Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What A Difference A Year Makes

One year. Exactly. That’s how long I was in the UK. At this day and age of serial movies shown in yearly installments, a year can b a very short span of time. But it can be a long time as well, like when you watch how babies go from sleeping to crawling to talking. A year is also enough for me to enjoy certain experiences I would never have had if I stayed in the Philippines.

Even after being back for the last three weeks, I can still see myself in my mind’s eye running down the college corridor, chatting with my friends in the student kitchen, walking down the streets and feeling the chill in the air. These were routine stuff I did in one year, but there was also the one year’s worth of experiences—loads of them:

--like missing the train, twice.
--like getting locked in twice and locked out once.
--like trying my hand at cricket
--like trying my foot at football
--like obsessing about tennis
--like watching the whole FIFA season with an amazingly diverse crowd of nationalities in one year (most of which find them cheering for their own countries from the TV room)
--like successfully teaching my African classmates how to cook rice from a pot without burning it.
--like watching a whole game of rugby (icky)
--like whipping up a five-course dinner on my birthday (I never thought I could do that!)
--like picking up a bit of the Irish accent.
--like getting snowbound in winter and missing my flight.
--like developing deep and hopefully lasting friendships that will have to be maintained through skype or SMS.

..the list goes on.

But those are about me. Coming back, I realized that a lot of good and bad things have happened to friends and loved ones.

--like a worrying number of friends or their loved ones diagnosed with cancer, with a few having passed away after a short bout of chemo;
--like colleagues who have celebrated new life
--like colleagues who have left their jobs
--like friends who celebrated milestones
--like friends who have enjoyed new additions in their families through adoption
--like friends who have fallen in love
--and some who have gotten married.
--like some who have moved away
--like neighbors who have returned.

…the list goes on.

Thankfully, some things remain the same, like good friends, good food, and good ol’ Manila--still as noisy, as riotous, as fun, as crowded, as dirty, as in-your-face as ever.

All this in a year.

I still can’t quite make up my mind if it is too short or too long. Can you?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Frustrated to the Nth Degree