Monday, April 27, 2009
Yesterday we went to a public park called Paris Mountain. We cooked barbecued pork beside the picnic tables. We also had pancit, pakbet, mangoes and onions salad and apple pie. I baked the apple pie in the morning before the trip. We used our friend's SUV to go to the park. My son cooked the barbecues. We had a nice time. After the late lunch, we drove around the park and walked around the reservoir. Not many people where in the park and some families where cooking barbecues, too. A few kids were playing soccer and my son remarked that his younger brother was better than them. We took pictures and our friends drove back and dropped us at the apartment.
Last Friday, my boss and I went to the nearby warehouse which is one of our biggest in the country. We walked around and he showed me the operation. An old lady was in charge of taking care of the shipments. She said that they had a problem a few days back and mentioned that the order number had a '666' number. It made me realize that the people here are quite religious and backward despite all the modern trappings. We drove back to the office and my boss passed his house to give me free tickets to the health club. It was nice of him to give me the tickets. We had lunch of pulled barbecue pork and it was great food. The place is called Charlie's and there were a lot of local folks around. My boss said that they are mostly workers like electricians, plumbers, and other work men.
I think we are establishing some sort of rapport these past few days. Although I still have a lot to learn about the way things work around here. But everyone tells me that this department is a good place to land. I like the way of life here and it's pretty slow. I think the challenge is to be very vocal and try to follow the local customs. I cannot step on a lot of toes though there is pressure to move the project at a faster pace. I feel a bit stressed because there is a lot of things I need to do in the following order: enroll both my son's online in their new college, buy a car, buy a house or at least look for a rental in the coming months before my wife arrives, get my Social Security card and driver's license.
It's good our friends have been great helping us adapt here to this new place. They have been showing us around to the places to eat, shop, places like the park as well as giving good advice in buying car or working in the office. I am still working on my set-up at the office to get connected to the right systems and reading all the needed documents. So it is a hectic time although I also need to be sociable trying to talk and meet the people and talk about the project. I am glad my new boss is a nice, easy-going person. He is not a hard driving guy like the other people I used know in Asia. I think I will get to like working with him.
Today is Sunday and we went to the St.Mary Church in downtown. We went early compared to last week, attending the 9am mass because we though that we could go to the nearby museum. But the museum opens only at 1pm so we went to Main street and walked around. We had a sandwich at Subways. I wanted to go to the Toyota dealer which was also going to open at 1pm. So we went first to the shopping center to buy some groceries. I bought a newspaper and saw that the discount at Toyota was not the same as in the television. I thought I could get more discount but found that it was not the same. So my son and I decided to go back home. We wanted to go to the Ford dealership but it seemed that it was not open on Sundays.
I liked driving through the roads nearby looking at the nice houses with columns and porches. The southern architecture is very beautiful especially with the flower in their gardens. There are some nice looking places and I always forget to bring my camera to take pictures. My wife called me this morning but we were in a hurry to go to church. The movers will be at our place in Singapore next week to pack the things. My cousin is there now to stay a few days. They will soon leave for home and my office mate will transfer by May. They will be living with my wife and youngest son for a month until their new flat is renovated. Sometimes I don't believe that I am already here living a whole new life.