How Manila changed my life

This is not a post I ever saw myself writing. In fact, it would make far much more sense if, I don't know, somewhere dramatic or impressive was in the title...like 'How China changed my life' or 'How Nepal changed my life' (both did - but just not quite like this). Last week I returned [...]

Coffee shop friends

I sat in Starbucks yesterday evening studying for TOPIK. Ah, beloved TOPIK. TOPIK is the Test of Proficiency in Korean, administered by the government four times a year to those of us attempting to get a hold on the language. It's to give us a heads up on how we're doing and also for loads [...]

My Manila Identity Crisis 

In the hotel restaurant having lunch, a mother comes up to me and asks if I'll take a picture with her daughters. Happy to oblige, she sits one daughter on my lap and positions the other next to me. Then starts telling how much her kids love Katie Perry and how she never expected to [...]

Appearances are deceptive

When I arrived at the hotel this morning looking rather worn out and disheveled, I was somewhat surprised to find out that my stay had boosted me into the next points bracket and I was now considered a VIP customer. Kathleen excitedly informed me that I'd been given a complimentary room upgrade, 15% off spa [...]