So I asked him again today how he liked his school, and he said, "Dad, it's so so so so so fun!" He told me that everyone knows his name, even the kids in the higher grades - apparently, it hasn't yet sunk in that as a half-white kid, he sort of stands out among the rest. My oldest son and my nephew here both sardonically pointed that little fact out to him. He also told me about going to the Mall of Asia yesterday - and apparently they've got not only a small carnival with a carousel and a ferris wheel inside, but they've even got a paintball court inside! I have to go there next time I visit. My wife - who flew there a few days ago to make sure that Eric's doing okay - told me about how at the KFC in the mall, when Eric handed her the meal and the drink, he took pains to point out that those were the 'large' size...even though they wouldn't even qualify as the 'small' size here in the States. Sure, I could gripe about that, but I'm a glass-is-half-full kind of guy anyway, so I'd prefer to think that that's a better form of portion control than we have stateside.
Here in my house in Puget Sound, Eric was like any other teenager - he was mortified to be seen with me or my Darling in public. A week or so after he arrived in the Philippines he told my wife, "Mom, it's different here. The kids aren't embarrassed to be seen at the mall with their parents." And, like other teenagers here he didn't like us to go in his room...but now he's sharing his room with four cousins - one boy, one girl, and another girl with her baby. He's even enjoying the weather - he no longer needs the air-conditioning to sleep at night, and he's thoroughly enjoying the rainy season with the almost-daily thunderstorms that one sees maybe once a year in Puget Sound.
Now it's not perfect, of course. He's a lot like the kid in Dick Tracy - eats everything in sight and craves for more (and somehow stays skinny as a rail) - and he hates the fact that he can't get up at oh-dark-thirty to go scrounge for food like he can here. He also misses the kind of meat we have stateside, because the meat in burgers and dogs there are sweetened for the local taste, even at McDonald's. He misses barbecue sauce, too. But after his first week there, those are his only complaints. Not bad, not bat at all!