Nina’s Travel Rule #40: Convos with Filipinos Do Befuddle


Dispatch from Manila International Airport:

It’s hour 39.5 of my second trans-pacific jaunt in the last 2 weeks. I’m feeling… not actually awake, and I think there’s 3 more cities and 20.5 more fucking goddam hours to go? But I’ve just spent 16 hours in ridonculous Manila, so it must be time to blog! To follow: the four most interesting conversations of my first jaunt to the Philippines…

I’m too tired for elaboration, and a bunch of rather bitchy friends have recently starting moaning that my posts are too long (I do NOT love you, Rachael dearest!), so let’s just bullet list, shall we?

4) This wasn’t a convo, more of a rant. Sorry.

So I’ve been to Asia like 8 times, for like 5 months total, and have never had a massage. Not that I’m scared of the adorable Thai trannies with the happy ending specials, more that I’m just a cheap little shit. Turns out I’m also WRONG and may have to marry an adorable Thai trannie. I only succumbed to the massage, in fact, cause about 2 hours ago I was passed out cold on the floor of this shit-hole of a miserable-ass excuse for an airport (btw, Manila International fucking sucks hippie nuts. I dislike it even further upon second viewing.), and by cold I mean I was fucking goddam freezing. I haven’t exactly dressed for this fiasco, and my bags are currently lost somewhere on the way to Sydney. Where I don’t live. Fuckers. But wait! The massage parlor has sheets! That sounds warm 🙂 To make a long story short (too late), it was awesome and warm and I fell in love with a Filipino masseuse, but now it’s over and I’m cold again and, fucker.

Manila tip: airport massage, 30 min, $15, bloody awesome.

3) Noon. Jet-lagged pedicure time at the mall!

Beth the Pedicurist: staring at my lower body, ‘Ma’am! What the hell happened??’

Me: Oh God, I’m disgusting, ‘Umm, I went to Divisoria this morning interesting ‘local’ market my awesome / crazy Filipino friend sent me to (I love you, Trish!), with the warning ‘Don’t wear jewelry. Don’t take money. Passport in the bra. And don’t die.’ and now I’m really dirty?’

BTP: ‘Omg you went to Divisoria? You lucky you not dead!’ Repeats story to door boy in Tagalog.

Door Boy: ‘Omg you lucky you not dead!’


Manila tip: best pedicure ever, Green Hills shopping center, $5.

2) Lunch, fucking awesomesauce Chinese restaurant some strange street woman recommended. Bless her.

Chinese Restaurant Waiter: Upon returning my credit card, ‘Ma’am, you a doctor??’

Me: ‘Why yes, yes I am, actually’ It says Dr. Nina on my card. He’s not psychic. That I know of.

CRW: ‘Oh. It’s hard to tell that, from how you dressed.’ CRW leaves.

Me: ‘…’ Can’t argue with that, scrubs stained and befouled tank top…

Manila Tip: Best Chinese Ever, Crystal Jade Restaurant, above-mentioned shopping center, enough food to feed all Filipino urchins, approximately $8, with beer…

And finally, 1) The bar, back at motherfuckin’ Manila International.

Airport Bar Waiter: ‘Ma’am, how old you?’

Me: ‘How old you think I am?’ Fuck. Must stop racist pidgin-copying tendency…

ABW: ’24?’

Me: ‘Haha, I’m 33.’

ABW: ‘You have boyfriend?’

Me: ‘No, I have husband…’

ABW: ‘You have kids?’

Me: ‘No, no kids’.

ABW: ‘Why you no have kids, ma’am?’

Me: ‘Well, I don’t really like kids.’ Again. Sorry. I’m really fuckin’ tired. It’s true though, although I was kinda fond of the urchins.

ABW: ‘Oh.’ Walks off.

White Guy Next To Me: Loud snort.

Me: ‘Yeah, the funny thing is I had literally the exact same convo with a different waiter in this bar two weeks ago.’

Manila Tip: Airport Bar, reasonably priced beer, avoid the adoring staff.

And that, dear readers, is 16 hours in Manila.

Also I don’t know how to label photos while blogging from my phone (sorry. AGAIN. I’m still tired), so the below is a shot of the saddest restaurant in Divisoria…


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