Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Manila: Second Impressions

Here's what I've done since my last update. Skip to highlights if you don't care about context.

Day 2:
Went grocery shopping for the stuff I'd normally buy in the US (it was roughly 50% cheaper),
Walked for about half an hour to Glorietta Mall,
Got a haircut there,
Did some crowd-watching,
Walked back, and
Scheduled my first surf lesson ever for the next day at Club Manila East.

Day 3:
Rescheduled my surf lesson since I wasted too much time trying to figure out taxi phone apps here,
Used the EasyTaxi app to take a mere 280 php taxi from Makati to Taytay, about 1 hour away (Google claimed it was 30 minutes, since it was only about 18 km away, but Google didn't take into account Metro Manila's traffic),
Enjoyed a private weekday 2-hour surfing lesson for a mere 1,500 php (all inclusive, including surfboard rental),
Took my first ever Jeepney ride to get from Club Manila East to Taytay proper, since EasyTaxi didn't work out there,
Took my first ever tricycle ride to get around Taytay to a taxi stand, and
Took a taxi back to Makati.

While walking back and forth to Glorietta Mall, I'm pretty sure I caught a few Filipinas giving me IOI stares (IOI = Indication Of Interest). This may be due to my relative tallness and build (5'9" with enough muscles to have a few American girls compliment). Obviously can't say for certain whether the stares were IOIs, since I didn't approach any of them and flip the stones, but it's definitely more than I get in the US, where the competition is tougher (but the prizes at the least aren't correspondingly better).

Paralleling that experience, I'm definitely getting a higher initial response rate from my lazy toe-dipping here at online dating. I'd probably follow through with this and daygame if I wasn't leaving so soon, since I don't have enough time to take these girls out.

On the con side, I was exposed to the relative inefficiency of Manila. It's not a huge deal for someone on the leisure like me, but I don't want to kid anyone into thinking this is the US but with better women. Finding the haircut place at Glorietta Mall was only possible when I stumbled upon a computerized map, which for some reason, wasn't at any of the mall entrances, but at a random intersection, and on the third floor. Also, in Taytay, the EasyTaxi app was useless, likely because the taxi drivers there can't afford smartphones. Road infrastructure, like any third world country, lags behind traffic demand. Again though, just minor annoyances, especially for the leisure traveler like me.

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