I am still getting used to having our van checked with mirrors and guards opening the van prior to entering any hotel, mall or the office as well as having my purse and any bag inspected before I go in as well. You have armed guards with AKs outside main office buildings as well as K9’s (they have K9s outside the hotel as well. Sometimes they have a cute Jack Russell that makes me miss Chase).
Besides the overload of security, my first day at work was great. It was nice to meet all the people that I have emailed and spoke to over the phone over the years. Everyone is so sweet and it is good to hear that people were excited when they saw my name that I was coming here. I brought along some pasalubong’s (small homecoming gifts – Ghirardelli chocolates) that I handed out to folks when I met them. I’m trying to fit in with their culture as best as I can. So far the only word I really use most of the time is salamat, thank you, as everyone speaks English here I feel weird trying Tagalog since I’m sure I’m butchering it 🙂
The view from my office is amazing. On a clear day you can see the sea. I have to get used to the constant honking I can hear from my desk even though I’m all the way up in a huge high rise. It is definitely not like my quiet office back in the states. Well I have a cubicle, but I don’t mind that. As long as I have a place to put my crap I’m fine! I am in an area kind of off to the side so luckily it’s not too noisy.
After work I finally ventured out to the Greenbelt mall which is right across from my hotel. I’m not a mall person in general, but I guess I have to start becoming one since that seems to be the thing that everyone does around here since it’s air conditioned. My hotel is across from the high end stores that I would never shop in back in the states like Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Louis Vuitton, Prada, etc. So I just walked right through into the next mall that is cheaper. I hear there is a Forever 21 in one of them so I need to figure out which one so I can make it over there. I don’t know if they will have my size as I can barely fit into the US Forever 21 :p I went to the Landmark, which is one of the cheaper malls and I purchased a tote bag since I forgot to bring one. When we went to the beach this past weekend I had to take the hotel laundry bag so I wanted to make sure I didn’t have to do that again!
I ate outside in the middle of the Greenbelt 5 at Simply Thai. It was a beautiful setting as I sat and watched Fashion TV without sound while I ate and had a yummy Sangria. I didn’t have a plan when I went out and didn’t realize I was going to be sitting outside so I didn’t put bug spray on. Big mistake! I was bit all over my right arm and on my left leg! @Letty I need to order some more Avon bugspray/sunscreen!!! I’ll let you know how many bottles!
Since there are so many malls that are connected I got kind of turned around but luckily the waiter pointed me in the right direction to get back to the Greenbelt 3, the one closest to my hotel, and I found my way easily . I am sure I will be venturing out to other malls, including the famous Green Hills so I can purchase pearls and other really cheap items! That’s today’s thoughts…