Today was a much quieter day, though not because we wanted it to be. We were told the phone company would be coming to our house at 10 AM to install our phone line. 10 AM came and went. No phone guys. Noon came and went. Still no phone guys. It was Sunday, so we thought there might have been a mix-up about what day they were coming. I get the sense that this is kind of how things work around here. Some things go perfectly, and certain other things are a hassle. The phone might be one of those things. We found out later that the company will not be able to come again for 3-5 days, which means no internet at home until next week. I’m trying to remain positive about this, especially since the school is about 2 minutes from my front door and is available to me 24/7. There are guards at the school day and night, and they will let you in any time to get into your classroom or workout.
At about 1:00 we hitched a ride with a couple of teachers (same ones we went to the beach with) who were headed into town for manicures and pedicures (VERY cheap here) and did a little of our necessary shopping. It also gave us a chance to explore on our own and start to get comfortable with the area. The malls here are absolutely insane. There are so many stores and hallways, it’s easy to get lost. They have touch screen monitors where you can view maps and search for different kinds of stores and restaurants. They also have security guards at all entrances. There isn’t much you can’t buy in a mall here. They have some of the exact same stores here that we have at home, as well as shops you would never see – Japanese furniture stores, shoe stores that make me drool – thank god their sizes are too small for me or I would go broke!, and lots of technology stores. We did our shopping and took a cab back to our house since the girls weren’t done yet. Our cab ride is about 10 minutes and costs 150 pesos (about 3 bucks). That’s considered expensive here. On the subject of manis and pedis and such: one of the favorite pastimes of Brent employees is getting massages. There are TONS of spas to choose from, but you have to look for the word “family” in the name. I’ll let you guess as to why. 😉 Massages are about $8 an hour. You can see why Brent teachers take advantage of that luxury!
After we got home, we took quick naps – still adjusting to the time change – and got ready for dinner at Texas Joes. This was the first time I was “disappointed” at dinner. It wasn’t that the food was bad, it was just that it was pretty typical American bbq. I had brisket, and I have to be honest, it didn’t even compare to Smoky D’s back home. Not even close. The restaurant is themed exactly as you would expect, and all of the servers wear cowboy hats. It’s pretty funny. Texas Joe’s is very popular with the navy guys that come in. We got to meet Mr. Davis, our activities director. He’s been in the Philippines since the 70s when his parents were here as missionaries. It was another fairly mild night; most of us were still a little jetlagged, and one of the new guys was pretty sick (turned out he has an ear infection and high fever! They took him to the doctor the next day. If I haven’t said it already, the school staff takes VERY good care of us.)
There are 9 new teachers. Four of us are from the States and the rest are Canadian. Five are single and then the two couples. This was our last “free” day before training/orientation. We were the first teachers to arrive and had a few days to get settled in and make our house a home. Most of the other teachers arrived TODAY! I feel for them, because they don’t have much time to adjust before the real work starts.
A note on Ringo: He’s doing great! We walk him a lot, since we have the time and the weather has been surprisingly nice so far. He has decided that since their are tile floors, he needs to be on the furniture. Not ok! We are working on clearing up that confusion. : )