Sunday, July 23, 2006

Office Space

We are about to start our 3rd week back in Makati since returning from our U.S. flyback. This also marks our 5 ½ month mark in the Philippines. So, we have two weeks left. We’ll be making several posts in a row here to update everyone on what has been going on with us since returning and some of the activities of this weekend.

First of all, it still continues to rain and to be dark and cloudy all the time. This is a very extreme country – all the rain at once, all the sun at once. If I lived here all the time (or the southern US or the west coast of the US), I would terribly miss the transitional seasons of Spring and Fall. Fall is my favorite season.

The two weeks I was back at work have been pretty routine. Todd Olson, another expat from Atlanta, has been back here again, and so he has been entertaining. It is always interesting to observe the differences between how the team relates to Todd as a male versus their interactions with me. Even though I am also very friendly to the people at work, most of my relationships are more at a distance, and people don’t share much with me. Todd seems to get the scoop on everything, but truth be told – that is fine. In many cases, I would probably rather not know!

I have also been training my replacement to take over the development manager role when I leave.

However, this past week we did have some exciting events at the office. I had just heated up my lunch in the microwave and was about 4-5 bites into it, when I smelled something HORRIBLE. I mean just dreadful. I was sitting there smelling my food – smelling the trash, etc. Then the combination of this smell with the fact that I was trying to eat started making me feel as though I was going to throw up. I stood up with my hand over my mouth and tried to just take deep breaths. I looked over the divider, and other members of the team were also sniffing the air with frowns. Unable to be polite about this, I said – “Is someone eating something that smells really really bad?” Most of the team started laughing and one started profusely apologizing. She was eating TUYO (dried fish heads).

Once I realized it was food, I was able to place it a bit better and someone propped open the door to air the place out a bit. I wasn’t sure whether to be annoyed that such food was being consumed in the small confines of the office or impressed with her for being able to eat something that smells so foul and actually like it.

[The best place for fresh Tuyo in SE Asia- Lantau Island, in Hong Kong]

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