One of the funniest experiences I had was in Manila before I even reached the disaster area.
Myself and Rahib Chaudry, a Canadian volunteer I had met earlier that day decided to take a walk through the night markets of the Barangay Commonwealth, Quezon City.
Those markets are a life-form in themselves. They have their own heat, their own noise and their own violent smell. I was determined to buy something, had very little idea of the value of the currency and decided upon peanuts.
The lady at the stall commanded her young daughter to serve me while she questioned me about my nationality.
She didn’t get terribly excited and had her daughter place a few peanuts in a paper bag in exchange for my 100 pesos. I was getting seriously ripped off and had no concept of that until she asked my companion his nationality.
“Canada!” she shrieked, snatched the bag from her daughter then launched herself at her husband and started slapping him on the arm repeating
“Canada, Canada, Canada …”
After that there were so many smiles and so many peanuts.