The experiences here, small or vast, are all very potent. All senses are triggered. I see, hear, smell, feel, and taste every element this atmosphere has to offer, internalizing each of them.
I see enormous pigs on leashes walking men instead of being walked; a live rooster in a plastic bag tied tight with lettuce; children having dancing contests, rap battles, and playing tag with a sandal; monkeys tied to fences as "pets"; string beans 3 ft long; water buffalo coated in mud to stay cool; mountains covered in clouds; families riding motorcycles; men riding on the top of buses with the luggage; live bamboo some as big as my arm; bright pink, orange, yellow, white, and blue flowers; huge trees vibrant & green; crystal blue waters; jungle flora & fauna; butterflies, lizards, & snakes; electrifying gardens & rice terraces; the longest navigable underground river with bats flying all around me; and phenomenal sunsets.
I hear a language that I cannot even begin to understand let alone speak; roosters crowing with the rising of the sun; coins clinging; pigs squealing; ice cream men ringing bells; all sorts of engines revving; loud deep laughter, babies crying and talking; American music covered by Filipinos playing; dogs barking; birds chirping; monkeys calling; people selling goods; Matt's mind speaking, educating, & humoring me; people of all ages singing; hammers pounding incessantly on houses and buildings; all types of horns honking repeatedly; waves crashing on the beach; wind chimes singing; food cooking; and fans humming.
I taste ripe, juicy mangoes; cold Coca-Cola from glass bottles; the best frozen fruit shakes I've ever had; local eggs; a variety of crazy fruits & vegetables I've never seen before; delicious curry dishes; all sorts of well cooked seafood; peach hookah; every different flavor of rice you could imagine; & delicious Filipino candy & snacks.
I smell fresh, crisp air; street food; ripened mangoes and pineapples; dried fish in the markets; fresh rain; sweet flowers; stinky farms and garbage in certain areas; burning charcoal & coconut shells, matches being blown out (my favorite); exhaust in the cities; every meal I have been served; lemongrass, ginger, & curry.
I feel the hot sun on my skin (sun poisoning the 1st week-I was so white-the sun is so intense-now I am golden brown); wind blowing through my hair; cold & warm rain on my skin; continuously moist-the humidity is constant; Matt' touch & warmth; massage, reflexology, & yoga healing my body; cool winds at night time which make the days heat not seem so bad; mosquitoes biting and ants crawling on my skin (especially in Sabang); the finest sand I have ever felt; sardines rub up against me as I swam through a school of 1000's; & a deep connection with Earth & all the people & things around me. I have never felt oneness like I do here, like I do now.
I am truly realizing that cultures around the world are not just some picture in a National Geographic that are untouchable. In fact, the other side of the world is not that far away~it is here, it is happening, tangible, & within reach.
Tomorrow morning Matt & I are flying to the Visayas. We are both anticipating new & exciting experiences to delve into.