Craved for Rice & Shopping Mall in Tel Aviv

My being a Far East Asian cracked up and transcended when me and my sister were in Tel Aviv.  First was when both of us were craving for rice, the staple food of Far East Asians.  After a couple of days gobbling over falafels, hummus, schnitzels and loads of bread and pastry varieties, part of my sleep were dreams about munching on a bowl of hot and freshly cooked rice.

These was further amplified when both of us where hankering whether a shopping mall exists in Tel Aviv.  Yeah, the biggest shopping malls on the planet are found in our part of the world!  Thus, a week without going to a shopping mall for Far East Asians like me and my sister makes us intensely loony.

So as to resolve our impending bouts of madness we scrambled on googling the net so as to determine where’s the nearest mall and where rice are most likely sold.  Thanks to the ever reliable google and google map we found Dizengoff Center, the first mall in Israel.  Luckily, this mall was only a couple of minutes walk from our hotel.  In this mall was when our rice-cravings was resolved.  My theory that Filipinos loves or needs shopping malls was validated because in Dizengoff Center did we saw the most number of Filipinos in Israel.

craving for rice, we passed by dizengoff square a few steps away from the dizengoff center

craving for rice, we passed by dizengoff square a few steps away from the dizengoff center

having fun inside a tel aviv bus!

having fun inside a tel aviv bus!

And after a couple of days, me and my sister bravely rode a bus and headed to the most modern and one of the biggest malls in Tel Aviv known as Azrieli Center.  This complex houses three iconic modern towers of Tel Aviv simply known as the Circular, the Square and the Triangular towers.  Circular Tower is the tallest building in Tel Aviv and at its top-most floor is where the breath-taking Azrieli Observatory is located.

a ceiling shot of the mall... now try to find the triangulat, square and circular towers

a ceiling shot at the center of the mall… now try to find the triangular, square and circular towers

spectacular view from the Azrieli Observatory. The Mediterranean Sea at the far end!

spectacular view from the Azrieli Observatory. The majestic Mediterranean Sea at the far end!

beautiful!!!

beautiful!!!

pa-kyut

pa-kyut

jackpot!

jackpot!

2 happy pinoys in tel aviv

2 happy pinoys in tel aviv

I love Azrieli Observatory!!!

Discovering the malls of Tel Aviv by ourselves was one advantage of not booking a tour package for our entire stay and trip to Israel.  Going and planning on our own, enables me and my sister resolve these kinds of insane issues.  I’m pretty sure those expensive yet inflexible tour packages basically offers the more popular Israeli destinations which of course would not include moments inside a mall.  And those who availed those rigid package tours failed to see other dimensions of what Tel Aviv or Israel as a whole got to offer.

Without rice and the absence of a shopping mall experience for the entire trip to Israel could have made me and my sister gone mad and demented at the end of the trip.  Thanks to Dizengoff and Azrieli Centers for keeping the both of us sane.

‘Yun nga lang, walang Tosilog sa mol nila.

Coca in Osaka

my bottle

my bottle

A lot of friends and colleagues who has been to Japan agrees that the taste of Coca-Cola seem different as compared to other parts of the world.  And I do agree with this observation.  For me regular Coke or Cola in this part of the planet seem lighter to the taste and smoother to the gullet.  It is not disturbingly sweet and not unnerving to the tongue.  I can actually drink a regular coke in this part of the world without the need for ice.

What is even more fun drinking Coke in Japan, particularly in Osaka is that you can actually have your bottle personalized.  Located at Grand Pronto Mall, Osaka’s new mega-shopping town complex is a Coca-Cola store where you can have your name stamped on the bottle label for free.

While my bottle was being stamped, I was imagining on top of a hill and wanted to sing the popular Coca-Cola jingle… I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing (a Perfect Harmony).

guess what this store is selling...

guess what this store is selling…

osaka lady stamping my bottle

osaka lady stamping my bottle

my sister's nickname is so exotic

my sister’s nickname is so exotic

so "shota" is a popular nickname in osaka...

so “shota” is a popular nickname in osaka…

My body had changed, my sensibilities changed, though to this day, I still drink Coke.  Admit it or not, but there are lots of chows, cuisines or simple sustenance best consumed with a bottle of Coca-Cola.  I guess, no one is too old to drink this precarious drink.

Its da ril ting… Inom na!

Harrison Plaza

The Philippines boasts of its humongous shopping malls.  Two of the biggest in the world can actually be found here (SM North Edsa and SM Mall of Asia).  But there’s one mall I grew up going to.  It’s Harrison Plaza.  Growing up, this has been my family’s mall of choice during the 70s and 80s because of its accessibility since it is simply just at the borders of Pasay and Manila cities.

I am writing about this mall because I happen to bumped into a photo of how glorious Harrison Plaza was in the 70’s…

harrison plaza during the '70s

harrison plaza during the ’70s

This one-stop retail center is the first shopping mall in the country.  It opened in 1976 and up until now is very much operational.  Though it obviously needs some serious refurbishing to bring back its glory, Harrison Plaza is actually even older than the world’s worst airport NAIA Terminal 1 by 6 years.

harrison plaza today

harrison plaza today

Obviously, time has changed.  It is no longer the mall of choice by the Filipinos.  But going to Harrison Plaza does not entail and pressure a person to primp and gussy up (like when you would go to Rockwell, Greenbelt or Resorts World).  You can simply go sporting your casual house clothes.

It is no longer the mall of the well-heeled and A-listers.  Yet being so near to one of the Ivy-League-like universities of the land (De La Salle University), Harrison Plaza for sure has been visited at least once by these privileged souls.  I suppose this is one place every Green Archer can’t inevitably get rid of during his fun yet busy college life – may it be a simple need for a cellphone fix, a school requirement purchase, a cheap lunch or a societal immersion to a lower to middle class bracket of the population.

Now that I am living 3 minutes away from Harrison Plaza, this mall has been my most convenient place in resolving my addiction to rash and unnecessary purchasing binges otherwise known as “shopping”.

Bakit walang estatwa o rebulto si Francis Burton Harrison sa mol na ‘to?