending we had never actually seen each other before..

Number 2
After the awards ceremony, in an effort to not have to dance with anyone else or in fact make contact with anyone else at all, mum and I went to the roof top bar for a drink. Embarrassing moment number 2 comes when the lounge singer, this big bloke with obligatory pony tail singing old time hits, sang a song that my mum requested. That's fine, no problems there. Unfortantely as Time Goes By is a ridiculously romantic song, and right after the "woman needs man, and man must have his mate" he stop, turns and asks mum, her friend and me "So, you have no mates here?". Mum and her friend make their excuses, so he then turns to me and asks (into the microphone no less) "No man eh. So why is that?". Great. Now I'm trying to desperately come up with an excuse that doesn't make me look like a loser as to why I'm single, drinking hard liquor, on my own. I mean, I hear that in your 30s everyone, even perfect strangers, feels that it's perfectly acceptable to openly ask you if you're single and why, but come on I've still got 4 months to go! As everyone in the bar turns to take a look at me, all thinking the same thing "oh poor girl. She's going to be an old maid. I wonder what wrong with her?", I just sit there, praying for the floor to open up so I can crawl inside, away from their pitying, acusational eyes.

Number 1
After the Lounge Singer has finished his song and interrogation of my love life, he then sits next to us (mic still in hand) and demands that I request a song. In my head I'm screaming "NOTHING, NOTHING, PLEASE GO AWAY! THE DAMAGE HAS BEEN DONE AND ALL I WANT TO DO IS SKULL MY MARTINI", but seeing as my mum's next to me, I decide that perhaps that little know trait of tact would be better employed. Now don't get me wrong. I love old time, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Ol Blue eyes style big band songs. Heck, I even love musicals. But in a spot, with a mic pressed against my head like a gun, my mind goes completely blank. So being all witty like, I say "well, I can't think of anything right now, so maybe you could suggest a song?" to which he goes "Um, are you British or something? You sound like James Bond?". He then goes on to do his James Bond Sean Connery Mixed with Roger Moore impersonations. Oh god. He then proceeds to sing a song I can't understand because it's in Tagalog. I had to physically crush my middle finger so I could look him in the face (and he was being really quite sincere and sweet), but without the pain of my nail digging into my finger, I don't think I could have sat there without laughing my arse off, out of sheer embarrassment.

So that's pretty much it. That best describes the sum total of my little jaunt. 2 20 hour journeys, 4 days, 1 painful massage and loads of pork products. A successful little trip then!

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