May 21, 2009

Life in the Big City

Thursday, May 21, 2009 Posted by Mary , No comments
It's my fifth day in Manila and although it's not home, I can say I'm getting used to it.

Our training starts at 8:30 in the morning and ends at 5:30 in the afternoon. Every day, I wake up at around 6:30, take a shower, leave the hotel at around 7:30 and take the 15-minute walk to the Starbucks branch at the Standard Chartered building in Ayala Avenue, which is in front of the SMART Tower where our training is held. I'm not a coffee person, there are minimal choices for me at Starbucks, so I've had Green Tea Latte every morning since Monday. I love it, though, and I'm starting to like Starbucks, even though they do not have free WiFi access. What's amusing is that the people at Starbucks already recognize me and my companion from Ateneo de Davao University.

Unlike Dumaguete, where you can find Internet Cafes on every street, I'm finding it hard to hook up to the 'Net in Makati. I really don't know where I can find free WiFi (the hotel we're staying at is not posh enough to have it), so I decided to purchase the Smart Bro wireless Internet kit, which will supposedly allow me to access the Internet anywhere there is a Smart signal. It cost me 1,995 pesos. I tried it yesterday inside the Smart building, and it worked extremely well, but when I used it at the hotel, it was almost useless. I thought there was something wrong with the service, but I found out that it worked fine on my roommate's laptop. Hrm. I'll have to double check later and try to figure out what's wrong.

Despite the bling of skyscrapers, humungous malls, and posh restaurants here, I still feel lucky to be based in Dumaguete, where work is only 10 minutes from my house, I can drive around in my car, beaches and resorts are just 20 minutes away from the downtown area, and I don't have to ride a bus or jeepney to go anywhere. It's good to experience the big city life once in a while, but not all the time!


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