I think it’s normally about this time that I write a post about my feelings on returning to Manila after a few weeks back in Britain. Which is what this is, but not really. Because I managed barely 30 hours in Manila, much of it sleeping, packing, travelling, or … er … boozing and didn’t really get settled at all.
So now I’m in China. In the rat tail of the dog end of the Shenzhen in the south of China, in a hotel with no heating and not much of anything surrounding it. But I’ll leave that for the moment, I snapped a couple of pictures on my phone that I can’t upload right now. So I’ll talk about the hotel and the surroundings some other time (or maybe never if the muse leaves me again).
It’s odd having resolved to try and go different places that I find myself sitting in a hotel room writing this with a beer, instead of being out exploring. I did wander around a lot but my sense of adventure has deserted me at the moment, I don’t even feel bad that I’m not out trying something different. Sometimes I would try, sometimes I would definitely feel I should be trying, but not today.
Actually I crave familiarity, routine, the knowledge that I’m going to be in the same place for at least a few weeks. Basically I’m ready to go back and stay in Manila, or possibly a nearby beach, for a while. It was lovely to go back to the UK and see everyone, but it was all a bit hectic and here-and-there.
I was originally going to write ‘back home’ instead of ‘back to the UK’ but decided it didn’t feel right. I know I’ve definitely caught myself referring to Manila as home recently. It’s odd, I’m not sure when that happened. Or when I started to notice. Or if I should care.
So I’m here, drinking Tsing Tao, about to head to bed for the early start on this course tomorrow. And then Hong Kong and another hotel (two in fact, I need to change on the Saturday). When I think about it the longest I’ve stayed in any place for in the last twenty odd days is four nights, and I’ll have stayed in ten different places by the end the time I get back to Manila. Not to mention spending almost a tenth of that travelling around by one method or another, with another chunk spent killing time in various departure lounges.
Wow, no wonder I’m traveled out.
I doesn’t help that I’ve just been run over (well, knocked down) by a cyclist. I’m completely unhurt, but if I hadn’t already decided to abandon exploring and head back with a beer that would surely have been the sign. Too be fair I made the (understandable?) mistake of trying to speed up to get out of his way, while he swerved assuming I wouldn’t. Creating a feedback loop that led to the inevitable. However, he could have swerved behind me, which I would feel is sensible. And he had, you know, brakes. Probably.
Or he was just trying to hit me. Which is stupid, ‘cos I was fine — if a little startled — and he probably had a good chance of coming off worse. Although I didn’t hang around too much longer that a quick check to make sure he was OK, because I didn’t fancy him deciding it was my fault and us ending up in an uncompromisable shouting match in the middle of the road.
Still, Hong Kong is always good to perk me up. I get the chance for a decent sleep in, I’ve some Christmas money to use for a bit of gadgetry retail therapy. I’ve fortunately researched online to discover that that place I was going to go shopping is most likely a rip-off of some sort.
And then back to Manila to relax. Except probably not as I’ve seen some of the stuff coming up at work and it doesn’t look like the start of this year is going to be any calmer than the end of last year.
It’s enough to make me want another holiday.