(Ed. note: I know I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I saw these two headlines in the Sun the other day:
B.C. delivers ‘fiscal hat trick’ with third consecutive balanced budget
B.C.’s soaring debt no cause for concern: expert
Does anyone see a contradiction?)
Our first day on the #7 best beach in the world, we spent a good 4 hours, in the shade of some palms and under umbrellas, which provide only partial help as the sand is so white it’s reflection keeps the sun intense. We took turns swimming, then had terrific pedicures from a woman who sanded and sanded our feet until silky smooth. Only I got polish, in case you’re wondering.
By the time we got home, Geoff was fiery red and broke out in heat rash which is really typical for him. Today he was trying to track the rash and concluded that, not only did he have heat rash, he’s probably also allergic to chlorine, as the symptoms look very similar. He’s in denial about having a sun burn though.
There are some creative people in the world. Last post we mentioned the typist on the street in Cebu. On the beach there are young kids – 10-12 who will build you a sand sign for a fee and then take your picture beside it. The one above says “Olga Luba 02-16-2015”. Others said “Boracay”, “Just Married” etc. One thing we noticed that although some people try to sell things on the beach, they aren’t aggressive or demanding, which is nice and makes it easier to buy from them.
We have often seen older (almost always white) men with younger (almost always Filipino) women here – sometimes with kids in tow. We make no judgement since they are both getting what they need from any arrangements they may have made. Terry has also commented in the past how some younger caucasian men could never hope to get a woman as attractive as they can here or in China or anywhere else in SE Asia. This guy, however, needs to be judged. He is a pig. As we are walking along behind him he asked the woman “What would you like for lunch? It’s up to you because you know I would like to go back to the room and cover you with ketchup and ….” I started talking to Terry so I wouldn’t have to listen to the rest. Trust me – I wasn’t trying to listen but he was right in front of us and wasn’t shy about sharing his thoughts in public. Even the woman didn’t seem impressed as there was no reaction whatsoever from her.
Second day of diving, I took the PADI Discover Scuba course again and went out to a dive site with a group of more experienced divers and my teacher, who stayed with me the entire time. Not as many fish as previously but a different range of colours and so many sea urchins, anemones and other creatures, including a sea snake. It was creepy in the snake sense but quite beautifully marked in definite black and white stripes wrapped around its body. We took a speed boat to the dive site where the water was deeper and therefore colder. By the time we came up, the two Malaysian women on the dive and I were shaking we were so cold. It got me to thinking: Is scuba really for me? The cold put me back to when I used to ski.
If you’ve ever snow skied, you know the drill. First, dress warmly–not so warmly that you start to work up a sweat when you ski because then you’d be cold. Instead, warm enough so you stay that way when skiing but freeze when you’re on the chair lift. Make sure you have mitts, goggles, toque plus your long underwear and snowsuit, then put on the heavy snow boots, grab your skis and poles and trudge through the parking lot to the lift. Having fun yet? Scuba is similar. Put on the wetsuit, add your flotation vest, weight belt, goggles, regulator and various tubes and gauges that hang off the vest and connect to the tank, flippers and then, the TANK. Sadly, I am so far out of shape that I can’t stand up with the tank on my back and have to be helped up. How embarrassing! My instructor no doubt recognised that it might be a problem for me so thankfully brought my tank to the lesson site and later, to the boat. I managed to push myself to the gunwale in order to do the James Bond back fall into the water, which was quite fun, and thought that I had redeemed myself somewhat, but then underwater, my instructor towed me around quite a bit to help me avoid the coral and animal life. Meanwhile, one of the instructors was taking pictures of all of us and the things we were seeing. It was a push to up-sell, largely because I asked if I could take pictures. The answer was reasonable: no, because I would be distracted from all the things I have to think of doing, like breathing, clearing my regulator and mask, equalising the pressure in my ears, and so on.
The Malaysian women were experienced divers and travelled with their own regulators and masks and possibly wet suits. They told me that what we saw in Boracay was nothing compared to what exists in Borneo and Malaysia. They topped the sale of their country by talking about the food in Penang, which is apparently out of this world, intensely flavoured and spiced. We may have to visit before heading home. Geoff’s heat rash should be cleared by then.
I took another chance and had my hair cut and coloured for a very low price, relatively speaking. The cut is good but when I saw it in the mirror in the room, it was clear that the colour had not taken anywhere except on the top of my head. There goes another hour of another day. (Ed. note: Colour and cut – $45.88) Geoff had his cut in Cebu City for $1.79 and it turned out okay. Sigh. (Ed. note: After another visit guess what – colour still hasn’t taken. Sigh. Sigh.)
Chinese New Year was last night. We were told to expect lots of activities but actually there weren’t many. Some lame fireworks (Hey, we live in China. These fireworks didn’t even reach the standard of a store opening…or closing) and a dragon dance early in the afternoon. There were a number of bars and clubs that created fenced seating on the beach and had a DJ come in. We chose one of these places. So explain this: as far as we could tell, the “DJ” played no discs. He started at 9:00 or 9:30 and the music was predominantly a thumping unwavering beat. After an hour of this, Geoff and I had run out of ironic comments to make to each other about the “music” when the DJ spoke over the beat: “No music, no lyrics, no stress.” Geoff described it as “techno crap” but I don’t know. It seemed worse, just a really sad waste of possibilities. If you know, respond to the blog, please. Bruce? Anyone? Is this the music the young generation are inspired by? If so, how will they ever connect anything to the music of their times? Is it all the same–or no music or lyrics? Do I sound like our parents?
30 seconds of music from Chinese New Year
One rather crass bit of Boracay that we pass by every time we head to the beach is The Hobbit House bar and restaurant. Their draw? They claim to have “the world’s smallest waiters” and in fact, are staffed with dwarves or little people (not sure of the PC term here). I am both embarrassed and hesitant to judge. It is gainful employment. What do I know of their lives? But still, from western eyes, it doesn’t seem right. Will not be going there. They do have live entertainment every night, though, and their singers actually sing songs, which is refreshing.
Tonight we are off to D-Talipapa for dinner. It has a wet market on the inside of the square and cooking services/restaurants around the outside. This is what you do. There are about 30 or so fish, meat and vegetable vendors. You haggle with them to get what you want at a price you are willing to pay. When you have what you want, you go to one of the cooking services and for a price of 100 or 200 pesos they cook it the way you want. We’ll let you know how it goes.
It will have to go some to beat last night though. We went to Paupatri for dinner. The last TripAdvisor review really slammed it – 1/5 but the ones before all gave it 4 or 5. We would give it 5. We had some of the best food ever. At the entrance you remove your shoes and go barefoot. Terry mentioned that she was concerned about the washroom. I thought there might be slippers to put on but no. Terry’s verdict: As spotless as the rest of the restaurant.
Tacky Photo Time
The Shoe Blog
Not a great entry today, but hey most people (at least most most non-Japanese women) wear sandals to the beach.
Off to Puka Beach – home to all those puka necklaces you wore so many years ago.
(Ed. note: On a totally unrelated note – for those of you who did not see the SNL 40th anniversary show, PLEASE go on to youtube and find the Celebrity Jeopardy skit and watch for the guy who played Sean Connery – I thought I was going to wet myself laughing!)