Ok, there have been some strange things that I have not seen before happen here in Manila. About two weeks ago, Karen and I were in a taxi on our way home. Karen yells “Holy crap, she’s naked!” I start looking around, and then I see that right in the middle of the street, a woman of about 45 is running down the street naked. She was totally normal looking, healthy, hair combed and clean. Her expression was like, ‘I am running for exercise”. We just kept on going. We still laugh about it. Also, we were eating in a restaurant a few days ago and next to us, a family sat down to eat. A girl about 20 leaned over and bit her boyfriend on the ear. He flipped out and grabbed her hand and smacked it a few times. They both started crying. Everyone just kept on eating their lunch not even really reacting to it, so as not to lose face. After ten to fifteen excruciating minutes they seemed to make up, so we left, show’s over.
Something else is real funny too. Karen and I were staying over at her Uncle Mike’s (does everyone have an Uncle Mike?) house and as is the accepted custom I assumed, men are often shirtless in the Barangays (neighborhoods). Mike has four kids, mostly very behaved aged 2-12. (the one that acts up the most, Joevic, is a chip off the old block, as the explanation was given to me.) Mika, the 2 year old, was just starting to warm up to me, showing off her Spongebob Squarepants plush toy and backpack. As it was hot, I casually pulled off my shirt, not knowing that the kids are unaccustomed to body hair, of which I certainly have my share. Mika came walking by and as she turned to be, totally “double-taked”, and then with eyes real big and out of the sides, kept walking until she had reached the safety of her mother. Ever since that day, Mika has been apprehensive in coming close to me, even with a shirt on. I think they tease her when she is fussing or acting up with a “You better be good, or Kulya Joaquin will get mad at you” or even worse “If you don’t behave, you will have to kiss Kulya Joaquin” (that one ALWAYS quiets her down.)