Bargain Hunting, Big Willy Style

Trip Start Oct 02, 2012
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Trip End Mar 31, 2014


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What I did
SM Mall

Flag of Philippines  , Visayas,
Saturday, November 10, 2012

Enough of all these amazingly perfect beaches and stunning clear blue water, they are becoming tiresome. Lets get ourselves off to a city for a bit. What we need is some heavily polluted air and traffic that never stops. Ever.

So here we are, sat aboard another tiny plane on our way to the island (and city) of Cebu. At check in they assigned us seats at the emergency escape exit which gives us more leg room. Hurray. It also means we are sat by a door which is going to burst open at any moment and suck us both out of the plane screaming. At least this is what Ian thinks as he grips the seat. This is our fifth flight in six weeks and Ian is getting slightly more relaxed whilst flying! We are airport-smart now, and as we exit Cebu airport we dodge the taxi's and hawkers and find a normal road taxi, about half the price and you get a completely insane, suicidal driver for no extra cost. Bargain!

We check into a place called Cebu Pacific Pensionne as recommended to us by AussieJeff. It's a nice place and it's in a pretty central location between up-town and down-town. After dumping the bags we take a short walk about to get a feel for the area and see what sort of stuff is nearby. The main road is mad busy and the fumes are thick in the air. The pavements are also crammed with people and there seems to be school children everywhere, each group we pass wearing a different uniform. We stop and eat at a pizza shop nearby (Anna does love pizza), our orders arrive and we eat greedily. After about 10 minutes, and the majority of the pizza in our hungry stomachs, we realise that the pizza tastes a bit funny, something just isn't quite right about it.. after a while we realise that the pizza has no tomato base, so what we are in fact eating is a very large, very round piece of cheese on toast. Cheesed out, we head back to the room for some cheese fuelled nightmares.

We awake the next morning and head down for breakfast. The weather outside is looking pretty grim, dull sky and pounding rain. It's like being back home but the rain here probably turns to acid as it falls through the exhaust fumes. We decide to relax in the room and maybe head out later as Anna is feeling unwell and we are both in need of a day doing nothing. And we have a TV in this room, a real-life working TV, with channels on it and everything! It's Will Smith Day on the movie channel and we watch four(ish) of his movies before we crack and catch a taxi to the massive mall nearby. There is only so much Will Smith (or Big Willy Style as the channel calls it) you can watch in a day and we think we must be pretty close to a world record!

The mall is called SM Mall and it's HUGE, and oppulent, and in stark contrast to the surrounding poverty and decay outside. It is four giant floors of consumer madness, food places and even an imax cinema. We buy a few items of clothing in a bargain basement shop we sniff out, surprisingly it is full of clothes from Tesco! Anna also gets a top from forever21. It is a size XL!?! We put the strange size down to Filipino women being generally very small. We head back to the hotel with our bag of bargains and settle down for a bit more Will Smith. Its been a nice day, a return to normallity in some ways and one we needed greatly. Tommorow is going to be a step far outside the norm though, because tomorrow we swim with sharks.
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