Saturday, May 3, 2008

I'm In (the Philippines)

Originally posted Sep 17, 2005

I've arrived safely: here I am in the Philippines, back together with my dear wife and (not so) little girls. The flights were non-events, and getting through customs with my one carry-on (Starbucks one-armed) backpack was a breeze. Good thing they didn't ask if I was carrying deadly weapons, 'cause I'd be forced to claim myself.

Flying from the USA to Korean, Inchon Airport (it was a Korean Air flight) is always fun for me, because I get to eat the Korean food and also watch the Korean movies. It almost goes without saying that the Korean food selection is much better than their Merkan alternative. The same goes double for the movies: I don't know what the Korean equivalent of Hollywood is, but they seem to be doing better at putting something interesting into their movies.

For examples: Their first movie was the merkan "Something Like Love" or something like that for the title. A nice little ho-hum movie to pass the time. A question: is it absolutely essential in merkan romcoms for the female lead to sleep with all the male characters, and while so doing show that, yes, she does diet and do full-body toning exercises?

The next two movies, I didn't get their titles, because my Hangul reading isn't all that good. The first one costarred the girl who starred in the Korean movie "My Little Bride" (one of my top ten favs). It was a "Shall We Dansu" (not the Jennifer Lopez vehicle, please)/ "Strickly Ballroom" kind of movie that I love -- unspoken love between the leads, blocked by 50,000 obstacles, and lots of gorgeous dancing to fill the remaining hour of the movie. *sigh* Predicable and wonderful. Hey, can I learn to samba like that?

The next one was a Korean "anti-soap opera": a little gem of the movie with a silent, dutiful husband that gets the can with everyone else (off stage) when the company sinks, and the not-so-soft-spoken wife. What does he do? Of course he doesn't tell his wife not to by the new Kimchee fridge, he goes and gets himself a job as a housekeeper ... where the lady of the house is a hawt-young-vamp in a white silk teddy. What kept me glued to my seat on this one was (well, besides the illuminated "fasten your seatbelts" sign) that here fidelity and duty took center stage, and the movie portrayed these qualities in these characters so empathetically, that it had me cheering for the happy, albeit unresolved, ending (did he stay a housekeeper after the wife found out, weeping at his "shame" -- his reply: "So you don't like what I give you because it's money smelling of fish and rice and isn't a nice crispy check?")

Then, arriving at the airport (no, it was a lot of "fun" crossing paths with Diane's parents for more than an hour), I went right to bed, and woke up with Isabel. Who, when she saw me, couldn't stop the giggles for an hour. We fell right into the groove, though: she was handing me water between DDR songs like a pro before noon.

Elena Marie, of course, was very pleased to meet me ... from behind her mother's leg.

And Diane finally got hugs from her man.

So, that's it. Now, off to the "ou-hoo" ("Swimming Pool" as Isabel pronounces it).

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