Mabuhay from Manila, where awesomeness comes free with a side of oh-my-god-why-don't-I-live-here-or-at-least-vacation-here-more-often?!. (It takes a special place to make me forget the twenty-three hour flight itinerary and a kicking round of jetlag, trust me.)
Yesterday, despite the fact that I was up at the ungodly time of 5 a.m. due to the aforementioned jetlag, was one of the best and most gratifying days of my career. In an unfamiliar city on the opposite side of the world from my home, I found immediate welcome and comfort in the presence of thoughtful, gracious, articulate, and generous fans.
First was lunch with a few lucky contest-winners, hosted by the fabulous National Book Store, where I sampled delicious fried tilapia and curry with fish sauce, among other traditional delicacies, and stayed far away from balut. (If you don't know what that is, trust me, you don't WANT to know.)
I even received PRESENTS from these lovely ladies, including several incredibly moving notes, a beautiful scarf, dried mango (one of the few fruits I love!) and a gorgeous locket necklace. These girls know how to shop! Obviously, I had to have a group hug.
After purchasing a new pair of shoes from the Topshop here, just so when asked I could say, with studied unconcern, "Oh, THESE? I bought these in Manila," we headed over to the event.
And what an event it was. (Scroll down for pics!)
So many fans, so many smart and interesting questions, and a two-and-a-half hour signing line, complete with about one hundred hugs.