RSS

Travel, Embryos and Brandy

26 May

Being curiously relaxed about undertaking such a long journey is certainly not the typical British state when just about to go about a holiday.  Most of the time it takes us a day or two to get over the stress of travelling but such was my whimsical mood that I started to ponder (in Leicester, no less) why nobody really talks about or even notices weathervanes anymore.  It seems strange when so many are created in such an arty way.

The view from my adopted home, with a special cameo from my drying towel.

Even the prominent display of the book The Crash Detectives (replete with an aeroplane and separate flaming wing falling off on the cover) in the expectedly poor excuse for an airport bookshop couldn’t dampen my ‘enthusiasm’ for a 14 hour flight.  My mind was well and truly blown to experience Philippine Airlines, who board the passengers at the back first, we were all seated in about ten minutes, much more efficient and professional than the other way…Delta Airlines I’m looking at you.

Planes are always interesting, the mishmash of emotions you see people going through; those going on holiday, coming back from holiday, the grind of work trips, the back packers off for months at a time.  Each one has a fascinating story to tell no doubt, not that anybody was particularly willing to talk with the length of the flight and I had my book my book to read so priorities…

Upon landing in Manila, I was hit by a 35 degree heat wave and a massive queue to get through customs owing to some disputes with the airport workers and an ongoing strike.  Then utter relief to find my girlfriend and guide Crissy who was to lead me through the fascinating parts as well as the madness of this wonderful country; proof of which was the first thing I saw on TV being a Christmas film.

A lovely view from Bag of Beans restaurant in Tagaytay, one of many I was to experience.

Leaving Manila on Good Friday is a wonderfully calm experience, I thought it was a pleasant and quiet city, my fried brain forgot that this 80% Roman Catholic country were enjoying a holiday weekend and that the seeming chaos I would later encounter was only put on hold.  It did allow me to get home quickly to my adoptive family who were all eager to meet me.

After a surprise initiation, proving myself by eating Balut which is boiled bird embryo eaten from the shell – and tastes good  (like chicken) despite its appearance – washed down with a couple of glasses of brandy to help me cope with this ordeal, I felt very much at home and relaxed – despite a whirlwind of new faces, names and experiences – ready to begin my adventure with some well deserved sleep.

The photos are still being gathered and as I forgot to take any on day one, these one here will serve as a taster to what is to come.

There will be more photos in the next post, as they are still being gathered. In the meantime here is a taste of where I am headed.

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Advertisements
 
32 Comments

Posted by on 26/05/2017 in The Philippines, Travel

 

Tags: , , , , ,

32 responses to “Travel, Embryos and Brandy

  1. shadowoperator

    26/05/2017 at 15:30

    Lovely photos, Ste J! What a wonderful lush green everything is. I’m betting it was delightful after a British winter and early spring.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      26/05/2017 at 15:35

      To begin with, it was a bit much coming from 12/13 degree day to a 35 degree scorcher but I got used to it and some of those places I will be showing you were absolutely wonderful. There is so much colour and variety to the country be it the greenery or the businesses, it was refreshing to see something totally different.

      Like

       
  2. Disha

    26/05/2017 at 19:44

    Lovely! I should definitely plan a trip there

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      27/05/2017 at 10:05

      Yes, it’s a wonderful place and until I got a tan, I never realised how ‘white’ I really was.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Disha

        27/05/2017 at 10:23

        Hahaha. Did you fry like bacon?

        Like

         
        • Ste J

          28/05/2017 at 20:24

          Strangely, I didn’t, although I was more obsessed with avoiding mosquitoes for the most part.

          Liked by 1 person

           
  3. Lyn

    27/05/2017 at 01:32

    They board people from the back of the plane? But that would mean you wouldn’t have to push past passengers trying to find their seats in the front and middle of the plane before you get to your seat 😮

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Ste J

      27/05/2017 at 10:11

      I know, how crazy to create a system where people don’t stand wait for ages but get to their seats in good order and in a quicker time. I have never seen such an orderly and quick boarding. As it was so easy, I couldn’t help but think we had done it wrong haha.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  4. Sarah

    27/05/2017 at 03:03

    That looks amazing! What an experience. I look forward to seeing more, so keep ’em coming!

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      27/05/2017 at 10:18

      Many pats to come and hopefully at a decent rate as well as books too, it did make me uneasy thinking that people’s pockets were getting full of book money because I wasn’t blogging.

      Like

       
  5. renxkyoko

    27/05/2017 at 05:08

    OMG, balut ? I’ve eaten that only once in my life, my mother, never, and my dad, maybe a few times, and only when he was drunk. lol Ambulant vendors sell balut at night, and only at night. But, it’s not that bad, isn’t it ?

    Uhm, was there culture shock, Ste J ? First, the traffic situation. Aaargh.

    Anyways, I can’t wait to read the rest of your Philippine experience.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      27/05/2017 at 10:03

      It was 8pm when we got the balut, it was a lot better than I imagined it would be.

      The traffic was fine on Good Friday as everything was closed, the Skyway was virtually empty so when we went back on Tuesday, it was jarring to say the least, that’s when we had to cross eight lanes of traffic (twice) to get to the Cebu Pacific building. Still I was rewarded with quail’s eggs so that was good.

      Plenty more coming up in the next couple of weeks, as well as a review on Noli Me Tangere too!

      Like

       
      • renxkyoko

        27/05/2017 at 14:06

        There’s a sequel , El Filibusterismo.

        Have you read Noli Me Tangere yet ? Noli is a commentary on social injustice at that time. The two books are required readings in High school, in Literature, discussed for one whole year. UST or University of Santo Tomas /Universidad de Santo Tomas, established in the 1600s ( older than Harvard ) banned these books until 1980, believe it or not. This university figured prominently in the book, and the Dominican order who owned the school. ( They still own it ) I can’t wait to read the review.

        Like

         
        • Ste J

          28/05/2017 at 20:33

          Yes I managed to read Noli whilst I was out there and think I will save the sequel for when I am next there. I really enjoyed it, well enjoy is probably the wrong word but it was a great read and one I will review within the next fortnight. Banning the book untl 1980 is a bit excessive but then people can be touchy about these things, especially when it’s the truth.

          Like

           
          • renxkyoko

            28/05/2017 at 20:51

            Not to mention, totally awkward. ^__^ The Dominican priests,in their white sutanas, are all over , walking the hallways. ha ha

            Like

             
      • renxkyoko

        27/05/2017 at 14:15

        No air travel for PAL on Good Friday, either. No work on Holy Thusday ( Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. The roads are empty. It’s bizarre, ha ha.

        Like

         
  6. Andrea Stephenson

    27/05/2017 at 17:42

    A 14 hour flight and bird embryo are two challenges I could do without, I hope the others were much more pleasant 🙂 Looking forward to learning more about your trip.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      28/05/2017 at 20:29

      The crazy stuff was at the beginning but I like being out of my comfort zone (when I expect it) so it was good to throw myself in face first. Things were more sedate but no less fun afterwards.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  7. Resa

    28/05/2017 at 23:40

    Another reason traveling is an ordeal to me… I won’t eat all foods. Bird embryo… sigh .. cheeses, anything animal related. I would never want to hurt the feelings or confuse the natural order. A 14 hour flight.. yeeshk! And over oceans? I’m glad you went. Now I get to see all your fab pics. BTW, your towel looks awesome.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      31/05/2017 at 14:12

      I was unsure if I would be all that good with new foods but I couldn’t stop trying things, I waddled onto the plane home, it was crazy. Most of it was overland, across the north sea then over northern Europe, into Russia, down over China and various others and then a short hop over the sea and landed.

      I know you are a huge towel connoisseur so this pleases me.

      Like

       
  8. Liz Dexter

    29/05/2017 at 11:11

    Wow, I can do long flights but not the bird, eugh!

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      31/05/2017 at 13:47

      It wasn’t too bad with distractions, the flight was steady though, easy with plenty of naps.

      Like

       
  9. Clare Pooley

    30/05/2017 at 15:57

    Woah Ste J! I’m not sure that I could eat bird embryo without a blindfold and the longest flight I’ve ever been on so far is 3 hours! The photos look wonderful! Looking forward to the rest of the saga.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      31/05/2017 at 14:04

      I’ve done seven hour flights before and a brief stop before a connecting flight of three hours but it was surprisingly easy. Lots of sleeping and a helpful screen telling us where we were and how long we had left, supplemented with a book made it pleasant, especially as the food was also tasty, a shock indeed!

      Liked by 1 person

       
  10. Sariska Jeep Safari

    31/05/2017 at 08:26

    Dazzling photographs, Ste J! What an awesome rich green everything is. I’m wagering it was delightful after a British winter and early spring…

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      31/05/2017 at 14:19

      Thank you. It was a shock to the system weather wise, usually we never go about 25/26 degrees so from 12/13 to 35 was crazy but well worth every moment of it.

      Like

       
  11. Lucy

    02/06/2017 at 16:33

    Boarding a plane from the back first!!! It seems so logical, why doesn’t everyone do it!? The amount of time wasted as we all wait for someone to put their stuff in the overhead before we can continue our shuffle!! It’s mind blowing how something so simple has been overlooked.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      03/06/2017 at 11:09

      I was impressed by the speed with which everybody was seated and it was a decent sized plane as well. No messing around, it was quite exciting to speed down the plane, imagined wind whipping my hair back due to sheer speed.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  12. LuAnn

    09/06/2017 at 23:59

    I am finally able to capture a little internet so am finally catching up on your adventures. The Philippines are on our travel list so I am anxious to hear more about your travels. Although I am an adventurous eater, I am still not sure about the balut.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      26/06/2017 at 11:20

      Its good to see you back around my friend. The craziest part is the traffic, it will help if you know someone who can get you places, or risk scammers and such inflating prices. The Balut is nice…but never again hehe!

      Liked by 1 person

       
  13. anna amundsen

    04/08/2017 at 16:48

    It’s 38°C in Sarajevo at the moment and I am melting…
    This is wonderful. Quite an adventure! 🙂 North America, South Asia, what’s next? Africa maybe, Antarctica?
    I love the first photo. The towel is just the right shade of blue to match all the other colors perfectly.
    I only traveled with Wizzair a couple of times. They board from both sides. Or, should I say, people board themselves. If your seat is closer to the back entrance, if it’s in the front half then you go for the front door. Of course, some people don’t follow this logic so it can be messy…

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      15/08/2017 at 20:48

      Antarctica would certainly be different, I think I would love to try that and read some Shackleton or Scott books, not too mention Amundsen of course!

      I loved that view in the first photo, lots of trees and a great vantage point for people walking by. I love people watching, especially in a new country.

      We need sensible boarding, it really is crazy when everybody stands waiting for the people at the front to get sorted.

      Like

       

Tell me stuff...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: