Too many years of pre-Christmas chaos led me to expect that Manila would be crazy, jam-packed and debilitated by traffic. But I was pleasantly surprised. It seems we arrived home at just the right time, or maybe everyone did their shopping early this year. Maybe it was because Christmas was on a Tuesday, giving everyone a much-needed weekend to get things done.
Whatever the reason, I found the Makati commercial/business district surprisingly quiet on the Sunday before Christmas. And that was actually nice.
After living in a city where very few buildings are over 4 stories, Makati’s towering, densely packed skyscrapers are almost a strange sight. I’m not used to them anymore.
Neither am I used to such insistent brightness, or spending so much time in malls…
… or being confronted with such urban density. For example, Makati’s population of approximately 530,000 (about 2/3 of Amsterdam’s population) is squeezed into a city roughly 10% the size of Amsterdam. This is why people who whine about how crowded Amsterdam is always get a blank look from me.
But hey, I’m not complaining. I’m not used to swimming outdoors at 6pm on a December evening, either. But it doesn’t mean I didn’t relish it.
And when the city rolled out its one of its famous sunsets, this slice of quiet time became even more precious. This, I miss.
Did you manage to find a pocket of quiet time this holiday season? It feels wonderful, doesn’t it?