Would you believe there's a coffeeshop with wifi here? A good place to kill time during the endless waits to get anything done. I've generally found Zamboanga to be frustrating. As everywhere in the Philippines, doing anything requires going through an excrutiating mix of formal and informal procedures. For example, to speak to the US military, I first had to get clearance from the Philippine Military. Of course, theoretically, one could just send a fax ahead of time. But in order for the fax to get read, I had to have someone here to put in a word. So I couldn't even do that until yesterday. This morning, I found out that I have been given permission by the Filipinos. But still no actual contact. I'm supposed to leave tomorrow morning, because I already have appointments set in Manila tomorrow afternoon. Now it looks like I may have to delay leaving here if I want to get a chance to talk with people. Which means choosing between letting this whole trip to Zamboanga be basically a complete waste of very limited time, or breaking other appointments that were not so easy to make either.
Not to mention the fact that I really, really want to leave Zamboanga. It's hard to get around much by myself, and the communication barrier here is pretty high. Unless people are well eduated, they don't even speak Tagalog here. Mostly Chabacano, which is a mix of broken Spanish and Malay, which I can somewhat understand, but can't speak.
Okay, just now finally heard from the Military people. So I'm going to end this here.