Good-Bye Manila

Two years ago I packed up my house and my child and moved 8,000 miles away to Manila, Philippines. I had wanted to live abroad again as an adult but this move was also prompted for financial reasons. It was a difficult decision and challenged me in so many ways but I don’t regret it. I paid off all my consumer debt, made some great friends, grew personally and professionally and traveled all over Asia.

Because of this I thought I might be sad to go. But I gotta be honest, I wasn’t sad at all. Okay, I did shed a few tears saying good-bye to friends but Manila is a difficult place to live and for me two years was more than enough.

When we returned from Vietnam we stayed for two days at a friend’s house (her family was out of town) and did another mini birthday celebration for me. My friend V took us out to dinner at this hole in the wall restaurant with great food. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Ethiopian food on the menu. Injera?! On the day before I am to leave the country I find a restaurant that sells injera and doro wat? What?! Coco wanted some injera so I ordered some but I breathed a sigh of relief that it tasted nothing like injera. That would have been most unfortunate to find that on the last day. Lol  IMG_0255   IMG_0258

IMG_0260After dinner we had some cake and they sang Happy Birthday to me. It was sweet and simple and I appreciated it but trust, Coco and I both are going to have more birthday celebrations this summer. 🙂

I did some last shopping for souvenirs walking around in a daze thinking how my time in Manila was coming to an end.

It was time to return home. The next day I packed up the suitcases and we headed to the airport. I took a few last photos from the taxi. Coco stared out the window.IMG_0267IMG_0276 IMG_0273We arrived at the airport, took out our five suitcases and headed to Malaysia Airlines.IMG_0282 I don’t like to fly but I was happy that my job was flying us home business class. As the plane took off down the runway a giant smile spread across my face and I thought, It’s been real, it’s been fun, it’s been real fun but I gotsta go. (Okay I didn’t really say that, I just thought of that now as I am typing up this post. It’s 2am, I’m sleep deprived.)

Good-bye, Philippines. I’ll miss the 7,107 gorgeous islands of your archipelago; your beauty sustained me. Manila? Um, well, you just keep doing you. You are certainly unique.

Next stop: Tokyo!

This entry was posted in Ethiopia, expat life, finances, firsts, food, friends, lunch, Philippines and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Good-Bye Manila

  1. De says:

    What were some of the more difficult parts about living there? Congrats on tackling your debt!

    • Joy says:

      hi de,
      here are a ten off the top of my head:
      1. horrendous traffic – people don’t follow the rules!
      2. prostitution in your face and seeing old, fat foreign men with their gorgeous 22 year old grilfriends
      3. extreme poverty
      4. the weather: hot and humid or hot, humid and raining
      5. not much to do
      6. no parks/green space
      7. hard to get things done – have to go to 10 stores to get what you need
      8. far from family who could never get the time difference right and never learned to skype
      9. it’s dirty, lots of trash on the sides of the roads and grimy buildings (no emissions inspections)
      10. no men to date

      I think if you move there married or are a man or move from another Asian city it’s probably fine though! 😉

  2. elmer says:

    Jesus of Nazareth another survivor from the Gates of Hell has left town. Will tweet this for all my compatriots to see. I am not proud to be a Filipino today. Manileño in particular. The city needs a major overhaul. Its citizenry as well. godforsaken city.

    • Joy says:

      elmer, i have posted many things i like about the philippines but manila, as you know, is a hard city to live in–like many cities around the world. i do find filipinos to be happy and polite and hard workers and i am going to miss the many kind people i met.

  3. caloy says:

    Hi. I’ve been hunting for Ethiopian cuisine here in Manila. What’s the name of this hole-in-the-wall and where can I find it? Thanks!

    • Joy says:

      It was in that seedy area – Burgois? Or Burgos circle? Forget what it’s called. Seedy area where all the strip clubs and prostitutes are. My friend said it was called Zigarette but that doesn’t ring a bell to me. The food did not taste at all authentic so don’t get your hopes up! Hope that helps.

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