My Asian Adventure - Part Twelve, 80s-o-rama

Okay yes, I realize I'm not in the Philippines anymore but I ran across this post that I wrote while I was there and thought I might as well post it anyway. Hope y'all enjoy!

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Here locally, it’s very clear that the 80s came here to die. It’s so strange to me to hear Air Supply, Asia, and Journey on the radio on a regular basis. Okay, seriously, am I in a time warp? The strangest thing is that they don’t play any of the really good music that came out of the 80s (there was a ton), they only play the really sappy love songs. And it’s not on the oldies station, it’s on the popular station, mixed in with hip hop, dance, native pop music, and a Xmas carol thrown in every now and then for variety. So very strange, this soundtrack…

A couple of weeks ago, Eric and I were sitting in a bar having lunch and the parallels between now and our time in Cali together (sans romance, of course) were notable. We’re on an adventure together in a strange place where Madonna plays over the loudspeakers. I had to have a good long giggle at the thought of it. Thankfully we both have much better haircuts these days. ;-)

The fashion is all straight up 80s although I’m happy to report the ridiculously large shoulder pads are *not* present and accounted for. Gods, I hated that style, it made me look like a linebacker. Lol! Off-the-shoulder stuff and shirts long enough to belt are definitely in every store here. I’m sad to report I have seen no paisley, however, I would *rock* that style again. There’s almost nothing for sale that doesn’t have some sort of pattern printed on it and they love some bright colors so the stores are a little visually overwhelming. Add the Christmas soundtrack and decorations to the mix, and a buncha short native folks and it becomes very clear that I’m not in Kansas anymore!

Speaking of the malls, it’s interesting to me to see the differences in fashion between here and home. The flip flop section is quite impressive; it’s actually rows and rows of a wide variety of styles and prices. It’s a myriad of colors and patterns, and they’re all flip flops. Then there are more of the higher quality (leather and 1”heel) styles mixed in with the regular shoe section. It’s the land of painted toenails out here. :)

The pricing on things is *so* cheap but the bad news is that the quality matches the price. I’ve never seen things fall apart so quickly and easily as the stuff I’ve bought here. Seams come undone, things stop working, etc. I joke that we live at the dollar store and it’s really true.

When dealing with the non-corporate vendors, it’s very much a haggle society out here. There’s a non-native price (“gringo price”, as I refer to it) and a local price. This is true for literally everything not bought in a commercial store and it sometimes annoys me, but it is what it is so I’m learning to work with it. I also have my local friends call on things when I’m trying to get pricing so I get the local pricing. My inner jew is hard at work here. :)

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