20 March 2012

Things I learned in the Philippines.

I finally, finally, got the spelling of Philippines down. I could never remember if it was a double L, or double P, or was it a double N? I thought that I would learn it by osmosis from Amos, but that was NOT the case. Don't fret, the situation has been corrected and it's imprinted on my little dyslexic brain (or is it brian?)

I learned that the Philippine culture is decidedly different than Japan's. People are eavesdroppers, affectionate, outgoing, casual, and a bit in each other's business. It was definitely more my speed; I loved it.

I learned that family visits, be it in the Midwest or the South Pacific, are reassuringly similar. They seem to always involve sitting around talking for hours, eating way too much food, trying to fit 10 people in a car built for 7, and getting close enough that people can give you their honest opinion on things like hair color (they like mine) and style (I look younger with straight hair). The primary language of Amos' family is different than mine, but the culture is strikingly similar. I felt right at home.

I learned that cousins are cousins are cousins, even if they live halfway around the world and not down the block. Amos' cousins were sweet and wonderful and you could feel they had a special bond, even if they hadn't been able to see each other in 10 years.

I learned that there is nothing like seeing a town from the vantage point of a put-put (not to be confused with a tuk-tuk or a jeepnee). I also learned that Amos has almost outgrown the ol' put-put.

I also learned that traffic rules are decidedly fluid. Oh, and honking. You should honk all the time in the Philippines. Honk to pass, honk to be passed, honk to tell someone hurry up, to slow down, to ask if the other driver sees you, to say hello. When in doubt, honk.

I learned that non-touristy trips can have their own delightful white sand beaches and infinity pools.

I've learned that even when you know someone really, really well, you still catch on to new aspects of their person when you meet their family. Yup, I'm talking about you Amos.

I learned that my MIL is a great travel companion for a 13 hour layover. I kept track of the tour group by watching her red beanie. She saved me from being lost in Korea forever.

Lastly, and most importantly (jokes!), I learned that fish spas tickle my feet.

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