As the story has it, I woke up and found myself on the very opposite side of the globe – the flipside. I arrived February 16th, 2005 and thought I’d simply do a year, then leave. Years later and I’m still here. I went from being some random foreign girl to taking on labels I never imagined – university professor, film extra, professional boxer, CEO of my own girls-only fitness company, Flipside Fitness, and CEO of my own boxing club, Korea's largest -- Hulk's Club, formerly known as Hulk's Boxing.

After 11.5yrs in Korea, I picked up one day and left. I returned to Toronto, Canada but only to pack up my bags and venture out again. Now I'm living in Makate, Philippines. Life, for me, is better in Asia and I'm so happy here. This a new chapter in the book of my life though, it's a whole new book I've started!!! I'm a whole new woman and I left Korea with Flipside Fitness on my brain, Hulk's in my heart, boxing in my bag, and my four-legged friend Balboa Button by my side.

Life is an adventure and this is my story of yesterday.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Impressions So Far... Saturday, March 4

So far I've learned that in the Philippines I'm pretty much the average height so either this is the land of the short people or my kind of place.  I'm always cold here and it's not because it's not warm out but instead it's because everyone insists on cranking up the air conditioners!  

"I'm freezing", oddly enough, must have come out of my mouth at least a billion times since I've been here... I've only been here two full days now.

Everyone calls me ma'am and instantly it feels like I've aged right there on the spot.  I know it's just a high manner thing the sales people do but it still feels weird.

Security is everywhere and anywhere your eyes can see.  I was told that the people feel extra safe here because of it but I feel quite the opposite.  What's stopping some crazy person from grabbing a security officer's gun?! Exactly.  That's what I think about.

They aren't very pet-friendly here.  According to the condo rules, I'm only allowed to use one of the four elevators in my condo building and it's the service elevator.

I apparently don't have any hot water but I think I've mastered it via using a countdown.  I lather up my hair with shampoo and scrub down my body with the soap, then I stand right under the cold water, count down from 10 and wash off all the shampoo and soap in that time.  It's like being in the military.

There's a high, rich class and often they live right across the street from the poor class.  Last night I was approached by my first ever child beggar.  I've been approached in Bali by poor children asking me to buy postcards but this child I encountered last night, totally a whole different level, wow.  I was in an Uber when the light turned red, it stopped, and she ran up to the window.  It was late outside so she pressed her face right up to the window and begged me for money.  In Filipino she told me she needed money so she could eat and despite knowing what she was saying I really didn't need to guess the translation; you could feel it in her voice.  Face smushed up against my window, hands pressed against it to, she stood there pleading with me for spare change.  I was told not to give the children money here for fear that it'll only support the local gangs who use such children to fund their gang.  That streetlight couldn't turn green fast enough I tell you.  I turned my head away and wished for her to just go away but she continued.  I could see her face and hands taking up my window.  There she stood, at probably only about 4 feet tall, begging and pleading with me.  Then the light changed and just like that she was gone.  As the Uber drove away, I looked to the side of the road up ahead and could see a small crowd of young children all sitting there, waiting for the light to turn red once again so that they could flood the cars and beg yet again.  My heart broke at the sight of this all, for them to be so young and yet out here literally putting their live on the line for loose change because they had absolutely nothing.  That girl may have been about 8 years old.  At age 8 I was still playing with Barbies and building stores with Lego.  I didn't have a care in the world beyond if my mom was serving peas or corn at dinner -- I hated peas.   

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