zazie fait de la tricyclette.


we rode the tricycle from asya, our hotel in boracay, to the church. it cost ten pesos per person. ten pesos is maybe less than a nickel. the church was packed, so we had to stand outside. i liked the church and that it was crowded. outside the church, there were some kids playing basketball, some people buying food and snacks from random shops, and a street full of tricycles, shuttles, and motorcycles. everything was warm and full of life.

i couldn't understand most of what the priest was saying, but it didn't matter because it was a typical catholic mass. when it started to rain, everyone standing outside rushed towards the door to seek shelter. the music was really good, all harmony and electric guitar and piano. it sounded like old radiohead music. they even sang the lord's prayer, and it was the greatest catholic thing i'd ever heard.

we went to the asya premier suites, and i was standing on the balcony of one of the rooms. i wondered if i had ever seen a better view. there were a bunch of steps and a pool and a fantastic view of the ocean. i had to question whether i'd seen a better view in real life or in the movies. it didn't feel real, the way the sun kept showing up and then disappearing because of the clouds. for a moment, i envied the staff that worked there, riding around in golf carts all day.

it was ten thousand pesos to stay at one of the asya suites, but that was just a promo deal. after christmas, it would be twenty-seven thousand, and a presidential suite would cost about thirty-five thousand a night. that's almost $10,000 usd a night. i couldn't imagine anyone who could afford that. but i imagined some young rich couple could do it, and they would probably have a great time.

there are some things i forgot to write about during the last trip. like the skyways with the pink and blue railings, the skyscrapers with the rusted windows, the potent smell of cooked chicken and pollution, the grayness that occasionally envelops the entire city. and then there's the standard greeting, "hi, sirma'am," the groups of three or four playing a game on the side of the street, cigarette and newspaper vendors walking through traffic, kids in white and black school uniforms everywhere, trash in the canals, children in tanktops running up to cars and trying to peek inside.

it's difficult to spot any one person sitting alone. i wondered what it would be like to be one of those guys who just lies in the hammock all day, or else sits on a little stool in front of his makeshift home. what do they do? what do they think about all day? are they cursed or do they have it all figured out?

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