I made it to Manila, collapsed in my closet-sized (but $10) room at my guesthouse, and now I've got the rest of the evening ahead of me to panic. Manila is intense. On the drive into town, the streets looked like Coney Island after a bout of firebombing, and I've already been cornered by a feral cat and a rooster on my way to buy groceries in the touristy part of town. Worst of all, both of my debit cards appear to not be working, although I (luckily) managed to get about three days worth of cash before they died. After that, I'm basically fucked.
I know it's only Day 1, so I'm going to try not to conclude that I'm not cut out for this type of urban fieldwork. I don't really know what to do with that fact, because I'm here until the end of September, so I'm going to try to be peppy and optimistic until I'm all settled into an apartment and start the research, and then despair if necessary. (And mood stabilizers are out of the question because the Philippines punish drug trafficking with the death penalty. That's my fun fact for the day, and also what they welcome visitors with at the airport.)