The girls that worked there thought it was a freakish novelty that this worried-looking American would show up with his laptop, ask politely for them to “turn down the music a bit,” order coffee and a donut and get to work. Often on client calls regarding creative we’djust delivered.
While I knew the work was good and I knew what I was talking about, I also labored away with a vague pit in my stomach. Drunks were stumbling past my line of sight, buying more San Mig Light to get them to the morning light. Call center workers were buying gigantic bags of Cheetos to sustain. The donuts kept coming and the incessant beats that epitomizes the late, late night in the Philippines never ended. I mastered the art of using the mute button on Skype.