Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Last Day :(

    Today is our last day in the Philippines and a we have a free day. We sleep in till about 7:30 a.m. Yes, this is sleeping in since we've been up at around 5 a.m the past 4 days. We go get breakfast at the hotel again. It will be the last time I get to eat the delicious pineapple here. It was nice having ripe pineapple every morning with my breakfast. We also get to say some of our last goodbyes to the brothers who were in charge of taking care of us there. 
    After breakfast, we go back to our room and go back to sleep. I wrote yesterday's blog- which took about an hour! Haha. Around 12 noon we get ready again. It was nice having a leisurely  day.
    Today we are going to the Mall of Asia. It is the 3rd biggest mall - in the WORLD! Or so we hear. We head to Starbucks for some coffee first, when we come back to the hotel we tell them we want a taxi to the mall. Then a sister comes up to us and asks us what our plans are. She says she can take us to the mall and it will be cheaper. Her husband and her own a taxi service for a living so she was taking care of the rides for the brothers to the airport and also to other things they were doing around town. 
    There was a lot of traffic so it took about an hour to get to the mall. On the way we talked with the sister about how things are in the Philippines compared to the U.S. For example, the cars they have, the prices of the cars, how their taxes work, how big the families are there (she had 6 kids!), how many divorces in the US compared to there, ect. It is very hard to get a divorce there. That is good, then less people get them. 
    We get to the mall and it is HUGE! It was overwhelming when we stepped inside. It is 2 stories high and they have stores inside and stores outside. I'm like - where do I start?! Haha. Though, partly what makes it so big is they have an ice skating rink, bounce houses, movie theatre, Science and Discovery Center, ect. It was still giant though. A lot of the Designer names and fancy shmancy places we know of at home plus more. I didn't end up buying anything (other than food) but it was something worth seeing. John got something from the toy store called Toy Kingdom, it was exactly like a Toys R Us. The colors of the letters were the same too. It was really hectic in there. All the kids were loud but also the workers were too. For example, there was an adult worker riding around on a tiny tricycle bike and honking the horn. And there were soo many workers. There was one per aisle and you couldn't get out of the aisle unless you went passed them. I don't know if they were there to help you or for security. I'm kind of the thinking the latter, but I don't know. 
    We ran into a lot of other witnesses at the mall- mostly delegates, but also locals. We stopped a few times and talked for a while. We also stopped and talked to people that worked at the mall for a while. For example, John went into an electronic store and was just curious about the price differences of things there compared with things in the U.S. The Tvs are a lot more money there. But the girl was asking us where we were from and everything. It seems like if you talk to workers at home in the malls, they are just interested in talking about the product they are trying to sell. But here, they seem like they also want to talk about other things. We also talked to a
guy at the Lego store. He was neat. He helped build the Legos on display. He said he really wanted to go to Lego Land and a asked us if we've been (unfortunately, we haven't). He was really into the Legos it seemed. He kind of reminded me of a Liam Partridge type. Really smart and excited about what he does.  
    Around 4 p.m we got lunch at this place called Tempura Grill. It was really good! I got sushi and John got tempura tiger prawns that were really good. Although they were fried, they didn't seem that greasy. I wish we had one back at home. At the mall we see a lot of older American men with their younger looking Filipino wives. I guess they're taking them back to their country for a visit. We saw a lot of this at Boracay also.
    Anyways, we were probably at the mall for about 4 hours and we call the sister and tell her we are about ready to be picked up. We had a fun time, but man, this shopping thing is exhausting. Towards the end of our visit we were just walking really fast through the mall, just because we wanted to see all the different stores they had. It seemed like a lot of the specific types of stores were grouped together. For example, they had around 5 baby clothing stores next to each other and next to those were the maternity clothes stores, ect. And the electronic stores seemed to all be next to each other. I don't know how that is for their competition, but it is smart if people want to go to the mall specifically for a certain thing, they don't have to walk all over but just have to go to that particular section of the mall. 
    So we head back over to where we need to meet the sister. Actually, she isn't there, but her husband was. We go back to the hotel, put our stuff in the room and then take another brief shuttle over to the mall 5 mins. away to get dinner. We went to Outback and a just got salads. We weren't that hungry. We went to Pinkberry (the frozen yogurt place) one last time before we left and called for our shuttle to come get us. 
    Back at the hotel, we packed and went to bed around 11 p.m. We have to be up at 2 a.m. to be at our taxi outside the hotel at 3 a.m. Sheesh! Not a lot of sleep. Haha. So maybe we will sleep a lot on the plane. It was a fun trip. We will miss the people here, but I also look forward to coming home. We will see you guys soon! Yay! 

That cool looking building is just a parking garage

They had these giant touch screen kiosks as Directories
Directions to where you wanted to go on the directories

They had security checks every time you went into the mall. Even if you walked out and came back 2 mins. Later you needed to go through it. They checked your bags and you went through the scanner. 

By the way, these are all the newspapers we accumulated by the end of the trip. They put one outside our room every day. We don't even read the news. We just put it in a big pile.

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