Sunday, January 22, 2006

Sitting can be tough

It's getting close to the end of my 3 week visa to stay in the Philippines and I have to find an immigration office so I can extend it to 59 days or more depending on whether my friend Gavin wants me to come help him in Korea and also depending on the price of a return flight to Korea (I may have to pay US$1000 for the round trip).

Had my first bout with diarrehea in the Philippines today which reminds me how strange it is that I have to relearn how to sit in almost every country I stay. In Korea I had to learn how to sit crosslegged on the floor with my feet under me so I could sit down to dinner with my friend Sunny and her family. In the Philippines I'm still learning how to sit on the toilet!

You have to stand on the toilet and then crouch with your feet flat on the toilet rim with your bum down between your legs resting your arms on your knees but I still haven't perfected this. I usually can't get my feet flat or I don't feel balanced when I do get them flat. Then when it's time to take the wash bucket to my nether regions for a washing it's even harder to stay balanced while you make sure everything down there is clean. Then I rush off to the kitchen because I really get concerned about being clean so I have to go and wash my hands in the cold water is cold so I'm trying not to use my left hand for anything else these days.

I'm still feeling a little bit weak from the diarrehea but getting steadily better. I think it was caused by eating the pig leg and fish that Tatay (Rosi's dad) had put on his bamboo stick for his celebration in the Ati-Ati festival yesterday. He cooked the meat the night before and then let it cool on the stick. Then he ran around dancing in the parade all morning until 1pm. When we came home we just cut some meat from the leg and ate it. My delicate Canadian stomach doesn't know how to handle such bacterial delicacies.

Since there is no garbage disposal in this neighbourhood I'm also learning how to blow my nose in a different way. I could just use the toilet paper I brought but then it leaves an unsightly pile of snotrags in the bushes. So I've begun to practise the art of reverse snorting out of my nostrils without having to wipe my hands afterwards. It's a difficult art but I think I'm mastering it.

If you are wondering where to find the photo of Tatay and Robert dancing in the Ati-Ati festival don't bother searching around. I was waiting for them to dance by in the parade but the never showed up. I guess they got sidetracked visiting with friends or drinking beer or some such. And now it's time for a nice Hungarian style espresso maybe that will help me to settle my stomach. I sure am glad that I brought that Hungarian espresso maker with me when I went back to Canada in 1999. I'm even more glad that I bothered to haul it with me from Canada to Korea, back to Canada again and now to the Philippines. Despite its weight and bulk it makes a perfect cup of espresso everytime. The only time I didn't drink from it regularly is when I had stomach problems last spring from too much of my homemade spicy food and soju.

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