Lunch with Uncle Johnny

  It’s already been a full day and it’s not even 2pm.  

I got up early, got my dirty clothes together and brought them to the lobby.  When the lavandera came, I went next door to my #1 favorite Malugay Street kitchen, which is M2B.  It was still early for them, so the tapsilog came with plain rice, which I thought was weird (you sinagnag it, lazy ass, it’s tapsilog!)  but I didn’t argue for ₱65 who cares.  It came with a cup of chicken broth with some beautiful tender leaves of something floating in it.  

Then I got in an Über.  From now on, I’m taking Über everywhere.  It’s cheap and cashless and I feel like the Ambassador of Columbia City when I get in one.  I had it take me to the corner of Roxas Boulevard and United Nations, and I sat outside and drank my coffee and thought about Manila Bay.  Later I got an email saying I had been charged ₱133, which is less than three dollars USD

Later, after my coffee was done, I saw that my phone battery was getting low.  So I crossed Roxas to try to track down my Uncle Johnny and his family, and found them chilling under a tree.  Of course they all looked beautiful.  

We walked back across Roxas and got a table at Emerald Garden, which Darwin had recommended.  We weren’t hungry yet so I just ordered tea and dumplings; later Auntie T ordered a bunch of vegetable dishes, complianing that Uncle Johnny eats too much chicken and pork.  Veggies are fine with me!  

Uncle Johnny rememebered me drumming on the pots and pans as a kid, and said it was he who gifted me the giant black stuffed turtle with the long neck, which was the greatest.  I teased Uncle Johnny about getting along with his sisters, but the best is that Uncle Johnny told various startling and indistinct stories of people getting beat up in various seaports of the world.  

My battery was too low to get an Über, so I hopped in a cab and got home for ₱120, which is less than $3 USD.  

Here’s what I learned:  Über is cashless and makes me feel like member of the aristocracy.  Taking cabs is marginally cheaper and they are more ubiquitous.  Either way, I’m going to start being a tourist and seeing way more of Manila than the three kilometer radius in Makati that I had been walking too.  

Finally, I learned that meeting with Uncle Johnny is a blast.  Although I already knew that.  

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