Welcome to paradise.
You know, when I was growing up, nobody ever talked about the tropics. Like, there’s this region belted along the middle of the world that has perfect weather all year long. You’d think that would be more of a talking point. “Hey, how’s the weather?” “Oh, it’s negative 50 degrees in fucking Chicago, and I walked past a frozen dead body on the way here.” “Cool, man. By the way, it’s summer all year in like 50 different countries, why do we live here again?”
Seriously. It’s 80 degrees and sunny here in the middle of January. And February. And December. And all the other cold months. Like, people talk about how Las Angeles skips the shitty seasons, but it’s still pretty chilly there in the winter. Also, it’s LA, so you have to have a thriving sense of inadequacy and self-loathing just to legally live there. It’s the law.
But yeah, the Philippines is great. The locals are charming and put white people wayyyyy up high on a pedestal, just how I like it. It’s nice to be loved and showered with attention without earning it at all. You get used to being stared at everywhere you go. That comes with the territory of being the tallest, most guwapo boy anybody has ever seen around here. It’s good to be loved.
People ask me, why do you want to go to Asia? Well, let me give you the short list.
- People will love you and want to be your friend just because you’re white
- A. Which means instant celebrity status with the opposite sex
- Everything is cheap as fuck.
- Tasty food
- Awesome weather
- Cultural and linguistic diversity (not planning on learning Tagalog fluently but it’s a beautiful language)
One week in Paradise behind me… What are my first impressions? Well, my tropical Filipino paradise isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Lest I give my dear readers a biased perspective, let me tell you some of the things that suck here.
The air is pretty dirty here in Manila. Which comes from the terrible traffic. The locals love to gripe about the constant gridlock, and for good reason.
The food here isn’t particularly memorable. Lots of typical Southeast-Asian fare. Lots of foreign food restaurants, Chinese in particular. The street food scene isn’t that interesting when compared with the incredible street markets in Taiwan, or the vibrant market districts of Japan. Just what you’d expect. Fried meat on sticks, fried seafood that’s 80% batter, noodles and other carbs aplenty. Typical stuff, light on the wallet but heavy on the waistline.
All this just to relay a fair and balanced perspective as best I can… I definitely recommend visiting here. The locals are certain to welcome you with open arms, (and they’ll welcome your wallet with open hands. I’m rich here, even though my family literally can’t fathom how I could possibly not be homeless by now).
But yeah. It’s nice. It’s wonderfully hot, and the smog isn’t as bad as some other urban centers like Beijing, for example. And the positives here vastly outweigh the minor annoyances.
I’d rate Manila a quite favorable 9/10. We’ll see how well that rating holds up over time, but for now, as an outsider looking in, I already feel right at home here. Now, we just have to get settled, get a proper apartment downtown, and then get rich and famous like I rightfully deserve. Or at least all the attention I’m getting will make me believe that.
My narcissism is bad enough (good enough?) already without everyone reinforcing my inflated ego. But hey, every hero needs a tragic flaw, right? As does every villain… We’ll see what happens moving forward.
Stay classy, Manila.