I hightailed it back to civilisation after that, after two boiled eggs, a bottle of Sprite and a small argument with a weirdo at the bus station. In my sleep-deprived state I endeavoured to not let the experience colour my views of the Filipino gents, and found to my great relief it did not. I can say ‘well this could happen anywhere in the world’ because it HAS. The chaps continued to doff their silk toppers, arrange capes in puddles and exclaim ‘La! Demmed fine filly!’ as they had since I arrived.
However, the doors and windows of my hotel room were zealously latched from there on.
So how did I spend the remainder of my days in the land of Pinoy? I confess things were a little blah without a chum at one’s elbow. And I was at the centre of a slightly more curious, aggressive bunch of people wherever I went. I took myself off for a day’s snorkelling for the thousandth time. I visited one of those seedy, spore-smelling museums you get in remote places, which I enjoyed thoroughly (the dimmer the lighting, the crappier the display, the ruder the staff and the more mouldy the streaks of water running down the walls the more I likes them).
And then I made tracks for home. I have to say that while the Philippines didn’t set my pants on fire in the same way as, say India or Mali, it was a jolly d. place to see. I had all the usual pangs you get upon coming home: good gad these white people are unappealing. Why did that bloke look away when I smiled at him? Do I have to wait more than 10 minutes for this bus? Why are these noodles so expensive? etc etc
But there was plant and animal life ahoy. I ate seafood twice a day and swam non-stop. I bonded with me pal, and stored up heaps of holiday energy, enough to last the rest of the year. And I have a whole new appreciation of the earth’s crust.