Dear friends and family on the East Coast,
Haha!
Love,
Melissa

No, but seriously, the weather here is amazing.  The humidity seems to have chased away the last of my peritonsillar abscess (yes, now that I know the correct term for it, I’ll be using it all the time), as I woke up this morning and my first words were, “Oh my god, Er, my throat doesn’t hurt!”

So yeah, healthy.  Sort of.  I think I’ve got a sinus infection, but it’s not too bad and I can deal with it until I get back to Korea Saturday and can be properly medicated.

Anyway, after breakfast this morning, Erin and I checked out of the hotel in Cebu City and headed off to Mactan Island, another part of Cebu.  Our cab driver was friendly and chatted with us most of the drive there.  He’s one of the only members of his family not living in the States–I think he’s got more relatives across the U.S. than I do.  At one point along the drive, he saw I had my camera out (I was taking video of the slums lining the street) and locked all of the doors in the car, because apparently if people on the sidewalks see flashy things, they’ll just open the car door and grab it out of your hands at the next red light. (Hello, South Africa, much?)  You’ll see that all when I get back Saturday and upload everything from my camera.

Just as soon as we checked into our hotel in Mactan and threw our bags down, we were out the door and headed to the beach.  However, the hotel we’re staying at doesn’t have beach access.  The receptionist (or concierge…or….geisha?) called us a cab and told us about this resort 20 minutes away.  So after paying a 350-peso entrance fee (about $10) and shelling out 500 pesos for the cab ride (yes, we got ripped off), we hit the beach for the day.  The weather and water were both gorgeous, but I think we’re going to try for a resort a little closer to the hotel tomorrow.  Oh, and I have a nice little tan going.

We had made arrangements with the cabbie this morning to pick us up this evening at a discounted rate.  Sure enough, he was there.  After we got back to the hotel, I stayed in the cab while Erin ran upstairs to get more money (because, seriously, who charges 500 pesos for a cab ride!?) and chatted with the cabbie.  Here’s how that went:

Cabbie: (as soon as Erin gets out) You are very beautiful.
Me: Haha, um, thanks.
Cabbie: Do you have a boyfriend?
Me: Yes (lies).  He’s British (lies again, but come on, Brits are sexy).
*Awkward silence*
Me: How long have you been driving a taxi for?
Cabbie: Since 1992.
Me: (laughing in that cute, coy way I do when I make fun of people for being old) I was six years old in1992.
Cabbie: Haha, um, yeah.
Me: So why are so many old, American men dating young Filipino women?
Cabbie: (matter-of-factly) Money.
Me: Oh.  Yeah, that’s weird.
Cabbie: You know, older men can only go for one round.

And that’s when Erin, praise her soul, reappeared with the money.

That’s the last time we’ll be doing that for awhile.

Now that we’re back from the beach, we’ll finish up at the Internet cafe and head back to the hotel, where we have CNN, BBC and the National Geographic Channel waiting for us (because we’re huge nerds).  We also have three-quarters of a chocolate cake waiting for us (because we’re fat).  Whatever, neither of those things can be found in Korea, and I’m on vacation, dammit!

Anyway, that’s just about all there is to report over here.  Tomorrow, we’ll be hitting up a new beach and hopefully snorkeling.  There’s a shopping district near the hotel, and that’s where I write this blog post from.  Nothing much else to report.  But that’s what happens when you’ve spent your day lounging on a tropical beach, reading and soaking in the sun’s rays.  Oh, what a life…

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