A Weekend of Celebrations

I witnessed my first proposal.  I was rowing away on an erg while another group of coaches did sled drags with a long rope.  One coach asked his girlfriend to hop on and pulled her in, got down on one knee, and proposed.  Of course, that meant we all got to celebrate.  We went to People’s Palace for an amazing dining experience.

In order for you to truly understand why it was so awesome (which it really was), you have to also understand what other dining experiences are like.  Generally you wait a while to order your food then the food arrives one plate at a time, with up to an hour wait from the first delivery to the last person’s food deliver.  It then takes a long time to get a bill and then we have to tell them we don’t pay VAT and wait another hour.  It’s a more pleasant experience to eat at home.

We sat down at the table and were lucky enough to be there with the head chef, so he ordered for us.  Within five minutes of him ordering, our food arrived at the table.  We asked if it was just because he was there, and he said no, he enforces a 5 minute ticket time.  Once the order comes in, it should leave the kitchen within 5 minutes.  The waiters also don’t take notes, they just memorize the order.  To top it off the food was phenomenal.  From the pomelo salad to the sticky rice with mango dessert, there wasn’t a single dish I didn’t enjoy.

I tried to figure out why the service could be 1000 times better at People’s Palace than every other restaurant I’ve been to here.  Apparently after six months or so working somewhere, the company has to start paying benefits.  Instead of doing that they just fire them and move on to the next person who is eagerly awaiting a job.  It’s not worth the time to properly train the wait staff.  I assume, that at People’s Palace they are willing to train their staff, because they are also willing to keep them.  Now, I have not been able to confirm that training and money is the reason service is poor relative to what I experience at home, but if that’s the case, it’s certainly a sad reality on the part of the businesses.  Unfortunately, there is a high demand for jobs, so it’d be challenging to convince a business owner to retain employees at a higher cost when it doesn’t stop many people from dining out anyway.

Onto the next celebration, or party.  A going away party for one of my swolemates.  He’s not only someone I work out with, he’s also the one who got me in contact with my gym.  We booked a cabana at the Palace Pool Club.  It’s exactly what it sounds like, a nightclub with pools.  Thankfully it was not Saturday night, I can only imagine how crazy it would be to party in a pool and how many drunk injuries there would be.  The idea is pretty sweet though, especially given how hot it is here.

The pool was nice, they had some floaties for us to jump around in, the mojitos were delicious, and so were the burgers.  We were the only ones there for a while so we used the open dance floor space to do the typical CrossFit thing, drinking relays.  Handstand walks, push ups, and squats, plus chugging a beer.  All in all, it was a pretty fun day.

I’ll see if I can get photos from other people this weekend since I failed miserably at taking them.

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Cheat Meal

When I first got to Manila, another expat said it was about 6 months before he was invited into a Filipino’s house.  HA only took me 3.  I work on the local economy, which means I have become friends Filipinos.  This is something that, from my understanding, is not the norm.  The athletes at Primal Ape CrossFit work in a variety of fields, including as a chef at People’s Palace (whoops, still haven’t made it there, gotta get on that).  The Chef was discussing the cheat meals he likes with a coach and decided best to share in the meal.  So, he invited a group of us over for the perfect cheat meal.

Guacamole, Turkey Tacos, Korean Fried Chicken, Fish Tacos, and Chocolate Chip Cookies


The meal was amazing, I’d never had Korean Fried Chicken, but I would like to have it again.  I think I laughed so much during the night that it almost offset my overly full stomach.  Some wigs were even busted out, I’m thinking maybe I should chop off my hair and dye it green?  

  

As I get to know everyone here, it makes the new country feel a bit more like home.  Everyone has been very welcoming, regardless of the fact that they know we won’t be here permanently.  So here’s to many more fun nights  (and cheat meals!) I’ll close with a picture of Xena just because.