A few weeks ago, P and I moved (which is largely part of the reason why I haven’t had the time to write here–that and a little thing called work). We left my mom’s familiar and comfortable digs, out of the laidback sprawl of Quezon City to live in this small new space in a little neighborhood that’s just a few minutes walk away from one of Metro Manila’s busy business districts.
It’s still something I’m trying to get used to. Looking out and not seeing the nearby rooftop and wall of the next door neighbor’s house that gets this pretty pinkish orange shade when the sun is about to set. Now, when I look out the city lights blink back as soon as the sun sets. There’s now so much space before me, filled with towering concrete, lights, and sky.
To come home to it feels odd; like “we’re really just on vacation” I told P. And after a week or two we would come home to our old neighborhood with the nearby church that gets its fair share of teleserye (local drama series) shoots, the vegetable and fruit stalls that multiply on Sundays, the hardware store with the photocopy machine I always use, the halo-halo stands that sprout during summers, and the convenience store in the corner that’s had more name changes than Prince (a comparison that dates me, yes).
Sustaining this illusion of being on vacation is exploring the new neighborhood on foot. There’s a stall near our building selling barbecued pork that I’m curious to try, an eatery that’s received so much press for its adobo that’s also on the list, and further out, Korean restaurants and convenience stores that cannot be ignored. Did I mention ‘explore’ often meant ‘go out and eat’ in my book?
While I still get sentimental about my family’s house and the old neighborhood, I am eager to get to know this new one. All my 36 years, I’ve only lived in two neighborhoods (three if you count that weekday apartment in college) and I used to daydream what it would be like to live somewhere else–even for just a couple of years. Somewhere with so much history, culture, beautiful corners, and amazing food. I would happily drag my husband and live in Kyoto if we could. Live in a brownstone in New York City (a girl-who-grew-up-watching-Sesame-Street can dream). Retire in Palawan or have a farm (or, who knows, both?).
For now, there’s always travel and setting up a new home in this new neighborhood. I don’t know about history, culture or postcard-perfect street corners, but there are good eats nearby (not to mention a view of the city) and that’s a start.