The contrasts of Cebu City

Sorry for a few blogless days. Been busy with several projects, will write about them later.

Me and my good friend Ned, drove to Cebu(car this time) this Friday. We were looking for different things, and started in Downtown Cebu, close to the City Hall. We parked the car right outside and went for a walk around the area. St Nino Church is here, as well as Magellans Cross.

Outside St Nino it looks like it's a fiesta every day. Vendors of all kinds around. As well as beggars. Don't bring your valuables if you are strolling the area.

We were not tourists today, so we went towards Plaridel Street. There are a number of funny stores around, and the prices are cheaper than you will find elsewhere. It's hot and dusty here, but there are pavements so you could walk around. We managed to find our store but they didn't have what I was looking for, glass jars for commercial use. We found a set of 5 knives for only 85 peso all together, claimed to be stainless stell, so we bought a set each. Manouvering ourself back to the car through side streets, watching guys unloading heavy rice sacks off the truck and into the many engros stores there.

Finding our way through traffic to Ayala without too many problems. We are hungry and decide to have our lunch at Lemon Grass. It's a Thai and Viet cuisine, and they seem to get more and more popular. I can easily understand why, because it is run very well. Their fresh spring rolls are to die for, with their spicy peanut dip. We share a Tom Yam Kung soup, spice and sour with good looking big shrimps inside. Every spoonfull is filled with wonderful flavors. Ned also orders some marinated spare ribs that are so tasty and well cooked he can scrape the meat with a spoon. Go there and check it out, official review will follow in the near future.

After Ayala we head to Tinder Box to stock up some delicacies Toledo don't offer. I end up as always, buying more than planned. Three bottles of wine, some Italian salami, French Roquefort cheese, fresh Arugula salad and a pint of Stella Artois end up in the shopping bag. I don't treat myself like that very often.

We are now at the other end of the city so it's much faster for us to return via Transcentral road. Halfway we stop at a vegetable stand where they sell fresh cooked corn, large and tasty. I buy the lot, about 15 pices, for about 200 peso. It's a popular stop for many of the cars, and the car behind me doesn't get any. Coming home, I hand them out to the family who loves them. Myself, I have 3000 peso worth of goodies in my bags. Well, deduct 250, the Stella and Italian salami didn't make it across the mountain!

When zipping the Riesling I bought earlier that day, I think back to the street vendors downtown. And I remember the food vendors, selling lunch packed in plastic bags for 7-10 peso a piece. I cannot help thinking of the contrasts of this city, from the street vendors to the cooled air inside Tinder Box. I am taking parts of both of them, but most people are not able to do that.



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