Manila

Manila is crazy.
I got a lovely couple of room mates as hosts on couch surfing that live in a building with like 43 floors, and we're living on the 33rd. The first night they had a group of friends over and we all cooked dinner together. It was great.

The pictures can't really capture the grand scale of it all, especially at night. It's like stars on the ground going on forever.








The 6th floor has a playground, restaurant/sports bar, pool tables, etc.
After work hours, a lot of people are in this area.








Right below this swanky resort-like mega-plex is a regular, middle class neighbourhood where everyone is playing basketball in the streets and I saw two different people with guitars, on one short walk. They love karaoke and singing. I've heard two people so far breaking out in song with a little jazzy dance. So weird, haha. They just like pop love and romance songs or top hits. It's extremely Americanised here with huge gaps between the rich and poor. Tons of people are living on the streets, while the middle class like me can go spend 6 dollars on a glass of wine at a swanky rooftop bar on the 74th floor. For this trip, that's expensive but for being in that environment I guess it's not insane. Buying sweets (below) I payed 3 pesos for one of the treats and 4 for the other. 45 pesos is a dollar, so that is a big difference if you compare going to one of the Starbucks where a coffee costs 150 (3 dollars-ish) or one of the other million fast food chains they have here. There is every fast food chain imaginable, EVERYWHERE. I've seriously never seen a city like this. A metropolis of slums and futuristic luxuries. It's like being in the movie AI or Wall-e, just really surreal.




The city is a bizarre mix of old and new. Like these "Jeepnees" (below) that are like the local buses and really cheap. 7 pesos per ride. They're old war-jeeps converted to long bus-like things. They pollute something insane, I don't really want to breathe at all while in traffic :S Then on the other hand, I've never seen a more swanky city...it must be comparable to Dubai in some ways. So unique.


Went to a Burrito place, I'm actually sitting here now. A burrito costs 6 dollars, to me that's a lot.






This city is so big, I've never seen anything like it. 
Not New York, it's different and when we were on that 71st floor lounge several people were telling me they had the same experience. A bit overwhelming. I was literally shaking in the beginning being so high up and you have to clear you ears when you go up into a new atmosphere like reverse scuba diving :P

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