I'm in between appointments right now, was wandering around Quezon City and found a bizarre little internet cafe to kill time in. It's tucked away somewhat improbably on a residential street, and seems to cater primarily to children under 10. Perhaps it's just a function of the time of day. In any case, the internet connection, though slow, is functional, and they're letting me charge up my recorder.
I've been running around pretty much non-stop since I've been here. Two appointments a day may not sound like so much, but trying to get anywhere in Manila is always a bit of an enterprise, so it gets exhuasting quickly.
It's also hard to keep my factions straight. You'd think that the left in this country has enough external problems that infighting would seem like a bad idea, but it seems to be an endlessly popular local passtime. I'm trying to remain as willfully ignorant as possible, but it complicates things. For example, I had an interview with a representative from one organization this morning. It went very well -- he was very friendly and articulate, sat and talked with me for almost an hour and offered to help get me in touch with other people. And yet, when I was leaving, I had to be vague about where I was headed, because I'm going to go talk to another group -- which to me seems very similar in political orientation -- that I do happen to know falls on the other side of a factional split.
To an extent, it's possible to stay out of it as a foreigner, but I do know that it could catch up with me that I've essentially been making contacts through two different networks. Ach, well.
On another front, I finally went to the dentist yesterday. The good news: no cavities. Even the weird hole in my back molar that I was trying vainly to convince myself was just a chipped tooth was, in fact, just a chipped tooth. The bad news: I'm looking at some wisdom tooth extraction in my near future. Again: Ach, well.
I'm in an environment where it's entirely impossible to think. The kids are kicking off. Not to mention reading over my shoulder, staring, etc. So, I think I'm going to give up on this post, try again another time.