Mactan Island, Cebu, Philippines:
An important goal was accomplished today: finding a nice, quiet beach free from cigarette smokers, annoying vendors and glass in the sand. At a quiet cove on Mactan Island's southeast corner, we finally found a resort with a reasonable daily rate and an escape from the madness of the rest of the Philippines.
We could not, however, escape from the hordes of Korean tourists that descend on Cebu every year -- they make up nearly 38 percent of tourists annually to Cebu. Bibimbap and shabu-shabu can be found on any streetcorner. Our quiet beach haven was interrupted today by a group of Koreans in which, much to our amusement, each had his/her own floaty, the kind seen on your average 3-year-old. Oh yeah, the entire group was 25-35 years old. Go figure.
Got in some quality time in the sun (complete with the requisite awkward sunburn, natch) and came closer to finishing The Drifters, a behemoth read but brilliant beyond words. Go read it. Now.
I'm starting to become more accustomed to the culture here and appreciate it more, but I don't think the poverty and the way many people treat foreigners is something I'll ever become completely used to. Every man -- police officers, taxi drivers, security guards, guys riding bikes -- yells out some sort of come-on or holler. Our cabbie even propositioned Melissa yesterday when I went into the hotel to get money. That kind of behavior is just disgusting.
Still, I'm not ready to return to Korea. The sun, the sand, the water, the food, the comfortable beds -- how can I give these up and return to the cold?! Expect the Australia countdown to begin as soon as I'm back in Seoul.