Sunday, June 26, 2016

What does crossing the International Dateline feel like?

This morning (Saturday) when I woke up I felt like I had just been shot through a long tunnel and popped out in Manila. I think it is the same feeling Captain Kirk had when he was "beamed down" from the starship Enterprise onto a planet. I guess that the feeling is more from the long trip than from crossing the dateline.

Our trip was three legs: Austin to LA (3 hours), LA to Tokyo (11 hours), and then Tokyo to Manila (4.5 hours). With the layovers we were on the road for 24 hours. We left Austin early on Thursday morning and arrived in Manila Friday night. Somewhere in there we crossed the International Dateline and lost a day. I cannot seem to wrap my head around it, but when I look at my iPad it says that it is yesterday.... so I guess I am living in tomorrow. I wish I could explain it better than that. In Tokyo I saw this interesting sign on the wall of the bathroom stall.

At the airport we were met by our friend, Maricel and Sister Ann (a nun), who took us to the retreat center for the Religious Sisters of the Virgin Mary (RVM) in new Manila. We were surprised to find out that we would each have a separate room with a single bed! So, we woke up the next morning on our 39th wedding anniversary in our separate rooms! What an adventure it has been to be married to Steve!!  

Traveling this way is the best!  We are tourists and foreigners, but we have a connection to people who actually live here. We don’t stay in luxury hotels, but we have really interesting experiences where we stay.

Here are some things that happened in the first day:
  • Waking up to the crowing of a rooster that lives at the retreat center
  • Eating breakfast (an apple, a roll with bacon flavored mayonaise, nescafe) with Sister Ann
  • Being greeted with a Welcome song by three young nuns
  • Meeting many friends of our friend and being treated so warmly
  • Observing all sorts of strange transportation (jeepney, motorcycle with sidecar that holds 3 or 4 people)

Tomorrow’s blog will be about a visit to a part of Manila that most tourists do not visit.


  1. I just wanted to think of something to write inside the blue circles. They look like they are there to tell you what the person is thinking. -SS

    1. Hmmmm... That IS strange. Any suggestions?

    2. Picture 1: How many times do I need to sing "Happy Birthday" before my hands are clean?

      Picture 2: I would be able to go much easier if they would put stalls in the bathrooms.

    3. I don't get the Happy Birthday one, but the one for picture 2 is great!

      What about?
      Picture 1: ????? I can't think of a good one.... anyone?

      Picture 2: This is so uncomfortable, I wish I could squat.

  2. A few questions came through my email and so I am going to repeat and answer them here because I think they may be questions that other people have as well.
    1. Are you traveling with a group or on your own?
    We are traveling on our own. In the Philippines we have friends who have arranged the speaking engagements that Steve has and the locations that we are staying. In South Korea there is the International Society of Biblical Literature in which Steve is participating, in Japan we are visiting another prof. from UT who teaches summer courses in Tokyo, in Hawaii we are visiting a long time friend... and the beach.
    2. How is it that you are staying in a convent?
    Maricel, our friend, teaches at the Catholic University, Ateneu and at the Vincentian Seminary and so she has many friends who are nuns. This is the Bethania Retreat Center and they graciously put us up.

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