There are two fail-safe sensory overloads for the traveller who wants to learn about a new place: going to the local supermarket, replete with its adventurous, exciting foods and people watching, and taking public transportation, with all of the delays, break-downs and random farm animals that comes with it.
I walk around this country and often think of ways to express my love for it on this blog. It is hard to accurately synthesize what makes every day here a lesson in hilarity or, as a friend aptly noted a ‘carnival of lunacy’ in so many ways. With the patience of the unemployed, every day in the Philippines brings me something new to savour, and a new oddity to encounter. From relearning what air sirens mean, to watching a staunchly catholic country celebrate Miss Ladyboy Philippines 2009 to being swept along in the swirling current of daily life in a small town, this enigmatic country is full of contradictions and they are a pleasure to explore.
To let Beijing (and its grime and and mist and smog) seep deep into your bloodstream necessarily requires you to bike around incessantly until the chaos and noise and intersection of millions of lives starts to make some sense, starts to meld together into a comprehensive pattern – which is exactly what I did.