Philippine Island Times Adventures of an American expat in the Philippines

August 31, 2008

A Poke in the Eye

Filed under: Manila — Donald @ 12:24 pm

Filipinos love malls; roaming around them window-shopping is a favorite pastime. At the moment they are particularly proud of the SM Mall of Asia, the largest in this part of the world, and a city all its own.

SM Mall of Asia 1

SM Mall of Asia 2

Some of the architecture actually has a bit of appeal, and I enjoyed a decent seafood risotto on a terrace overlooking the bay. As mall experiences go for me, that’s top notch. Usually the only things I like are the aircon and cheap steamed dumplings. Consumerist orgies and bourgeois pretenses at style make me nauseous, and when it comes to actual shopping, I’d prefer a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. But getting outfitted for the move to the province is one of the reasons for my stay in Manila, so shopping it has been these days. My major purchase is this cell phone, a Nokia 6120 Classic.

Nokia 6120

I’d hoped it would provide decent internet access in the hinterlands, but no dice. Everything is painfully slow and clunky even in Manila where I’m supposedly getting a strong 3G signal; good for only the smallest jobs and transactions that I won’t want to do on a public machine. Still, the organizer is very useful, and the sound from mp3s on the 2 gig card is remarkably good. The camera is awful (I took the mall pics above with it), but of course it does have the advantage of always being there for unexpected occasions. Should have snapped a few shots last night at the Cafe Havana; great live Latin music and dancing and tasty mojitos. Life isn’t all a poke in the eye. Cuba libre!

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