Day 1...I think
Trip Start May 11, 2006
14Trip End Jun 05, 2006
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(sorry for spelling etc. I'm going fast)
I left Boston on Thursday arriving at the airport around 4:30 for a 6:30 flight, stood in line for an hour and a half at check in untill they finally ran through the line pulling out LA bound people to make sure we made the flight, we flew through security only to find an hour and 15 minute delay on the other side. People were so miserable, they checked me through so fast they never gave me a seat assignment so I was in the very last row window. I love window seats though so it was great. My favorite part of the flight was seeing the rocky mountains out the window, we could see the slopes of steamboat springs, and there was a full moon, it was amazing. In LA I checked in with the Asian airline Cathay Pacific, the man who checked me in was from the Philippines and was excited to see that was where I was going and asked some of the places we would be traveling and when I said Borocay he got really excited and said he was from there and immediately gave me isle 44, which is the emergency row exit. On one of the big double decker planes (i forget the number) that is a GREAT row, I basically had my feet up the whole time. Asian airlines are amazing, the flight attendants are super nice and we had two meals with menus, free/unlimited drinks and snacks. The only bad side was that they put infants in that row, so I had a baby to deal with the whole time.. literaly I babysat. The chinese woman (the mom) was travelling alone with a 5 month old, and needed all the help she could get. I was making boddles, laying out blankets, moving and searching through bags and holding the baby. When I tried to sleep the man on the other side made sure to be snoring so loud always facing my direction. I actually got out of my seat once just to trip over him and wake him up, but that only lasted about 5 minutes. He got a solid 6 hours of sleep where I was pushing maybe 15 minutes. So I was a little tired..
We got to Hong Kong after 13 and a half hours, it was sooo smoggy, I've never seen anything like it. The airport was great though, so much shopping longchamp and hermes stores, and a tiffany's etc. it was crazy. We had a quick 2 hour fligh to manilla, where I first noticed that Filipinos do not follow directions. We were maybe 30 feet off the ground when the man across the row from me jumps out of his chair and runs to the bathroom, the flight attendant was so funny she ran behind him and was like nooo sit back down. Three more people tried the same thing before we were finally stable in the air. Insane.
Manilla was incredible. It is so large and spread out, the airport seemed quite small though. We found two girls from our group right away, as they were the only white peoplein the one large baggage claim area. Our professor, Johnathan, who was supposed to be there as well had a flight cancelled from Dulles and we had no idea where he was at that point. We got into cabs to head to our hotel, the TA who had the name of the hotel was in the other cab. We asked our driver 5 times before we left if he knew where we were going and he kept saying yes, he didn't though because he didn't understand english very well and our dialect was confusing and he though we were asking if he could take us where we needed to go... and 5 minutes into the ride he said where do you need to go? the four of us in the cab had no idea we finally found a hotel name, but he had never heard of it, so we spent about 25 minutes asking people on the street and finally someone on the street realized it was spelled wrong by the people at the airport. We did finally get here, and the hotel is very small but really beautiful. The city is very very dirty, I really can't describe it, it smells, it looks dirty, you feel the dirt just from walking around, but I really like it (the city not the dirt).. we've been avoiding water as best as we can because it is apparently the worst in the city, and better as you move into the country.
We went out to a really nice sit down lunch and had drinks for about $8 each, and hung out at the hotel. That night we went to a bar where women were dressed like trashy brides, later we had a little run in with the Philippine police, but it was fine... long story.
Most people in the city speak English clearly, although outside of the city has a greater language barrier.
I have to go take a shower.. its been a long day, I'm amazied this is only my fouth day though, I feel like I've been here for months. I'll catch up soon though.