July 22, 2014
“Who’s your name?” asked the shuttle driver when he picked me up from the world’s tenth biggest mall, at which I only went to the bookstore. I hate malls, but they’re quite the ubiquitous monstrosity here in Manila.
“Carrie,” I replied politely.
“How old are you? Are you married?”
I answered these questions, too, and he paused, seemingly to think seriously about the mysteries inherent.
“Oh.” Pause again…
“Are you a man eater?”
“What’s your religion?”
“I don’t have one.”
Another somewhat awkward silence. I pulled out Candy Crush and started battling the owl.
“Maybe you could go to the beach with me?”
Yes! I am a date magnet here, and allow me to brag a little: I haven’t done more than grimace disgustedly at my hair in over a week, but the mere fact that it’s blonde and curly is exotic enough that people want to lie in sand with me. This has happened on a fairly regular basis since I’ve been here, which is flattering because it’s happened in Portland exactly once in probably the last year, and that one shouldn’t even count because he was too drunk to pronounce my name correctly at the time. A name which I am henceforward changing to “Man Eater”.
And what am I doing back in Manila, you ask?
I have absolutely no idea. It feels like a cat’s ninth lifetime ago, making plans for this. I think I thought the travel agent was going to charge me more if I didn’t fly home from Manila, and I wanted to give myself a night of buffer from Vietnam, not having the foresight to realize that I’d be the most relaxed but unexciting blonde in southeast Asia for a solid week.
Shuttle guy has reinstated my social confidence, though, and hey, I’m excited to see y’all! Oh-oh, here I come, Portland.
Try not to let me chew you up.