Malls are noisy places. Not only is there the noise of people walking and talking, there is the noise of music blaring from loud speakers in the walkways, the din of merchants talking, special displays playing DVD's, perhaps a band or music group is hard to talk with the one you are shopping with. The grocery stores are located within each mall so this noise sensation gets experienced on a once or twice weekly basis.

The streets are noisy places. In the Philippines, the car horn is a tool and used frequently by all drivers to alert each other of being next to them, in the intersection, etc. There are horns honking, dogs barking, people talking, whistles blowing..... At any time of day you can hear roosters crowing, dogs barking, vehicles, horns, etc.

Kurt and Beth at the Market

Today Beth took me to the market (my first time). What an experience! There were many hundreds of vendors selling everything from clothing to live chickens, fresh fruits and vegetables to fresh fish, dried fish to Doritos, eggs to fresh butchered meat, and rice to the pots to cook it in.

In 30 minutes we felt as though we had just seen a small part of what was there. Spread over many city blocks, occupying every conceivable space, the vendors were everywhere. There was blood running in the gutters from the butchered animals. There were plenty of sights and sounds and smells to keep ones senses working full-time. I really enjoyed the experience.

The market is definitely the place to go to get the freshest fruits and vegetables. Here is a list of what we purchased today:

  • 2 pineapples (one sliced and one whole - both very fresh)
  • 6 fresh carrots
  • 1 watermelon
  • 2 pounds fresh picked green beans
  • 1.5 pounds fresh tomatoes
  • 4 cucumbers
  • 2 pounds kalamansi (like small lemons)
  • 10 oranges
  • 3 mangoes
  • 12 potatoes
  • 20 bananas

All of this was purchased for about $12 US.

As much of what we purchased as would fit in the picture

Beth buying bananas

A fresh fish vendor

Another fresh fish vendor

Aisle after aisle of vendors

A Matter of Perspective

It was 89 degrees today, humid and very hot. We have heard this is the cooler season but we've not felt that to be so ourselves. Yet, for filipinos, we are coming into the cool season.

Case in point, I was shopping at SM mall looking for Christmas gifts for Kurt. A sales clerk said, "Would you like to get jacket for husband?" I said, "No thanks, it is hot here." He smiled and said, "Us Filipinos get cold in December."

Trader Joe's

Life here in the Philippines is exciting, hot, enjoyable. There are many little vendor stores all over the city...sari sari stores (which are like small convenience stores), barber shops, bike repair, fruit stands, pharmacies, little eateries, etc. No Starbucks yet but we do have a Trader Joe's here!!!!!(ha ha ha) - well, at least "Joe The Trader!"

Paradise Island

Saturday we had the opportunity to go to Paradise Island Beach on Samal Island, about a 5 minute boat ride across the Davao Gulf harbor from the Davao City Boat Ferry landing. What a beautiful place. It has white sandy beaches. The kids had a great time playing in the sand and sea.

Ben playing with two new filipino friends

Kids playing in the water

Kurt and Beth enjoying baku, a young coconut

Kids with new friends playing in the sand

Our family enjoying our day at the beach