How to Become an Asian Triathlon Superstar, Step #5: fuel your body properly, eat your fruits and veggies!
This weekend Mat took us on a group outing to the local market in Olongapo City, which is just outside the main gate leading into Subic. Subic is a former U.S. Naval base and most of the locals lives right outside the base in Olongapo. Everything is also way cheaper on the other side of the gates–you can get your laundry done (washed, dried AND folded) for 20 pesos/kg outside vs. 150 pesos/kg inside Subic! Mat lives in Olongapo while me and our new friend Keegan the Kiwi are staying at the hotel just a 5-minute walk from the main gate.
When crossing the gate, you have to remember to close your umbrella. I don’t have an umbrella, but maybe I should get one if I really want to pass as a local. See, many locals always carry an umbrella with them for two purposes…the obvious 1) it’s rainy season here, and the not so obvious 2) unlike Westerners who like to go tanning and get darker, here it is frowned upon to get too dark. I guess the grass is always greener? Actually it’s like that in many Asian countries. Years ago, I remember being dragged by my college friends to some Chinese spa/salon to get facials before our graduation (my first and last time, I assure you) and I was disapprovingly told I was “too dark” and that I should not go outside so much. HA!! But I digress, that is why you see so many locals (particularly women, but men too) with umbrellas out on perfectly clear and dry days. Taller folks like our little TBB brigade here need to watch out for these umbrellas, because as Mat noted, everyone here is shorter than us and the umbrellas can hit you in the eye if you’re not paying attention.
Once past the gate, you can hitch a ride on these little motor bike carriages for 15 pesos. The market is just about a mile down the road. Mat calls them tricycles but I think they are more like pedicabs with a motor.
Here is a view from the inside. You can squeeze two passengers in one if you don’t mind getting cozy, even if you have wide hips like me. hehe. But note that you shouldn’t smoke inside, or you’ll get fined big time! So much for your big fantasty of smoking a cigarette while riding in a motorized pedicab with your hair blowing in the wind.
There is a big smelly section of the market that has very fresh seafood.
I thought about getting some squid just to say “so I went to the Philippines, bought my own squids at the market, cooked ‘em up and ate ‘em! and they were so good!” but as the only way I can currently cook in my bathroom/kitchen is by boiling things, boiled squid just doesn’t sound too appetizing. Fried calamari is the only way to go! Maybe next time!
The fish is so fresh that they are still flopping around the table. I told these guys to hold still and say cheese, but you can see the one fish closest to the seller’s hand wasn’t listening and blurred my photo. Oh well.
Then we got to the main attraction, fruits and veggies. Here is a huge pile of those red spiky fruits with the lychee-like things inside. I keep forgetting what they are called, but I like them. You have to squeeze the heck out of them to make the fruit pop out. See, it’s both fun and yummy to eat.
I loaded up on a bunch of veggies. This particular stand had an ipod hooked up and was playing Soulja Boy – Crank That, which reminded me of my coworkers Gary and Marie at home and made me smile. I bought 170 pesos worth of veggies from them and complimented their music selection, even though we all hated that song. HEHE
We saw a couple guys playing some form of checkers with bottlecaps. In the foreground they are selling chains of what I think is the national flower here, and in the background is shaved coconut.
I got home after spending maybe $8 US in fruits and veggies. Here’s my loot:
There’s 2 mangoes, 1 HUGE papaya (and this was a small one), 2 avocadoes, a bunch of bananas, broccoli, a whole kilo of eggplant, some green onion, 2 cucumbers, and 2 bunches of green beans. By the time I snapped this photo, I had already ate the red spiky fruits I bought. yum! this should last me for a whole week. maybe.