Rainy days in Manila

One of the things I’ll remember about Manila after I’ve moved away is the rain. It was rainy when I got here in August last year, and now we’re back to the rainy season, a few months before I leave. I love the rain — the sounds, the smell of the air. But what I really love most about rainy days is the excuse to do nothing. (OK, so I wouldn’t have accomplished anything productive today anyway, but the rain helps me justify it).

When it started pouring today, I pulled out my current reading material, Thanks for the Memories, Mr. President by Helen Thomas, the longtime UPI White House correspondent. The book is really just a series of vignettes cobbled together by Thomas and her colleages in the White House press corps — funny, insightful moments from nine (yes, nine!) presidential administrations. And so far, the thing that’s struck me most, is how much Bush Jr. is like his father — with strange interpretations of the English language and incomprehensible answers to questions. (Forgive me for not noticing this sooner, I was 8 years old when Bush Sr. was sworn into office).

Here’s a great example, Thomas writes:

“During the 1992 New Hampshire primary, Bush noted in a speech, ‘Remember Lincoln, going to his knees in times of trial in the Civil War and all that stuff. You can’t be. And we are blessed. So don’t feel sorry for — don’t cry for me, Argentina.'”

Huh? (But I believe Bush Sr. has been upstaged by his son in the “what did he just say?” department. )

Anyway, I had just made it through the Clinton administration and was about to move onto Bush Jr. when I decided that I just wasn’t doing enough of, well, nothing. So I got dressed and wandered across the street for a massage at my neighborhood spa.

Now, a bit sluggish and tired, I’m meeting some friends for dinner and drinks. Tomorrow I hope to make it to a cockfight — a Philippine tradition that I have yet to experience. If that doesn’t happen, my friend and I are planning another trip to the spa.

Yes, life in Manila sure is tough.

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