A Day in the Life of Manila [true story]

Just another day in Manila: Novita took the car so I grabbed a taxi home from work. Traffic in Manila was so obscenely terrible that I decided to get out and walk. Only after exiting the car did I realize the entire street was lined with gates – meaning it was completely illegal to be on the busy street vs the sidewalk. (Ayala Ave / Paseo) Nice of the taxi driver to mention that. WTF? So just as I’m┬áready toRead more

Getting back into mountain biking

One of my first obsessions on the internet was pouring over websites and forums in the wee hours of the morning in search of the best mountain bike for my budget. While my massive roommates spent hours surfing pRon, I was bleary eyed from comparing the latest Gary Fishers and Voodoo. This was late 90’s, when I first got into mountain biking. I was midway through university and found biking to be amongst the best of stress relievers. There wasRead more

Photographing Manila as an expat

Took a stroll the other day with a fellow photography enthusiast and Novita through a part of Manila most expats would never dare explore. Between that area and the area we live in, “Fort Bonifacio”, there’s a massive, imposing wall reaching 5 meters in some places. I wasn’t sure if it was keeping them out, or keeping us walled in. The security guards near one entrance just smiled and said there’s no way we could enter. Of course that didn’tRead more

Celeb sighting at the zoo

Saturday, Novita and I spent the day at the zoo in south Jakarta. As we were heading towards the exit, three women were walking towards us. Novita started talking to one of them; I assumed they were old university friends or something, as the conversation was quite bubbly. After a few minutes of small talk, I said, “Oh did you go to university together?”. (I tuned out their Bahasa – happens if I’m tired). It turns out the woman’s nameRead more

Well hello there.

So I guess I’ve been away a bit longer than I’d planned. It’s a rough life waking up every day, heading to the beach or for a day trip around Bali. The ‘net has been the last thing on my mind. My apologies to those of you who’ve wondered where I’ve disappeared to. Although we’ve managed to soak up some sun, we’ve covered about 1300 kilometers so far; our travels have included: Kuta, Seminyak, Ubud, Sanur, Tampaksiring, Kintimani, Lake Batur,Read more

When friends leave

One of the most unfortunate aspects of being an overseas expat is the simple but inevitable fact that you must continually part ways with close friends. When you work in an expat situation and experience extreme highs and even more intense lows, these people become your surrogate family. Unlike other environments, rarely would you find a job where you’d find yourself stranded together because of massive flooding, and evacuated together in the back of a military truck. You’d scarcely findRead more