However, over the weekend I started feeling better and had the opportunity to explore the city, and both my health and my outlook improved. Our sponsors took me to a wonderful plant market, where I bought seven healthy plants, including an orchid, for $14. I made sure to get several spider plants, which help clean the air. And our neighbors took me to the Legaspi Market, where I was overjoyed to find good quality organic produce. Finding houseplants and a good place to go grocery shopping are important steps in my nesting process.
This week has been completely different. I am enjoying my job, found a great yoga studio, and our newly hired part-time helper/aso ya ya is wonderful. We have trips out of the city planned, we've made new friends, and we've renewed friendships with old(er) friends. I have yet to die of an amoeba attack--always a plus.
Last week I knew better than to make judgments about Manila based on what I had been experiencing thus far. My initial emotional response to feeling sick, overwhelmed, and isolated was normal, and I was fairly sure that things would improve. We didn't expect to feel so confined by not having a vehicle, but there's very little we can walk to from our house, and the air quality does not make walking a pleasant experience--at least not if you're anywhere near a large street. Fortunately there is a dog park next to our building where Julie and Grace can run, and my new air filtering mask works very well. I am even no longer particularly bothered by the smell of frying palm oil, and in fact, recognize it as a sign that I should avoid that restaurant.
Settling in to our new home will have its ups and downs, and I know that cultivating flexibility and living in the present will help us adjust. It's hard to be worried about the future when you're busy absorbing what's going on right now. We still look forward to having our car, but after a couple of taxi rides and getting to know our new friends and neighbors, we no longer feel isolated, just inconvenienced.
All settled in