Thursday, January 27, 2011


Up early this morning for a buffet breakfast before heading back to Manila. The hotel (Taal Vista Hotel) serves just about anything you can want: garlic rice, tiny fried fish, conchee (porridge), chicken sausage, salad, meat & cheeses, as well as more traditional (by American standards) foods such as cereal, fruit, yogurt, omelets made to order, bacon, and pancakes.

We stop off for fresh pineapple and corn along our route to Manila, before joining the morning commuters in the city.

Mari shops for pineapple
Jackfruit & pineapples
Local bananas
Later in the day Bob drives Mr. Man and I to the Shangri-la Mall; I am sunburned—I know, I know, sunscreen—from our hike yesterday and need to find a light-weight, long-sleeved shirt for our weekend at El Nido.  On our way into the mall we are stopped by security and have to open the trunk for the bomb-sniffing dog.  There are police everywhere here; on the streets with what look to my inexperienced eyes like assault rifles, in the malls—you must open your purse/bag to a quick look-see before entering each store and sometimes have a wand passed over your body—always at parking garages or on your way into a residential community—where they walk around your vehicle with a mirror to look under your car—it is somewhat unnerving.

The mall is huge, five stories, and a bit overwhelming.  Really, you need a map to negotiate your way around.  There are clothing stores, of course, but also medical/dental practices, furniture and electronics, and a super-sized supermarket; the epitome of one-stop shopping.

Susan makes us curry for dinner, which is delicious.  Then, Mr. Man and I have another massage scheduled—you can get a massage here for around $16 per person for one-and-a-half hours, so we are determined to get several—this time deep tissue.  I am sure I will be sore tomorrow.

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