School in Manila spring 2010
Friday 16th of April 2010 and I woke up at 5 o'clock, 30 minutes before my alarm was set to go off. I had my tea and salmon. I really must find something else to eat. Salmon is getting very boring and the “TUNA SURPRISE” ®, I threw away 1 kg today. Maybe only fruit from now on to get my “Best looking guy in town '10” diet back on track.
I'm arriving to Manila International in the afternoon and I'm going to have to spend a few hours in a car to get to Subic Bay. School starts on Monday and I will spend 2 days in Subic Buy for 2 days and I will return to Manila on Sunday.
Well, my car was in time and I shouted to the driver from my balcony:
- I WILL BE DOWN IN 5 MINUTES!
I took my bags and I went down. Of course I ran in to the girl taking care of my flowers (???!!!!???) at the parking lot. And the first thing she asked me when she saw me was:
- Are you drunk?
- Drunk, its f@cking 6 thirty in the morning.
I had been up since 5 o'clock, yeah, 30 minutes before my alarm was set to go off thanks to my friend's SMS. He was wishing me a happy journey to Manila and that he was looking forward to meet me again in 2 weeks.
Early morning and not very much traffic, but heavy rain so we had to drive slowly. But we arrived in good time for my flight. I even had time to go check out Cafe Nero when I had checked in.
Yes, you never know, maybe they have changed schedule and restaurants so I might have been lucky to meet “Miss Most Beautiful in the World” Well, I had no luck so I went to the immigration and security control.
And of course, I had to go through the usual bullshit:
- Nice shirt!!
- How many ear rings do you have?
- Are you married?
But they were all laughing both at the immigration and in the safety control. But there was no laugh when I discovered that we would have to go to the plane in a bus. Yeah, bus, that's my favourite.
A crowded bus and I was sweating like a pig after the last few weeks of parties. They started to ask me when they picked me up at home if I was hot, and it continued with everyone until I came onboard the plane.
I told them that I had a hangover and all of them understood. Of course after Songkran.
- OH! You have celebrated 3 days of Songkran! Right?
I was sitting alone, I asked them to block the seat next to me. Only 14 people in BIZ and I had been going through all the trouble to get my confirmed seat. Well, never mind, I was alone at 15 A and B. But what about the air blower? Yes, back in the days they had nozzles lowing cool air on you, what happed with them?
You never see them anymore and I would really have appreciated some cool air today.
I had planned to sleep during the whole flight, but I felt asleep 10 o'clock yesterday evening so I had have all my beauty sleep. So I spent most of the flight in the galley joking with the Air hostesses. Thai Airways, not only beautiful, but funny as well.
OK, sometimes you get more information than you ask for. I asked one of the mail air attendants if he had a wife.
- No, I have a boyfriend!
- What the
- He is from Germany!
And before I had a chance to say stop he had brought out a picture from his valet. Hmm, what is it with Thai and Germans? Seems like every Thai, male or female wants to have a German guy. What the is wrong with a handsome Swedish guy?
I also took the time to read about Songkran and this year�s casualties. Well, they trying, of course, to get down the road accidents, bus as you can see the have failed completely.
Well, people are drinking and driving and this is how it ends. And talk about drinking, while in the galley I was drinking 3 big bottles of water. The Stewardesses were really making big eyes. Asking me if I was OK. Well, I have been better.
Yes, it was nice to get off the plane, but I was still facing a 4 hours taxi ride to Subic Bay. I was told it would take 2 hours with the NEW highway. But as it turned out, it took 4 hours.
Trotting to the immigration, no cart, and when I passed the immigration my luggage came on the luggage belt. When I had my entire luggage I went to Hertz to rent a car. 4500 Scooby Dollars to get to Subic Bay. OK, but then he has to drive really fast. I'm in a hurry.
- Do you want to take the highway?
- Does the bear shit in the forest? Of course!
- Then we have to charge you 700 Scooby Dollars extra.
- No problem! Just get me the car already.
We took of around 30 minutes after 2 o'clock. 45 minutes after that we landed at Manila International. Not a minute too early, I have children waiting for radio controlled cars and helicopters.
We left the airport and I felt a sleep in the back seat. When I woke up I discovered that we were on the highway.
- How much more to go?
- 90 km
- What the !!?? You're only making 60km/h
- Special law for taxi. Only allowed to drive 80 km/h
- Are you shitting me? F@cking hell, you better be careful, if we run in to a Meter Maid she will fine you for parking on the high way.
Trucks, busses, cars and pushbikes were over taking us on the highway.
- What the ??!! Did you mistake brake fluid for gasoline last time you filled up the tank?
I called my brother.
- What the ??!! The driver tells me that there is a special law for taxis that they can only go very slow.
- Let me speak with the driver.
I heard someone screaming in the phone and suddenly the taxi shot off and we reached 80km/h and we were soon overtaking a truck. The first vehicle we overtook since I got in to the taxi at Manila International.
We passed the volcano that had an eruption several years ago, I forgot the name, but it's quite famous.
Well, after being on the road for several hours I got hungry and I asked the driver to stop so I could buy a sandwich. Yeas, I know, a pit stop doesn�t make me arrive any sooner. But I was about to starve to death here fer f@ck's sake!
We were leaving the highway coming up on a dirt road. I thought that we were about to arrive.
- I long to go? I asked.
- 50 km
- What the ??!!
I called my brother again.
- You said there was a new highway all the way to Subic Buy! I'm on a dirt road and the driver said it's still 50 km to go.
- Let me talk to the driver.
I handed my phone to the driver again and I could hear someone screaming. Suddenly the driver went from 57 km/h to 90 km/h. He was ashamed that he had taken off the highway, maybe trying to take my highway toll. He had paid 174 peso and it would be 350 all the way to Subic Bay.
I had a room reservation at Harleys and it was exactly the same people sitting around the same table as last time I was in Subic.
- Where is the music?
- You asked the same last time you were here.
It was one of the owners sitting at our table. He told me it was a sport bar.
- A sport bar! How the did I end up here.
- There are plenty places with single girls and music around here!
- So what are we doing here?
I had expected to drive radio controlled helicopter and cars, but by now we had had a few beers to many. So my brother drove me to a disco with PLENTY SINGLE LADIES.
I was delirious with anticipation, last time around here was only 2 places. 2 whorehouses with no electricity. Arriving this time and there had been flashing lights and disco signs along the road. So I expected a weekend full of activities. Radio controlled toys and disco in the night time. Yes, it's holiday and that's the time you want to have a good time.
And the disco, PLENTY SINGLE LADIES and music. Turned out to be a whorehouse. Believe me, if Beer Garden in FUNKY TOWN is bad, this was 100 times worse. Pattaya, if you think this is bad try to imagine it 100 times worse and you have Subic Buy.
OK, take me out of here. I asked one of the single ladies where I could by blank CDs. I will go back to Manila ASAP, but I need music during the trip so I need to burn a few CDs. One of the girls called a taxi. Yes, taxi in Subic Bay is something else. It is a motorbike with a cage attached to it. The cage is so small they would need an f@cking cannon to get 82 kg of Chief Officer in to the cage. Well, took some time but finally I made it in to the darn cage.
We took off towards the place so I could buy some bland CDs. And while we were on the way I tried to think of the best way to get out of the darn taxi.
Back to the hotel and I asked them to call a taxi. I went to my room and I burned 2 CDs. I packed my stuff and I returned to the bar and paid my bill. I had 2 beers before the taxi came and I got a bag with 4 beers when the taxi arrived
It was the same girl working there now as when I was here last time. I will never forget her fainting when I ordered tea. She must have thought that I was from the moon or something.
TEA??!! ARE YOU SURE??!!
I guess she is only used to serving beers and booze whatever time of the day.
Of course, I had gone through all the trouble to burn CDs and they send a taxi with a broken CD player. So we had to go change car the first thing before we could leave for Manila with my German Hip Hop blasting high on the Richter scale.
Yes, its Marcus favourite German song. I call it the Charisma Man song, but its Sido and the song “Mama ist stolz”. “You're the best thing that happen in my life”
Marcus is always requesting the “Background song when you point the mouse at the Charisma Man” and now we had it playing on our way to Manila and I could not help
but thinking about Marcus.
måste hålla med om att Sido e fan så mycket bättre än Ebba Grön och Manchester soundet.
Well, anyway, seems like the MAXIMUM 10 km/h for taxi law didn't applied on taxis going from Subic Bay to Manila because we were hauling ass.
And this driver knew about the highway so we were on the way to Manila pushing 180 km/h and we had an ETA around 2 o'clock something. The Fort should be stomping by then. And we were in the overtaking lane all the way to Manila.
We were not overtaken by any busses, trucks or push bikes
It was nonstop to Manila except for one stop on the way to buy more San Mig Light. My driver woke me up outside my hotel Oxford Suites. I don't know if I had pissed my pants, but most likely it was the empty San Mig Light bottle I had in my lap when I woke up.
I checked in and I was out of there again within minutes on my way to The Fort. And things have changed around here, obviously there is a new Mayor in Makati so all the places at The Fort had to close at 3 o'clock in the morning. So when I arrived all the people left the place.
Saturday 17th of April 2010 and I have felt better waking up. But I had stopped at 7 Eleven to buy 2 litres of milk on my way home so this is what I had for breakfast. Otherwise it was a great start of the day. When I left Subic yesterday, well, earlier this very morning had had called Herald Suites and they didn't had any reservation for me. So this is why I had checked in on Oxford Suites instead.
And of course, everybody recognized me.
- Welcome back. Nice to see you again! How long you stay?
- I don't know.
I tried to get hold of someone at OSM about my hotel reservation and finally we found out that I had no reservation. And that�s even though I had got confirmation on e-mail. But they were going to check it out.
- OK, I go have my lunch then I got to Herald Suites to see if I have me reservation.
I left for lunch at Tempura, my favourite restaurant in the area, closed. DARN! So I took a taxi straight to my hotel and when I arrived to the reception they were talking with OSM.
Good, so my reservation was confirmed and they asked if I wanted to move in today. Yeah, why not? So I took a taxi back to Oxford Suites and I checked out and returned to Herald Suites with my stuff.
Checking in at my new hotel and I went straight to the pool. And lying in a pool is the best way to alleviate your hangover. So when I came back to my room I ordered 2 beers and I just felt better. Why spend a Saturday night at your hotel room? Of course, I have my Thai books, but its weekend!
And of course, I forgot my “MAGIC HAIR STUFF” at the other hotel. Well, who the do I try to fool? Even dough I drink the darn “MAGIC HAIR STUFF” I just get balder and uglier by the day. Well, that's life. But after a few beers you're handsome like never before.
I took a taxi to Melate and I stopped at the first place for 2 San Mig Light. This is a very good beer. Maybe San Mig Light and Tiger light are the best beers in the world.
And San Mig Light disappears like water so I was soon tipsy and handsome. Still a little early, 10 o'clock in the evening and the places were almost empty. But they played my German Hip Hop and, well, yeah the spirit was high.
But what the heck? Only guys at all the places.
- Hmm, have I ended up in a gay zone?
A gay zone, I don't know. But I came to one place and they told me it was ladies only allowed inside. But the girl in the door (Looking like a boy) asked if I were alone.
- Yes, I'm alone.
So I was allowed inside and I was to only boy (except the waiters and bouncers) inside. I was directed to a table and after a minute I had a beer in front of me.
Yes, it was a lesbian meeting and I was sitting there feeling stupid. Did I dare talking (Flirting) to someone? Maybe they would attack me. It would be like screaming:
POOR PEOPLE ARE TOO STUPID TO VOTE! At a red shirt meeting in FUNKY TOWN.
Well, never mind, I had my beers coming and I swear to God. I was getting more and more handsome by the beer. And the girl at the table started to flirt with me. Yes, it sounds like a lie, but I swear. Charisma Man in Manila, what a nice change from Hangover Man
They asked me to move over to their table and I asked if they were lesbians.
- NO!!! We're here to celebrate our friend�s birthday. WE'RE NOT LESBIANS!!!!
OK, I moved over and they started to offer me food. Well, better safe than sorry. I have heard about these DATE RAPE drugs so I told them that I was on diet.
The music was blasting high on the Richter scale and the girls wanted to dance. DANCE!!
Oh yeah, 82 kg Aladdin bouncing on the dance floor would be a sight we're better off not having to experience.
So I did my old trick with my foot. I pointed at the ankle and I told the girls that I have a fracture on my ankle.
They asked for my Facebook.
- Facebook??!! I have no facebook. But I have a web page.
I asked the waiter for 7 pieces of paper and I wrote down my web address on 7 papers and I handed them to the girls.
- Hmm, maybe time to put my web address on my name card.
The music had been off for a while and there was the girl looking like a boy letting me inside talking in the microphone. She is what we call a Tomboy and there were quite a few of them around. That's why I at first arriving to the bar thought it was strange with a lot of 14 year old boys outside the bar.
Well, she was screaming about lesbian rights and all the girls and Tomboys were screaming and applauding the girl at the microphone and I and the girls were waiting for the music to start again. Seems like the lesbians were at the stage and DJ area.
- ENOUGH ALREADY! WHERE IS THE MUSIC?
I went up on the stage and I grabbed the microphone.
- I'm BIG BONED, bald, ugly and single. My chances to find a wife are less than slim! So what's your problem?
When I walked back to my table and the girls I was meet by thumbs up, whistling, laughs and applauses. So obviously there was not only lesbians at the bar.
The music were soon back on again and more beers were ordered. One of the girls asked for my cell phone number. Well, I don't know. I bought a SIM card and I saved the card after pushing out the SIM card just to have my number. But I lost it at Oxford Suites. So I had to tell her that I didn't know my number.
I'll be darned, the music were soon off again and now there was another girl speaking. We had a girl at our table and she was going to sing during the night. She was waiting and waiting for a chance to sing. I mean, if they promised her to sing I think they should keep their promise.
I could see that she was disappointed that she never got the chance to sing so I took off towards the scene again. I grabbed the mice for the second time this evening.
- HEY! GO TO SWEDEN AND GET MARRIED AND GET IT OVER WITH! LESBIANS ARE ALLOWED TO GET MARRIED IN SWEDEN! MY FRIEND MARCH WAS PROMISED TO SING FOR HER FRIEND HAVING HERE BIRTHDAY HERE TONIGHT. SO PLEASE LET HER SING!
Well, it was soon time for me to move along. I had spent a few hours with the girls and now I wanted to move on. But before going to The Fort I wanted to go check out the disco I went to first. Just to check out if it was a gay disco. They told me it was not a gay disco when I went there first.
- Hey, come in have a beer.
- It's empty, only 2 guys.
- Will soon be packed. It's still early.
- Looks like gay disco, I said.
- No, here will be plenty girls coming soon.
Now there were some girls and I had a beer before going to the Fort. And it was now I was told why they closed at 3 o'clock. The new Mayor.
Well, I had 2 beers and I was thinking about going back to Melate, but I decided to go home sleep.
A good night out and I had spent 4000 peso and that is 2900 Thai baht. And we're talking a full night out, impossible to spend the money. Most places give you 2 beers when you order 1. And the beer is 60 peso. In FUNKY TOWN you don't bother go outside the door with less than 20,000 baht in your valet. I went out with 20,000 peso and I came back home with 16,000 peso. So it had been a cheap night out.
Sunday 18th of April 2010 and I woke up at 2 thirty in the afternoon. Charisma Man was long gone and now it was only The Hangover Man left in my room.
I forgot to buy milk on my way home yesterday so I spend a few hours drinking water before I took off to Mall of Asia. I will go visit some galleries looking for paintings by Joseph Bãnes.
So I took a taxi and I arrived 10 minutes later just in time for the sunset over Manila Bay.
I walked around looking for the galleries and I found 2. One of them had paintings by Joseph Bãnes. But the door was locked when I tried to enter. I went to the gallery next door, they didn't have any paintings I was interested in. But the lady sent an SMS to the girl next door.
- She is most likely having her dinner.
-OK, I'll be back in a few minutes.
I walked around the mall, and it's really a big mall. The biggest in Asia. But that is what you hear about every mall around Asia. I was soon back at the gallery and they had 4 paintings of Joseph Bãnes. But she only had rectangular paintings so it would be really hard to have them on the walls.
Well, hopefully I will have time to go to Glorietta one of those days to have a look over there. And they have a Tony Romas at Glorietta. And a full slab of their famous baby backs is never wrong.
When I left the gallery I went to a steak house and I was greeted with a HOWDY! All waiters and waitresses was dressed like cowboys. I ordered my food and I was sitting there eating and drinking water and I was about to ask for a sign saying: I DON'T WANT ANY BLACK PEPPER!!
Every cowboy passing my table had a peppermill asking if I wanted some fresh black pepper. When I had turned down the offer for 50 times I started to get a wee bit annoyed. Well, they only try to be polite and that's what Filipinos are, polite.
I don't understand how they can squeeze in Sir so many times in one sentence. Very polite, but it gets a wee bit annoying at times.
I finished my meal and I went to SM supermarket to buy some mango and stuff before going back home to my hotel.
Monday 19th of April 2010 and I was almost dead when they called to wake me up at 8 o'clock. Of course, if you sleep until 2 thirty in the afternoon it's not easy to fall asleep in the evening. So I had had almost no sleep at all when they called at 8 o'clock. But I need to get used to get up in the morning by now when the school starts.
The car was here to pick me up quarter after 1 o'clock for transportation to school. Before that I had had time to go get cash from the ATM and for a few lapse in the pool. ATM, get cash was not all that easy.
Before I left the hotel I put tape over the magnetic band and at the first ATM my VISA worked. At the first ATM I tested my Master Card I had no luck. But at the second ATM it was working. Good, now I know that all my cards are working.
- Hmm, or maybe not.
I don't know for sure if it was the magnetic strip or the smart chip working. But putting tape over the magnetic strip was a trick I learned at my travel agent in Bangkok. Trick and learnt, well, I don't know. I still could not pay for the ticket so she had to turn the card and insert the smart chip before the payment was accepted.
After my “lapses” in the pool I had lunch before my car picked me up at 13:15 and it was a 10 minutes ride to the school.
- What the ??!!
First they wanted me to leave 1 hour before school started and I thought it was a wee bit early.
- Heavy traffic!
- OK, 45 minutes, I suggested and I was not happy when we arrived just before 13 thirty. What the hell will I do here waiting for class?.
Well, most of the Teachers recognised me when I arrived.
- HEY! So you're back.
- Yes, for two weeks.
And of course they were asking about how it was in Thailand now a day with red shirts and all the stuff going on there.
- Quite exciting!
As mentioned before I spent time at Mall of Asia yesterday looking for art. I bought some Filipino Hip Hop and mango. Well, the Filipino Hip Hop went straight to the garbage bin. I was also looking for a replacement container for my “MAGIC HAIR STUFF”. No luck finding any container. And fat chance that I will go back to my other hotel asking for a bottle of shampoo I forgotten when checked out.
Imagine coming back asking for a small bottle of shampoo. They will think I'm crazy. And trying to explain about curing my baldness. Good luck!
But coming home from school today and I discovered that the shampoo and bath bubbles and stuff in my bathroom had exactly the right size to make a “MAGIC HAIR STUFF” TRAVEL KIT. I emptied the bottles and I put them in my weekend bag so they don't throw them away when they clean my room.
Yes, I was in a good mood when I left for Glorietta to look for art. All the galleries were closed except one. She had some very beautiful paintings. But where the will I place them. I regretted spending 80,000 Baht on the darn paintings in my bedroom when I saw these pictures.
Glorietta, yes, it�s a very big shopping mall. Hard to find your way around and I always spend hours looking for Tony Roma's. Tony Roma's is at Glorietta 4 and I will remember this now. Or I can always go back and review my web page. Well, anyway, Glorietta is adarn big shopping mall. But I didn't have any problem to find my way back to the galleries at Glorietta 2, I think.
I had my standard meal at Tony Roma's, Baked Potato Soup and a full slab baby backs. The Baked Potato Soup must be the best soup I have ever had. And you�re always full when you're leaving Tony Roma's so it was not easy to get in to one of those small Filipino taxis. But the good ol' cannon came in handy again.
I was back at my hotel around 10 o'clock and I went straight to bed. I was dead tired after a long eventful day in Manila.
Tuesday 20th of April 2010 and today they woke me up at 6. School starts at 7 so I have 45
minutes for shower and breakfast before the car come to pick me up at 06:45.
kunde inte undgå att höra hur bitter du var för att man blev inbjuden att sitta vid dom söta tjejernas bord.
I arrived to school at 7 but I was a few minutes late to class. The darn diet drink machine refuse to take most of the Peso bills I feed it with.
I got to the class room when I finally got my diet drink. We started the day by walking through the equipment in the ship simulator.
Then we started with some pretty boring stuff. Crash stop and 360° turns in deep water and shallow water. Yeah, very interesting!
We spend a few hours with this and it was as exciting as watching grasss grow or paint drying.
We had a 30 minutes break when we were ready with this first boring part. I ran over the highway to buy a few coffin nails. They sell them by piece so no need to buy a whole pack. Good when you're giving up. I bought 5 cancer stick so the lady had to give me back two 20 Peso bills so I could buy 2 diet drinks on my way back to class room. Took me a while, but finally I got the machine to accept my 20 Peso bills. Why can't they change the darn vending machine?
After the break we started the manoeuvring and now it started to get interesting. We're 3 guys in my group from OSM and we all had to do the manoeuvres. I started and the second guy passed with flying colours. When it came to the third guy it didn't worked out quite that well.
But as the Teacher said: It's here we should do the mistakes. We finished a wee bit earlier than expected so we went through tomorrows exercises.
My car was here to pick me up at 1 o'clock for transportation to the hotel. Before going to my room I had my lunch in the restaurant. I had planned for a few laps in the swimming pool after lunch.
But I ended up reading e-mail, and of course, my friend is back from Scooby land and of course, he had pictures to show. And by the help of internet he can show all his friends within seconds. And of course, via www.aladdin.st the whole world will know.
- HEY! LOOK AT ME, I HAVE BEEN IN SCOOBY LAND!
And wearing a nice pair of shoes, but what about a smile?. This is the kind of shoes he should have worn last time we were at Thonglore. As he wrote:
“With this shoes I can get in to the places you use to go to”
Yes, we remember when he had to hire shoes from the trunk of a car at Thonglore.
Well, when I finished my lapses in the swimming pool I returned to my room to finish my mango I bought at Mall of Asia last Sunday.
Well, I wrote a few words on my web page and then I had planned for some Thai studies. But I was hungry and why waste time in your room. So I took a brisk walk in the area around the hotel.
I passed a barber shop and I decided to get a haircut. No “MAGIC HAIR STUFF” so I can as well try to hide the bald spot by shaving my head. They charged me 40 Pesos, yes, that's next to nothing. When I was ready at the barber shop I continued my walk and after about 1 hour I took a taxi to Mall of Asia trying to find the restaurant Tempura. No luck, but I went to another Japanese restaurant and it was OK. Actually, their wrapped asparagus was better than the ones at Tempura.
I was back in my room around 7 o'clock in the evening and now I was ready for my Thai books.
Wednesday 21st of April 2010 and of course, I wasn't full of vim when they called me at 6 o'clock in the morning, and that's even though I had been up for 15 minutes already. I felt asleep at 9 o'clock yesterday evening, halfway in to my Thai book and I slept until 05:45.
Well, a shower and breakfast made me a wee bit better and I was ready to take off to school for a new exciting day. Arriving to school and we got right on to the exercises, berthing in Mongstad. We did 3 exercises and after each exercise we had to go to the teacher�s room for a debriefing.
The Teacher sit in a control room on the floor on top of us so it's plenty exercises running up and down. Our Teacher sits in a room with monitors and plotters so he can see everything we do on the bridge simulator.
When we were ready with Mongstad we had a 30 minutes lunch break and then we continued with some more manoeuvring practices before we finished school at 13:30. I took a taxi to Intramuros Corporate Plaza down at, yes, Intramuros. Time for my medical check up again and after all the pictures from my hospital adventures in China and here in Manila last time I'm sure you expect a lot of pictures. So, of course, I had my camera with me.
It took us a while to find the place. When I got in to the taxi outside Norwegian Training Centre.
- Intramuros Corporate Plaza, do you know it?
- We see where we end up. We do our best.
After stopping to ask for the way 10 times we finally found the Intramuros Corporate Plaza and I went up to Maritime clinic for International Services on the 7th floor.
I was greeted at the nurses in the reception. I had to answer thousands of questions. Name, address, age and so on. But when they asked me for an EMERGENCY NUMBER.
- EMERGENCY NUMBER? WHAT THE !!??
- Yes, an emergency number to reach you.
- Emergency, If I have an emergency here there will be Doctors to take care of me! If I have an emergency after I have left here you will never know about it and you will never have to call me.
He thought about it and said:
- You're right!
I started by paying 3032 Peso for the examination and after 2 minutes the Nurse (Or whatever he was, anyway, he was the guy taking me around the place) came back and said that I had to pay more.
- You are 40+ and we need to do extra tests.
- What the
But nothing to do and the bill ended up at 3404 Peso. We would start with my blood. So they can analyze my blood while we do the other tests and examinations.
And as usually they could not find any vein on my arm so they had to draw the blood from the top of my hand. Same story every time. Well, when we were finished with the blood it was time for a group picture. Even the nurse I had showing me around wanted to be on the picture. So he jumped over the counter in order to be on the picture.
After the blood sampling we did the other test while my blood went through the analyse. I started with the ECG and obviously my heart was in good condition. Yes, of course I was worried. My lifestyle so I asked them thousands of times how it looked.
- You have to wait until the Doctor have checked the result.
- Fer f@ck's sake! You have done this millions of times and you must be able to see if I'm dying or not.
- We have to wait for the Doctor to check the result.
We left the ECG place and the nurse (Or whatever he was, anyway, he was the guy taking me around the place) warned me to take pictures.
- Hide your camera! There are surveillance cameras everywhere and if they see you take pictures they will be angry.
- Yeah-yeah Blah-blah!
Next station was the Dentist. She was digging in my mouth while I was taking her pictures. No special reactions so maybe it's normal for her to have patients taking her picture while looking on the tooth�s. But I guess I'm the first one. I had to stretch my arm as far back as I could to take the picture. I took 5 pictures and one was good. Not easy when you can't aim the camera. The first picture was of the ceiling only.
And why the do they need to check my tooth for joining a ship? Same result every time, you have to remove the tartar.
Next station was to check my blood pressure. And as usually the nurse was in despair when she couldn't get the cuff to fit my upper arm. But this is something you get used to building biceps at the gym.
We finished my blood pressure, normal values. Then I checked my ears, still normal hearing even though they have warned me the last 20 years to listen to my Walkman and iPod at full blast. OK, my ears were not as good as last time, but still normal (for my age)and that's good enough for me.
I have no interest in being a Superman. You get older and that�s something we have to accept. OK, if I only could do something about the baldness. Yeah, I have been dragging around the “MAGIC HAIR STUFF” and as it looks, in vain.
But never mind, mu eye sight was excellent, except on my right eye. I t was blurred, no matter what size of the letters the girl put up in front of me.
But my left eye was good and using both eyes I had a perfect sight and I discovered that the girl checking my eyes was one of the most beautiful girls I had seen in a very long time.
Of course, I had to do an x-ray for TBC, hasn�t done that in Sweden for 20 years. Not since they discovered that the x-ray did a lot of harm to you. I don�t know what�s worse, TBC or cancer.
Before going to see the Doctor I had to fill up my medical history on a computer. You know YES and NO on a check box. Millions of them. So it was way better back when you did it with a pen. Now you had to sit and click in all the boxes and I was soon irritated.
The last thing I did was to talk with the Doctor and she told me that my certificate of fitness would be ready in 15 minutes. So I went on the street for a drink.
A coffin nail, yeah, why not. They have tried to kill me with the x-ray so I could buy a cancer stick. Just outside the building was one of those shops selling cigarettes one by one. I got 2 and I went in to a convenient store to get 2 cans of mango juice. I enjoyed the street life, say what you want about Manila. But the street is never quiet.
I finished my mango juice and coffin nails before returning to the Maritime clinic for International Services on the 7th floor. Now I discovered the girl that had checked my eyes in the reception, what a pleasant surprise! So I interviewed her about her life and stuff.
15 minutes to get my certificate of fitness. Well, after 1 hour I got my papers and I could leave for Robinsons for a meal. I was hungry, had not eating since early morning.
And according to the Nurse that had checked my eyes there should be a nice Italian restaurant at Robinsons. Nice, I don't know, but I ordered Carbonara and garlic bread. It was OK, I was full and it was time to return to my hotel for Thai studies.
Lo and f@cking behold, when I came down to the ground floor I found a Tempura and I just had to go inside and order the wrapped asparagus, 2 plates. It's OK, they are served as starters so it was not like I had 2 meals. Main course at the Italian and my starter at Tempura.
And I'm happy that I did read my Thai books back at the hotel. Now I will try to do so every day. This medical exam was the only things I had to do in Manila except the training at Norwegian Training Centre. So now I have plenty time to read my Thai book.
Thursday 22nd of April 2010 and of course, I wasn't full of vim when they called me at 6 o'clock in the morning. I felt a sleep again and I woke up 30 minutes later. Well, a shower and breakfast made me a wee bit better and I was ready to take off to school for a new exciting day.
So I was a little late for school and when I arrived to the bridge simulator with 2 cold diet drinks fresh from the vending machine they were already aground.
So I really didn't missed anything and we were soon starting the second simulation for the day. We did 3 simulations before the first break.
15 minutes and I had time to cross the street to buy 3 coffin nails. Well, my local cigarette shop is just across the highway lane coming from the airport so it's a busy stretch of the highway that you have to cross. And on the way back to the bridge simulator I stopped at the vending machine for a cold diet drink.
Lo and f@cking behold, the darn vending machine accepted my 20 Peso bill at the first try.
Today was very fun at school and we had a very good instructor. Only driving ship all day and he asked me if I wanted to drive while the other two in my group had their lunch.
- Yes, but what about your lunch.
- I can have it here in the control room. You pay a lot of money for this so you need to practice as much as you can.
THAT'S THE F@CKING SPIRIT!!
This is the kind of spirit is very very hard to find now a days. And of course, we had 5 minutes to go. My car was here to pick me up at 13:30 and the Instructor asked if we wanted to drive more. My two group members looked like they wanted to go home. But I said that we could do one more run.
- What about your car service coming to pick you up Aladdin? Do you have time?
- They can wait!
So we finished 30 minutes late and when I came down from the simulator my car was waiting for me. I finished my fag and I hoped in to the van and off we went. And when we came back to the hotel I booked the car to the airport next Friday.
Not that there aren't alternative transportation to the airport. I can always take a push bike taxi.
And whenever I pass a line of push bike taxis they ask me to jump in. Well, how the heck am I supposed to get in to one of those. They are even smaller than the motorbike taxi in Subic Bay. I don't even think the good ol' cannon will help me very much here.
And I guess it would be quicker to walk, for sure it would be more comfortable to walk. Imagine sitting in one of those push bike taxis if you�re taller than 60 cm.
And obviously they are not only used for passengers, they take cargo as well.
Yeah, why not, just to load the darn thing with whatever you can get in and on to it
Well, I think I will book the hotel van for transportation to the airport next Friday, otherwise I will have to leave on Wednesday to be able to reach my flight Friday.
But of course, I have seen some strange cargo transportation during my days. India, and I remember going to my hotel meeting a German guy living at my place coming down the road in a push bike taxi.
- Hey! Aladdin, I'm going to buy vodka join me.
Embarrassing to have the small Indian guy pedalling us two tourists down the road. So I asked the driver to go sit behind with my friend and I took charge of the push bike taxi.
And believe me, these bikes are impossible to steer, brake or to have any control over. So imagine me coming down Main Bazaar in New Delhi on this vehicle screaming to all people.
Yes, Main Bazaar in New Delhi tend to be very (I mean VERY crowded) during the days. My friend was wetting himself laughing in the back while the driver was screaming in pure horror. Well, this was a long time ago and it should be forgotten by now.
Well, where were we? Yes, late for school. Of course I forgot my school bag when I was late for school so I looked like an ordinary sex tourist today. So when I returned to my hotel without my bag there were no smiling girls.
They just looked at me thinking:
- Creep! Typical ugly sex tourist.
But it's another story when I come with my school bag. Always smiling and a shy “Hello!”
Well, anyway, I had a few lapses in the pool when I came home from school. Well, laps, it's more like I'm floating around philosophizing over life, how to spend the afternoon and other stuff. And today, while floating around in the swimming pool I was thinking about Marcus. I had just sent him a few links to different training centres here in Manila. And of course, thinking of Marcus I came to think about the Manchester sound.
Ruthless Rap Assassins, yes, that's the only thing I can think of as the Manchester sound. India again, I was sick to death, curfew, Indian Airways on strike and I had to go by train from Calcutta to the Christmas rave in Goa. I meet a guy from London and he took care of me. He bought medicines and stuff for me while I was on the floor at a hotel in Madras. I borrowed his Walkman.
- Good music! What is it?
- That's Ruthless Rap Assassins from Manchester.
I spent many years looking for any of their records, I found one in Australia and then I never found any more. I even spent hundreds of £ to take a taxi to Manchester to look for their records. The only advice I got was to go check second hands record shops.
While in the swimming pool, yeah, as I mentioned I was floating around philosophizing about the Manchester sound. I came to think of internet and I left the pool and I was in my room in front of my computer in 4 seconds. Didn't took me long to find Ruthless Rap Assassins so
next time we have a drink at my place we can have the Manchester sound blasting high on the Richter scale.
kanske dags att uppdatera MUSIK SKATTEN nu med lite hett Manchester Sound
Well, again, where were we? Yes, when I had found Ruthless Rap Assassins I took a walk down to the internet shop to scan my medical certificates. This time I carried my documents in my school bag, and it was a very different reaction walking down the street this time.
- Who is this dashing guy? Where does he work? I don't think so, but he might be single.
Coming back from my scanning business I decided to go to Robinsons Place and have a dinner at Tempura. Of course, their wrapped asparagus was sold out. Yes, we remember how angry I got last time it happened to me in Manila. But then it was on Makati Avenue. I ordered something in Sokiyaki or Jokitoki or whatever the sauce is named.
I walked around this big mall for a while before returning home. And the bad things with malls in Manila comparing to FUNKY TOWN is that here is so much people so it's hard to find a taxi going back to the hotel.
The shopping malls in FUNKY TOWN are empty (And that was even before the red shirt rally), well, except MBK, so it's always easy to get a taxi. Well, except outside MBK, always a lot of people around that place.
Before going home I stopped at MINI STOP to buy some hangover milk. Yes, its Friday tomorrow and why spend the weekend at my hotel room when I can go out and socialise a bit. And by now I have so much experience from weekends so I'm prepared with hangover milk in my fridge. I can stay in my room and I don't have to meet a single person until late afternoon when the hangover milk has kicked in and it's time to go out socialising again.
Friday 23rd of April 2010 and today I managed to get out of bed at 6 o'clock when they called to wake me up. But it was hard, I didn't felt asleep until after 1 o'clock. Too much diet drinks?
Well, anyway, I managed to get in to the shower and I was soon down for my breakfast. I eat the same every morning. An omelette with toast and a hash brown with a pot of tea.
And as soon as I'm ready with my breakfast we take off to school with smokin' and screamin' tyres. It's the same security guards saying “Good morning Sir” every morning when I step out of my transportation.
Today was the best day, regarding the training and this week has given a lot of experience. Even though we were 3 people in my group we learnt a lot. I wanted to be alone, would have been the best. Now I spent much time just watching and waiting. But I learnt a lot and it has been interesting.
Well, my Instructor told me that me STAR IPS course next week would be a real sleeping pill.
Never mind, today was very fun and time turned very quick. Soon it was 12 o'clock and time for lunch. And now it's a new system, before they had 2 girls taking orders and they served lunch at school. Yes, we remember the 2 girls and their Aunt wanting me to take her Nieces out.
Well, they are gone and half the fun of training at NTC is gone. Now they come to take up orders from fast food chains. Well, I wait to eat until I'm back at the hotel. I just don't fancy a burger and fries going through half of Manila on a motor bike. And I'm still on the “Best looking guy in town '10” diet.
So I just cross the highway and I buy a cancer stick and then I'm back to school. First thing I do back at school is to put a 20 Peso note in the slot trying to get a diet drink out of the darn vending machine.
Then I ask the Security guards for a light and I enjoy mu diet drink while sucking down the nicotine in my lungs.
- Hmm, wonder which of the following that�s most dangerous. Smoking or to cross the highway to buy the cigarettes?
Well, anyway, lunches and school is no the same since the Aunt and her Nieces is gone. I finished my coffin nail and I went back up to the bridge simulator on the 3rd floor.
When I come in to the bridge simulator my 2 class mates have their delivered (in plastic bags) lunch and one of my class mates ask me if I wants his fries.
- No thank you. Why do you order fries when you don't like them. You ask me every day.
- I like to ask you if you want to have fries.
- Well, I'm on diet.
Same story every day, they offer me snacks and stuff and I don't know if they have understood that I'm on diet. After a few minutes a guy and a girl knocked on the door. It was the delivery guy and girl that wanted payment for the lunch.
One of my class mates told me that the girl liked me.
- What the ??!!
- She likes foreigners. She wants to move to Sweden.
- I live in FUNKY TOWN!
- She likes Thailand to.
I asked the girl how old she was.
- 22 years old.
- I'm way too old for you.
- NO NO! No problem my class mates assured me.
- Imagine me and her walking hand in hand down Roxas Avenue. She will look like my granddaughter.
- No problem!
- OK, let's make an experiment, I suggested
I grabbed the girls hand and I asked my class mate to take our picture. He tried 3 times before he got it right and I showed them the picture. And I asked:
- How stupid would this look?
I told them that I saw enough of this ghastliness when I was walking around in Manila. A cubic ton of 100 year old guy hand in hand with a 22 year old beauty. I can't help feeling sorry for the girl and then they want me to walk around like this. No thank you!
Poor people, same in Thailand. European garbage collectors and street sweepers have saved money for 10 years to spend a week in Thailand. Suddenly they have became HIGH ROLLERS. Telling everyone how stupid the Thai people are and blah-blah. After 2 days in a Thai whore house they know everything about Thailand. I use to tell them that if these people had the same chance to education as we have in Europe they might have been flying around in the space shuttle and you would still be sweeping the streets in Düsseldorf or where ever you come from.
So whatever happens in Thailand now I hope they get a better social system so people can get a better life. Of course, it will be more expensive for us foreigners living and coming there.
But I still have a little money to spend and I would love to spend the extra cost if it meant justice and equality for all people.
Well, never mind, my van came to pick me up at 13:30 and I was soon back at my hotel. I went to the scanning shop to scan a few more documents and then I went to the MINI STOP to buy some stuff. I was in the shop for 3 minutes and I counted how many times they called me Sir during this 3 minutes. 18 TIMES!! What the ??!! Made me crazy and I ran out of there. Well I returned to my hotel and, well, it's Friday! And we know what that means.
I started my afternoon with a few lapses in the swimming pool. Well, lapse, I was just enjoying the cool water while thinking about how to spend the Friday night. One thing is for sure, I'm better off going on town alone. You meet people and if you make a tit out of yourself the chances are very slim that you will meet them again.
Well, of course, the world is small and we remember Songkran at Khaosan Road.
- Aladdin! Do you remember me from GLOW?
I don't know, GLOW, they don't like me there and last time they came rushing at us while approaching GLOW on the street. OK, 3 drunken guys with red shirt head bands is maybe not what you want to have in your disco now a days in FUNKY TOWN.
But in Manila, at least it should be, a very slim chance to meet anyone from GLOW. And for sure, I don't want to run in to the girl taking me to the pool party. Threaten to have her cousin to take my pass port. Yes, he was the head of foreign affairs in Manila. And when we ran in to the people from the Swedish Embassy at the party I took off.
But it was an excellent party, and of course, I would have stayed mingling with Filipino movie stars and millionaires if it wasn't for my crazy date and the people from the Swedish Embassy. Stay away from people from the Swedish Embassy and Swedish x-pats. Believe me, you're better off. I was at a Pea soup dinner in Bangkok.
- Hmm, must be almost 10 years ago now.
I haven't been back since and I'm reminded about my faux pas several times a year. It was flying bottles and Hip Hop on full blast. No one was impressed.
OK, my Friday check list is pretty much completed and I'm ready to take off.
• Hangover milk in the fridge
• Plenty water in the room. No need to meet people tomorrow ordering room service.
• Valet full of money.
har inte bestämt mig än om the blir Tysk eller Skånsk Hip Hop.
• CD with good music.
• Pockets full of snus.
• Looking good (Just have to wait until I have had 10 San Mig Light)
Well, I also have to decide if I should make a new page for week 2 in Manila. My guess is that the internet on Ratchadapisek is down on the knees begging for mercy by now.
These guys need all the help they can get! But this will be one of those decisions Hangover Man will have to make tomorrow.
Well, I left my room and I went down to get a taxi to The Fort. I discovered that he elevator was still wet from when I got back from the swimming pool.
Coming down in the reception and I discover that I have buttoned up my shirt the wrong way. And this happens to me more and more and I'm worried that I might start to get MS. Hell yeah, sometimes I can't even talk.
- Hmm, OK, when I have a hangover
Yes we have the Stewardess on my flight from Frankfurt to FUNKY TOWN fresh in mind. The Stewardess recognised me. She smiled and waied me. She told her colleagues that I was speaking Thai and from there on all the crew was only speaking Thai with me.
- What the ??!!
Yes, she recognised me and I recognised her to, but from where? Oh no! It was from when I
was flying to Seoul and she was running to my seat with wine all the time. I was so drunk I woke up in an empty airplane in Seoul so I guess I had been pretty fluent in Thai on that flight.
nu får du ju ha lärt dig vegetarian!
But the worst is when you meet them with a hangover. They start speak Thai with me and I can't speak neither Swedish nor Thai. MS, maybe it's a hangover.
Waking up on empty airplane is not very nice, happened to me before. I remember flying from Sydney to FUNKY TOWN and I woke up in an empty plane when 3 security guards were trying to lift me off the plane. Yeah, flying is fun!
Well, anyway, our Bell boy got me a taxi and we took off to The Fort with smokin' and screamin' tyres. Slow love songs on the radio and after 15 minutes I was about to go crazy.
- Can you please stop the car and let me out. Then please, run me over in full speed.
You know, sometimes things don't start so well and you just have the sense that this will not end up good. Most of the times you're right. And it turned out that I would have been better off getting out of the taxi and get another one.
I don't think this driver had a clue. We arrived to The Fort alright. He dropped me at a place I never seen before. Plenty people outside so it looked good. But it was in the middle of nowhere. Well, I can go to the bathroom and a San Mig Light.
There were plenty people outside and I asked where the music was.
- This is a film screening.
What the is a film screening? I have no clue. They were serving snacks and drinks outside, for free. But a paid for drink with music tastes 1000 times better than a free drink without music. No taxi in sight and now I really needed to go to the bathroom. A taxi, I wasted a few minutes waiting for a taxi to pass before I gave up and I started to walk towards the Embassy (A disco)
I found a bar/ Restaurant and I entered, ordered a San Mig Light and I went to the bathroom. When I came out again my beer was still not delivered so I ordered one more time. 8 seconds later I had 2 San Mig Light in front of me.
Well, the place was half full and the crowd, 30 to 50 years old. This is the kind of places I miss in FUNKY TOWN, there it's more mixed, everything from 18 to 50. Well, here I am in a place, mostly ladies between 30 to 45 years old. I think it was in a movie, an old lady gave a young girl a few tip about life.
• When you're 20 you want a man with V-shaped torso and millions on the bank.
• When you're 25 he should have a job, but it's never mind if he is a little stocky.
• When you're 30 you're happy if he doesn�t look like a human balloon.
• When you're 35 you're happy if he has a little hair on his head.
So here I am with a lot of 35+ ladies. And The Fort, the place for the rich and famous in Manila and you can really see the difference between the crowd here and at Melate. Expensive clothes and jewellery. I was sitting at my table with one girl looking at me. My table was tilting a little when I leaned against it. No problem, I just turned the table 90° and the problem was solved.
But this lady looking at me started to scream at the staff.
- His table is not good!
- Put something under the table!
I tried to tell her that it was Ok, but she didn't gave up until I had 10 of the staff around me. By then I had already turned the table. Well, maybe some of these people should try to do some hard work instead of screaming at other people. And now you wonder what I know about hard work. I was working at a farm when I was 13.
Summer holiday and I should make some money. So I got a job to pick potato at a farm. I started on Wednesday morning and on Friday afternoon Farmer John gave me a dollar.
- You don't need to come back on Monday.
Well, anyway, it was a nice place and suddenly the Manager brought a guy to my table.
- He is my Architect and he is a good drinker.
A good drinker, I finished my 4th beer and he had just started his 2nd beer. But he showed me his car keys.
- I'm driving.
He told me that he wanted some music. Yes, an agreed and we asked for some music.
- We're playing music.
- We hear all, we screamed.
- people want to eat. Our DJ is coming at 11 o'clock.
I gave my CD to the Architect and soon after that we had the German Hip Hop blasting high at the place. And of course, every time I went to the bathroom I passed the DJ booth and I increased the volume a wee bit every time.
The Architect (by now a good drinker, it took him 3 beers to get started) told me that he had done the interior design of the place. So of course, I started to inspect the work and I asked how much he had charged for the job.
- 300 000 Peso.
- 300 000, very cheap. I paid millions to PATTAYA beach boys and the only thing they managed to do was to f@ck up my place.
Obviously they had different levels on the music inside and outside so we moved outside. I asked for the bill before we moved outside. No need for the staff to be worried about me running from the bill. 700 or 800 Peso! I was on the floor drunk and it set me back 800 Peso, less than 600 Baht.
And this is the places where it's supposed to be expensive. When asking people if they ever been to The Fort they answer that it's so expensive. I gave 1500 Peso.
- SIR SIR! You gave me 1500.
- You need some tip after all the screaming.
We moved outside and when I left I got a new bill, 1100 Peso. Impossible to spend money in this country. Well, I was persona non grata at all the, well, most the places at The Fort. Dress code.
- What the ??!! Dress code!
Well, I gave up and I hoped in to a taxi and we took off towards a club without dress code. I ended up at a Hip Hop club. Good music, always welcome. I don't know where this place was located.
I don't know if it was considered a dangerous place, but I got my own body guard. He was following me, always a few meters away. Very discreet, but when I moved he moved. Well, it was a very friendly guy. And he looked like he could take care of himself. So that's always good to have a guy like that around if someone tries to steal your valet.
- Hmm, maybe not my body guard. Maybe he was looking out so I didn't do anything stupid!!!
But it was a nice and friendly crowd. The same at The Fort, but dress code. OK, I understand that they don't want people in flip flops at the discos in FUNKY TOWN.
Yes, I understand about the flip flops. If I had got a dollar every time someone told me that I had a nice shirt or nice shoes I would have been a retired millionaire by now. Well, maybe I was lucky. This place was much better than any places at The Fort and the music was very good.
I don't know what time it was but Uncle Aladdin was starting to getting tired. So I got in to a taxi and I returned back to my bed at the hotel.
Saturday 24th of April 2010 and I woke up at 12:30. And where the is Hangover Man? Maybe I'm still drunk? No, impossible, I didn't spend any money yesterday so I
can't be drunk. Well, anyway, I opened my fridge and I drank all my hangover milk and I felt like a million.
| HOT TIP!
Always fill up your fridge with milk when you have planned for a night out. And if it's unplanned it's worth to stop at 7-Eleven to buy 2 litres of milk before going home.
Works much better than Imodium!!! And it's much healthier than Imodium.
Tips tack till Björn!
Synd att jag inte kunnde vara i Thailand nu när du är på besök!
This is my kind of hotel. At 14:30 they called from housekeeping and asked when they could clean my room.
- Please, give me half an hour.
And observe the time they called. At 14:30, giving me plenty time to sleep and enjoy my Saturday morning. Other hotels they just knock on your door at 10 o'clock.
- CLEANING THE ROOM!
I'm in bed with a hangover force 9,8 and the only thing I can do is to scream “TOMORROW!!!”
So it could be weeks before they cleaned my room. Well, this was back in the days when I was young and could keep on partying for a few weeks.
After half an hour I took my school bag and I went to the print shop to print my medical certificate and to scan a receipt. When I was finished I took the 100 meter walk up the street to the MINI STOP convenient store.
- WELCOME TO MINI STOP SIR!!
I went straight to the fridge and filled up my basket with milk, diet drinks and San Mig Light. They don't have diet drinks at the hotel, well, not the kind I like. I like diet MAXI the best and at the hotel they only have diet ZERO.
Of course, one of the girls came running after me to carry my basket. I paid for my stuff.
- I can take the beer in my school bag.
No need to come back to the hotel so they can see that I bring beer to my room. There is San Mig Light in the MINI BAR and at the room service. I had room service to come with San Mig Light to my room every 5 minutes the first day I stayed here. But the first day I stayed here I paid my self so Sunday I settled the bill and no San Mig Light will be on the receipt I send to the company.
But please, don't tell anyone about this. I want my company to be under the impression that I'm here for school since they pay the whole thing. So no need to have any beers appearing on the receipt and thus I sneak away to the MINI STOP.
Singapore! Westin Stamford. What a hotel that was! How the f@ck could they sell it to Swissôtel and destroy the best hotel? I remember checking out when it was the good ol' Westin Stamford. The girl printed my bill, it took like 5 minutes and out came 2 meters of paper strip. I knew it would be a huge bill, I had had the room service coming to my room hundred times with wine and beer.
And you know, a 2 meter bill with only wine and beer is nothing you want to see with a rampant hangover. But my hangover disappeared instantly when I saw the bill.
Refreshments and so it went on for 2 meters. I felt refreshed immediately and I took off to the 72nd floor for a bottle of wine before leaving for the airport. Yes, this is a bill you can send to the company. But imagine if it said San Mig Light instead of refreshments.
But I must say that Novotel was very OK last time in Singapore and I will make this my hotel in Singapore from now on. I will never have to stay at Swissôtel again.
Coming back from the MINI STOP I ordered a car to take me to Subic tomorrow so I can see my nephews and play with my remote controlled helicopter. Yes, darn! After going through the trouble bringing the stuff to Subic I want to play with it. It started in Bangkok, I had to carry all this stuff through the red shirt fortress at World Trade Centre
Then to take the stuff to the airport and to check it in at the OVER SIZE counter. Spending the flight worry if they manage to get the stuff to Manila without breaking it.
So I will have a car come here to pick me up tomorrow morning at 12:30 and I ordered a wakeup call for 12 o'clock tomorrow morning. Giving me time to drink my hangover milk and hopefully I will be in a very good condition when it's time to take off to Subic Bay.
The afternoon had turned in to an early evening when I got up to the swimming pool on the roof top. I splashed around planning for the evening.
What to do? I will stay well clear of The Fort. I don't want to end up at the same place I was yesterday, I don't think they have managed to forget my German hip Hop from yesterday. So this area is a NO GO area, at least until I have had 10 or so San Mig Light.
My Saturday night check list is almost completed and I'm ready to take off.
• Hangover milk in the fridge
• Plenty water in the room. No need to meet people tomorrow ordering room service.
• Valet full of money.
• CD with good music.
• Pockets full of snus.
• Looking good (Just have to wait until I have had 10 San Mig Light)
But where to go? My last night drinking beer in Manila. Next week is school week again and I will go back home next Friday and that will be nice to get back home again. And Friday night in FUNKY TOWN is not bad at all. I only wished that they would have San Mig Light at the bars.
I found San Mig Light at Topz Supermarket. And I think they have them at FOODLAND. But in the bars, no I don't remember seeing San Mig Light at any bars.
Tiger beer, yes, but Tiger Light (much better). Well, the name is Tiger Crystal I only saw at Tiger Beer's bar outside World Trade Centre.
Yes I keep on calling it World Trade Centre. But World Trade Centre in FUNKY TOWN changed name a few years ago.
World Trade Centre, the name has an unpleasant ring so they changed the name. But I never remember the new name so I just call it World Trade Centre and everyone knows what I mean.
And the advantage with Tiger light is that it has less alcohol than San Mig light so you can drink more without being disgracefully drunk.
But of course, then you have the disadvantage of consuming more calories and before you know it you look like a human balloon
OK, time for me to leave to explore Manila night life, and early wakeup call and a dreaded trip to Subic Bay early tomorrow morning. So I will suck down all my hangover milk ASAP when they call to wake me up. And I remember my early morning e-mail to my friend. It cured my hangover in 0, 5 so I will put it here again preparing myself for tomorrow morning. I laugh every time I read it and I still don't understand what it is all about. But my hangover was a goner as soon as I read it.
And I understand that my friend thought that I was cursing him in Swedish when he read the
e-mail. But this is my early morning English, and then we can imagine what it's like when I'm speaking 04:30 in the morning. And now maybe you understand why I believe that I'm fluent in Thai after a few beers. Hell, I manage to make myself understood in most languages after a few beers.
And my friend is American so he is fluent in English. So as you understand I thought he was on drugs when I read his e-mail.
- What the is this language he is using?
And now you understand why I erase all SENSITIVE numbers from my phone before going for a drink. I will continue doing so before they have a phone with Alco lock. Like they have on the cars in Sweden, if you're drunk you can't start your car.
But I remember when I wrote, yes, yet again I went back in time reviewing my notes from when I was in Greenpeace. I wrote that I had erased our Lebanese Doctors number before going for a drink with my friends. Her instant reply was not a very merry one.
- Thanks for erasing my number. I thought we were friends.
- Yes, we are! But if I call you 4 o'clock in the morning one more time you will hate me forever!
Our Bellboy helped me to stop a taxi outside the hotel. Well, he is always very polite and helpful. But I'm sure that I would have managed to get a taxi by myself.
I got in to the taxi and I asked the driver to take me to some nice club.
- Burgos Street, he suggested.
- No prostitutes, no karaoke or entertainment clubs!
- And what the hell are you playing?
- Rod Stewart!
I took the CD and I opened the window and within 2 seconds the CD had turned in to a Frisbee. German Hip Hop was soon blasting high in the car. I told him about the place I had been yesterday.
- Where is it? The driver asked.
- Well, it's not like it was 8 o'clock in the evening and that I only had had 2 beers when I was there, I told the driver.
Well, no chance to find that place, and I seriously never thought that I would find it again. So we took off to Cowboy Grill in Melate. A nice place to be if you�re lucky with the band playing for the night.
Coming in and I quickly realised that there would be no Ted Nugent tonight. It was more like disco and slow love songs.
I just got my San Mig light when my taxi driver came to my table.
- You forgot your CD.
- Thank you!
He disappeared before I had a chance to give him a tip. Well, Cowboy Grill is a nice place to be if you're lucky with the band and it's worth a visit when you're in Manila. But never mind the band if you start to drink San Mig Light, they are so good so it's hard to leave.
But after 4 San Mig Light it was time to change place. I stopped a taxi and I asked the driver to take me to a nice place.
- Oh, I know very good place. Beautiful girls!
- HEY! No prostitutes, no karaoke or entertainment clubs!
The driver asked a girl we passed on the street if she knew a good place to go and she suggested Shangri-La or whatever the place was called. It was located in Binondo or Tondo, at least I think so. 10 minutes with taxi.
The charged tourist a 300 Peso entrance fee, but I only had to pay 200 because I'm a student. And when I came inside a waiter took charge and showed me to a table in the by then pretty dark place.
- I'm #28 and I take care of you.
He put a label with 28 on it on a light on the table and then he turned on the red light. On the picture above you can see red lights on the tables. When you wanted a beer or something it was just to wave the red light.
I put 500 Peso in his pocket and I had the best service. I ordered a San Mig Light with a wine glass. Yes, beer tastes best from a wine glass. Didn't take long before I had my table full of San Mig Light. Yes, a good night out means at least a case of beer.
Of course, after a few minutes the girls on the table next to me started to wave at me. And of course, after 6 or 8 San Mig Light I started to wave back.
Yes, I had turned in to The Charisma Man and we started to talk and they told me that one of them were working in Thailand. They offered me food and I told them that I was on diet.
Still afraid of the DATE RAPE drug. I would not like to wake up newly married tomorrow morning. I have to go to Subic Bay early tomorrow.
Well, didn't take long before they started to ask if I wanted to dance. And I had to go through the whole PAIN IN THE FOOT story again.
I gave them the whole “song and dance” and this time I showed my broken wrist and told them that I felt playing tennis. Well, it worked with my Teacher so it should be fine in Manila as well.
No need to tell them that I felt out of a taxi at 7 Eleven to buy hangover milk, on my way home after a night on town with Leonardo.
Time turns quick with a few bottles of San Mig Light and a few beautiful girls. 2 o'clock and I have a car service ordered for 12:30 tomorrow morning. Maybe I'm better off to go back home to bed. So I left and I took a taxi. Well, never mind tomorrow, I'm feeling great!
So of course, when we're passing Melate I ask the driver to let me off at the O Bar. I paid the entrance fee, 250 or 350 Peso and I got a whole roll of FREE BEER tickets. I went inside and I was back on the street after 9 seconds.
- This is a f@cking gay bar! I want my money back!
I got my money back and I went in to the next bar. Same story, but now I used one of the FREE BEER tickets and I sat down on the street to finish my beer. I threw away the rest of the tickets before I left.
I ended up at a disco where they had an ASS SHAKING CONTEST. 2 girls on the stage shaking their arses and when they were ready they asked for two handsome guys to enter the stage for some ASS SHAKING BATTLE. I, yes, I was so close to get up on stage. But I had my trip to Subic Bay in mind and If I would have joined the ASS SHAKING BATTLE my arse would have been swinging all the way to Subic. And I had planned for some sleeping in the car during the trip.
And of course, we passed a Burger Machine on the way to my hotel. So I asked the taxi to wait while I had a burger. Yes, these Burger Machines is nothing you even consider when you're sober.
But when you're drunk it seems like an excellent idea to have a hamburger at one of those Burger Machines.
And between 3 and 4 in the morning (after 24 beers) I have forgot all about my “Best looking guy in town '10” diet. OK, LITTLE ITALY on Soi 23 is clean and nice 4 o'clock in the morning but that don't help my diet.
Sunday 25th of April 2010 and I woke up 30 minutes before my wake up call. So I had finished all my milk when they called to wake me up. I took a shower and I had a Lipovitan energy drink and a big bottle of Mango juice before I went down to my waiting car.
And of course, I looked like a sailor with my hand full of tattoos. Well, that's normal after a night on town, but why is it so hard to wash away the stamps?
Well, we took off towards Subic Bay just after 12:30 and we expected to arrive around 3 o'clock. If the driver know how to take the toll way all the way to Subic. We passed the San Fernando exit so I guess that he knows the way. Of course he asked at the tollbooth in Manila.
This is what the driver I had last time going to Subic Bay should have done.
We passed over something that looked like a big river, but dry. The driver told me that this was a flood of lava during the last volcano.
The new toll way to Subic Bay was an excellent on and we passed beautiful scenery. I don't understand the driver. But I think he said there were 2 volcanos around here. When we first passed the volcano, there very same I have on the picture on top of the page, he said that this was only a mountain. Then he changed his mind and said that it was a volcano.
We passed the old American Air Force base Clarke on the way to Subic. And I can understand that they lost a lot of business when they closed the American bases in Clarke and Subic. But obviously they try to get some of the lost money from the people using the toll way. Felt like we spent more time queuing to the tollbooths than driving.
Passing one tollbooth and 200 meters later we had to pass another tollbooth again. We arrived to Subic Bay around 3 o'clock. But from there it all went wrong.
You hire a car and a driver so you expect the driver to be professional, at least not stupid. Coming to Subic from the toll way you turn right and pass through the Free port and to reach Harleys you have to make one left turn and then a right turn and you're out of the Free port and then you turn left to go to Harleys. Pretty easy.
I don't know the way and for sure our driver didn't know the way. No problem, just to ask for the way. Left and right and I know the way as soon as we're out of the Free port.
This driver was something else, he asked for directions 4 times. And we're talking about a 2 km stretch of road, tops. Finally I was so angry I was screaming and my mood was, well, to put it simple. I was angry and that's nothing that happens very often.
We spent almost 1 hour in the Free port and we ended up with the car full of people that was going to show us the way. And it was only 500m down the road and turn to right and we were at the gate.
- What the ??!! Where is X?
Turn to right at the end of the road and you have the gate on the left hand side.
- Thank you!
A 20 second conversation (MAXIMUM) and you should be on the way. But here it's a different story. Stop and blah-blah for 5 or 6 minutes pointing at different directions.
Then after 5 minutes he stopped again to ask for the way. Yes, I was angry. This guy was obviously not the brightest bulb in the solarium. And I don't think it takes a lot to be a driver, a little intelligence and you should be able to find your way through Subic Free port.
My brother arrived to Harleys at the same time as me and I ordered a breakfast before we left to meet my nephews. I have only my oldest nephew back when he was born 2006. Shit, time turns quick and now there are 2 rascals running around being up to mischief�s all day long. But it�s fun.
And with children, you really notice how quick the time turns, when I meet my oldest nephew he was just a toddler.
Now he turns 4 in August and that means that I'm 4 years older as well. And how fun is that?
But it was fun to see them playing and my brother has built a fish tank outside his house. I don't know what it is with him and fishes. You can hardly come in to his house, fish tanks all over the place. And now a big one outside the house. And of course, my nephews like to play with the fishes.
And of course, when they spotted my diet drink it was a goner in a few seconds. I don't know if the sugar free sodas are better for children to drink than the ordinary sodas.
Well, soon time for me to return to Manila and I asked if they had tested the helicopter.
- Yes, but the wind was to strong.
- OK, looks like the wind is gone today so let's try the darn thing, I suggested.
The helicopter took off and crashed after a few seconds. But it was flying and even though there was almost no wind it might have been too much wind for the helicopter.
After the first crash my brother tried the darn thing again. This time it was air born for 20 seconds or so. Enough for me to get a few pictures.
After the second crash I took charge over the radio control. I will show you how it should be done.
The helicopter took off and it was gaining altitude quickly. When it came up a few meter it was like the wind grabbed the darn thing and it was gliding away from us.
- How the do you steer the darn thing?
I had no clue and I tried all the different combination on the radio control, but the only thing happening was that the helicopter turned against us and, well, it disappeared.
My brother shat his pants and ran away crying to hide behind his cars. “WHAT WILL MY NEIGHBOURS SAY?” I walked down the road looking for the darn helicopter, but it was never found again.
I asked all the neighbours if they had seen a helicopter, no one had seen it. Maybe a good sign. If the helicopter had hit something there would for sure have been someone demanding money from us within very quick. Well, the helicopter is most likely on top of a roof somewhere.
Of course the time turns quick when you have fun, time to return to Manila and we had to cal one of those Subic Bay taxis to take me back to Harleys and my waiting driver.
Yet again, I'm not a racist and I think all people should have equal right to education. But some people are just, well, not as intelligent and never mind how much education they get, they will still be, well, not so intelligent.
I told the driver to fill up the car while I was away visiting my nephews. I gave him the money to fill up the darn car. Back at Harleys I ask him if he had filled up the car.
- We do it on the way back.
- I'M HAVING MY DINNER SO GO FILL UP THE DARN CAR!!
This guy had been hanging around for hours instead of filling up the car preparing us for the return to Manila. I order my dinner and he comes to my table and asks me if I'm ready with my dinner.
- Have you filled up the car?
- We do it on the way back.
I could not believe my f@cking ears!
- I'M HAVING MY DINNER SO GO FILL UP THE DARN CAR!!
Why the hell should we waste time filling up the car on the way back when he has been hanging around for hours doing nothing but scratching his arse? Well, I finished my dinner and my driver came back 5 minutes later. Lost 5 minutes even before departure.
Yeah, I know what you're thinking. Aladdin with a hangover, pissin' and moanin'!
But hang on, it will add up!
- Where are you going? I asked my driver when we been on our way for a few minutes.
- I'm going to Manila.
I was speaking softly and friendly, yes, I was filled with remorse after the screaming at the arrival and at the Harleys. But I still had plans to give him a 1000 Peso tip when we arrived to Manila. Well, anyway, I asked why he didn't take the same way back as we had come here.
He made his first stop to ask for directions. Yes, I was counting them. We had 5 or 6 stops on the way here, 200 f@cking meters down to the end of the road, turn right and then left. Well, he had to make a U-turn and we were soon back on track. Entering the Freeport and he asked for directions (second time).
- First to the left and then second to the right and your almost on the toll way.
- Thank you!
We took off and he managed to get the left part right. But when it came to the right part he continued forward.
- We should have turned right back there, I said.
We passed the gate to get out of the Free port, of course, not the right gate. He asked for directions and he was told to make a u-turn and go back and turn left. When we were back turning left it was straight on to the toll way. I told him to go straight.
He stopped a fourth time to ask for direction.
- IT'S STRAIGHT AHEAD! I told him.
- What the
We reached the other end of the Freeport and I told him to turn left.
- Where? Here?
There was like the biggest f@cking sign in the world saying TOLL WAY pointing to the left. OK, from here it can't go wrong. I don't know what happening, if I felt asleep for 3 minutes after we paid the toll. I heard him asking for directions at the tollbooth and I thought that now we're in the clear.
When I'm coming back to senses, maximum 5 minutes, I discover us doing 25 km/h on a dirt road behind one of those trike taxis.
- Where are we?
- We're on the way back to Manila.
- Why don't you use the toll way?
- This is the way we came here!
OK, turn off your parental filters now or you won't be able to continue reading. I fucking lost it. The toll way between Manila and Subic Bay is the envy of every country in the world. Swedish highways are like dirt roads in comparison. And Swedish roads, yes, I was always driving 200- 240 km/h on the Swedish highways. Well, this was when I was young, now I'm old and scared. In Thailand I would not dare to go over 100. But the Manila - Subic tool way, 240 km/h, no problem.
- YOU STUPID TWAT!! YOU FUCKING NITWIT!!
- This is the way we came here!
- DO YOU REMEMBER ANY FUCKING TRIKE TAXIS AND PUSHBIKES ON THE HIGHWAY COMING HERE?
This guy, making 4000 Peso per month and I just opened my window and threw out his 1000 Peso tip. I was so angry.
- YOU MOTHERF@CKER! I PAY 400 PER HOUR AND YOU ARE BEHIND A FUCKING MOPED DOING 25KM/H WHEN I GAVE YOU 400 FOR THE TOLL WAY.
- I got lost.
- WHERE THE HELL ARE WE?
- I don't know.
- WHAT THE FUCK! YOU STOPPED 9 TIMES!!! YES, 9 TIMES TO ASK FOR DIRECTIONS AND NOW WE'RE IN THE FUCKING MIDDLE OF NOWHERE DOING 25 KM/H!!!!
We came to San Fernando 2 and a half hour later. Spending all the time at road constructions and behind trikes. And when we got on the toll way at San Fernando he asked for directions one more time. 10 TIMES!! What the hell is wrong with this guy?
Monday 26th of April 2010 and today school will start at 08:30 so I got my wakeup call at 07:30. I took my shower and I went down for my breakfast. I stepped out in the reception and they told me that they had called from the car company.
- They said you're 600 Peso short.
- Yes, they owe me for several hours of lost time. So they should give me 800 Peso.
I never heard from them again, but it was nice to be back in school after the weekend. We supposed to be 3 in class but we were only 2 and we finished all our stuff very quickly and we left school before 12 o'clock.
So I went out on the road and I stopped a taxi to get back to my hotel. Lo and behold, it was the same driver that took me to Cowboy Grill Saturday night.
I got a chance to thank him for bringing back the CD. He told me that he was a retired refrigerator Engineer from cruise ships. He told me he was 66 years old and I told him that he looked like 40 and he got very happy.
My brother is in town for immigration business and he called me at 10 o'clock and told me that he was ready at immigration.
- I'm going to Angeles to buy some stuff for my car.
But when I was in my hotel ordering lunch he called again.
- I'm still in Manila.
So we decided to meet at a restaurant where they served Swedish smörgåsbord. Please, believe me, it was not impressive. I ordered a cup of tea and I had to go to 7 Eleven next door to buy milk for my tea. At the restaurant they only brought me powder milk.
- We don't have milk.
- How are you making your food?
I spent a few hours with my brother and his wife before they returned to immigration. I went to the Doctors office to get my certificate of fitness. Now they tried to get it right for 3 times and I decided to go down there to make sure myself that they got it right this time.
I spent an hour at the Medical clinic talking with the girl that checked my eyes last time and when I got my documents I went around the corner to scan them. I bought a few diet drinks at the MINI STOP and it was time to return to my hotel.
But last time at the medical clinic we passed an area where the shipping companies are looking for crew. So I decided to take the walk down there to check it out. And maybe I will meet someone that I have been working with on some ship. There must have been hundred companies represented down there with their own recruitment booths. And all of them where desperately looking for officers.
I was walking around and they were looking for Chief Officers for tankers everywhere and I asked for the salary.
- 6400 US Dollars per month.
- What the ??!! Now I understand that they are urgently looking for Chief Officers. I thought slavery was forbidden years ago! Start paying and they will soon line up applying for job, I said.
Well, it was interesting to see the place and to talk with the people. And also good to know that there is always a demand for Chief Officers. And I will never have to starve (even though I would need it), I can always get a 6400 US Dollars job. But then it has to be a real crisis.
But I don't understand, all the companies were desperately and urgently looking for qualified
people. What about a pay rise? Pay more than the other companies and you will soon have people starting to queue up to sign a contract.
när e d din tur o stå i Laurin båset?
Well, I was soon getting tired of all the excitement and I took a taxi back to the hotel. I spent the whole evening in my room. Well, almost, I had a few lapses in the swimming pool.
Tuesday 27th of April 2010 and today we start school at 7 o'clock so they woke me up at 6 o'clock. DARN! I thought this course would start at 08:30 every day.
I was dead tired, I didn't manage to fall asleep until almost 2 o'clock in the morning, and there was not much sleep between Sunday and Monday.
So I was tired, but a hot shower and my breakfast helped a bit. My van was waiting for me when I was ready with my breakfast and we took off towards school. Usually get s quick to get out on the highway. But today the traffic moved very slowly.
And we were soon seeing the reason for the slow traffic. A big truck had run in to a internet cafe and luckily enough it was early morning. Imagine a truck hitting a full internet cafe in the afternoon.
The internet cafe, well, the only thing left of the internet cafe was rubble. And the truck, was totalled. A wreck, nothing to do but towing it to the scrap yard. I took a quick picture from the van when we passed the place.
I arrived in school in time, but no Teacher and no sign of my class mate.
- What the ??!!
I was just about to go back to my hotel when the Teacher showed up 30 minutes late and 10 minutes later my class mate arrived. But we finished all our training very quickly and we even took the first part of tomorrows test before we left school well before 12 o'clock.
Good, I was hungry and I was soon back at my hotel for some lunch.
Back to my room and my Thai books. Then I will go to the swimming pool before going to Mall of Asia to look for a valet. My valet that I bought in Liverpool is falling apart. I don't know if it's due to bad leather or if it's due to Songkran and all the water throwing.
But as soon as I hit the bed I was dead tired. So I put my alarm on 2 o'clock and I felt asleep. Waking up I finished my Thai studies and then I was off to the swimming pool while they cleaned my room.
They were not quite ready when I came back from the swimming pool. So I told them that it was good enough and they left my room. I changed clothes and I took a taxi to Mall of Asia for dinner and to look for a new valet.
When I got out of a taxi I started to look for the Japanese restaurant I had dinner at last time. But I ran in to a Tempura instead so I went inside to order some of the wrapped asparagus.
I was walking around for hours looking for a valet. It's a darn big shopping mall and I must have been in to hundreds of shops.
But they didn't have any valet that I liked. And of course, the valet must be equipped so I can attach my chain to the valet or it will be lost.
Philippines and there is mango everywhere. Mango juice, it's so tasty you could easily drink cubic tonnes of the juice. They have fresh juice booths all over Mall of Asia and I ordered a fresh mango juice. Actually I bought two and at both places they asked me:
- What size?
I had not been smoking all day and next to the last fruit juice booth I visited was a cigarette booth so I bought a pack. I had a quick cigarette while enjoying my last mango juice.
I found a valet, perfect, almost. The bill compartment was not long enough. OK, the bill would fit, but I would like the compartment to be a few cm longer so it would be easier to get down the bills. OK, sober it would be no problems, but sometimes you have a few beers and then it would be problem. So I never bought the valet.
Well, I got tired after and the walking, and the time were almost 7 o'clock so I decided to go back to my hotel. I can sleep one hour longer tomorrow, we will not start until 8 o'clock. But I need sleep after 2 nights of very little sleep.
But before going home I stopped at SM Hypermarket at Mall of Asia. I went straight to the fruit department and I asked for 20 mangoes. They asked me if I wanted them to peel and slice them.
- Yes, thank you!
20 mangoes and you think this will take a very long time. But this is Philippines and they know how to peel and slice a mango. They use a technique I never seen before.
Wherever I had bought mango in Thailand they peel the mango like a potato before they slice it. But in the Philippines they just cut the mango in to 3 pieces. The skin around stone is removed with a snip. The stone is ready and we're talking a few seconds here.
Then they stick the knife in the mango halves and cut out the meat in a snip and the skin was left looking like boats. The whole operation is done in a few seconds and 20 mangoes was ready in a jiff.
I was really impressed by the way they peeled the mangoes around here. And the best thing was of course not how quick they finished the mangoes. But their technique, leaving only 2 boat looking skin pieces and the strip around the stone. No skin left on the mango and is just to chew and swallow. When buying mangoes in Thailand and they peel the mango like a potato there are always some skin left on the mango. Not so nice to chew on.
Well, maybe they use this technique in Thailand as well, but so far I have never seen it. But paying at the cashier is a wee bit smoother in Thailand.
- 2385 Peso, Sir!
She looked at the screen again.
- Yes Sir, 2385 Peso.
She looked desperate but I just said no. I will not say why I refuse to pay 2385 Peso. Now it's time that they learn to think by them self. What if it showed 1 Peso on the screen, do you think they would react? She looked at the screen and she called another girl. Now I lost it, but I was smiling and speaking softly all the time, I was still ridden by remorse for scolding my driver from Subic Bay. But this guy had it coming.
Turn left at the first intersection and then to the right at the 2nd intersection. A stretch of 1 km and he asking for directions 9 times and he manage to f@ck up!
Well, anyway, back at SM Hypermarket:
- Look at my shopping bag, 20 mangoes. Is it likely that that would cost 2385 Peso. You're from the Philippines and you know that if you buy mangoes for 2385 Peso they will need an f@cking truck to deliver the mangoes. Here I have a small bag with mangoes so how likely is it that this will cost 2386 Peso? THINK!
Well, I took a taxi back to the hotel and I was back at my room around 8 o'clock, time to go to bed so I can do my exam tomorrow morning. Last day of my STAR IPS course. Then I will have two days of gas measurement and Friday night I'm back in FUNKY TOWN.
Of course, I will only drink beer on my flight back to FUNKY TOWN. Wine is a NO GO area. Imagine drinking wine like there is no tomorrow arriving to FUNKY TOWN dead drunk in my red shirt head band.
That's the kind of drama I can live without. So I will stay with beer and I will arrive to FUNKY TOWN just a wee bit tipsy.
But, of course, I will drink my beer from wine glass so it tastes at its best.
- Hmm, well, now they have the multi coloured shirts roaming the streets of FUNKY TOWN.
So I'm not sure how my shirts will be classified. Maybe I'm going from Mr. NICE SHIRT to being beaten up on the streets of Bangkok.
But again, maybe I should be more worried about me loosing hair. Yes, 2 weeks without my “MAGIC HAIR STUFF” and I might be mistaken for a red shirt whatever colour I'm wearing.
What I want to read in the Bangkok Post is that 500 HANDSOME GUYS AGREE TO GO BALD FOR WORLD PEACE. Yes, that would be something.
Wednesday 28th of April 2010 and today I could sleep until 7 o'clock, one hour longer than normal. But it was not enough, I was dead tired even if I went to sleep 10 o'clock yesterday.
But a hot shower, I didn't had the time to stay as long as I wanted in the shower, and a shave made me feel a wee bit better. I was down in the restaurant for my breakfast and I left for school 10 minutes before 8 o'clock.
Today is the last day for this course, so we're only going to do some review of the course and a test. And tomorrow I will start my last course, 2 days only and we starts at 08:30 so I can sleep until 07:30.
We finished school before 11 o'clock and I took a taxi back to my hotel. Nice to have finished this STAR IPS course. Well, pretty useless, but I learned a little bit. But as I said, 3 wasted days and Ektank have wasted some money. But I have a nice certificate to show Vetting Inspectors and other people coming onboard checking if the crew is certified.
I had my lunch before going up to my room and my Thai books. I was reading my books and when I was ready I got to the scan shop to scan a few documents. And of course, on the way to the scan shop I passed many temptations. Of course, like with the BURGER MACHINE, you need to be dead drunk to dare eating at the place.
Some of the carts the vendors use remind me about Kingston, Jamaica back in the 80's.
I got my documents scanned and I returned to my hotel for a few lapses in the swimming pool. Then I will see if I go to Glorieta to look for some art.
I will try to skip dinner tonight and eat some of the mangos I bought yesterday. Well, there isn't all that much left of the mangoes, to be honest.
I was coming up to the swimming pool just to find that the pool was closed. Well, never mind, it
started to rain so I returned to my room. And now hell had broke loose in FUNKY TOWN. Clashes at Rangsit, close to the old Don Muang airport so I hope they don't have plans to occupy the airport.
jaja, det var ju i Rangsit vid sjukhuset vi var på d däringa discot efter at vi skämt ut oss på bowlingen vid Soi 33.
Jaja, det måste vara för en himmla massa år sen. Back in the 90's som vi säger.
At least not the new airport and not before Saturday so I can arrive home safely on Friday night.
I don't fancy sitting in Manila being worried if I can get home or not. I had enough of that last time in Manila.
I checked the latest news from Thailand before leaving in a taxi for Glorieta shopping mall.
Walking around, same yesterday, walking in to a shop looking for a valet and I'm passing plenty staff. Everyone is greeting you with a:
- Good afternoon Sir!
They are very polite and friendly, but after thousand times you had it. Because you must greet them back or they will think you're a snotty foreigner.
I started at Glorieta 4 and at the ground floor everyone was singing. They had turned the ground floor in to a church. I went to another department store from Glorieta 4 and from there to Glorieta 5. Impossible to find any valet. In one shop they showed me a nice valet, but the bill compartment was too small. Half the valet was a pocket closed with a zipper.
- What is this for?
- It's for coins.
- What the ??!! Do you expect me to have one 20 Peso bill and 2000 Peso in coins?
I went from Glorieta 5 to SM department store and by then I was so tired of “Good afternoon Sir” and “Good evening Sir”. You enter a shop and the first thing you hear is the Security guard's “Good afternoon Sir” and then at least 10 times in the shop and the last thing you hear when leaving is the Security guard's “Thank you Sir”.
I had a meal at glorieta 4 before buying 4 bottles of diet drinks. Then I spent almost 1 hour in a taxi queue before I got a taxi and I was back in my room 30 minutes after 8 o'clock.
Thursday 29th of April 2010 and today I received my wakeup call at 07:30. Always nice with a little extra sleep. But never mind the extra sleep, I was still tired.
Well, a hot shower and my breakfast helped a bit. Now I only hope they have refilled the vending machine with diet drinks at school. They have been out of diet drinks for 2 days now. I use to suck on a can of diet drink in class to keep me awake. And today is the first day on my new course so I need to be full of vim.
Now I just hope that we will start at 08:30 on Friday as well so they don't change it to 7 o'clock again. I just hate those 6 o'clock in the morning wake up calls. You're more dead than alive when they call you at 6 o'clock.
I finished my breakfast and I went out to the van that was waiting to take me to school. And the first thing I discovered when I came to school was that they had not refilled the vending machine with diet drinks.
Then I started to look for our class room. I finished 2nd floor and I found my class on the 3rd floor.
At our break I ran across the road to buy an orange juice and water. One of the Administrators at school asked where I had been when I came back from across the street.
- I went to buy something to drink. You have been out of diet drinks since last Monday.
- Yes, we have called them to refill our vending machine.
Coming back to the class room and my Teacher was outside smoking.
- So you go back home tomorrow?
- Isn't it very dangerous in Bangkok now?
- Well, how many people been killed in Bangkok? 25?
Yeah, I heard that's its about 25 people that got killed so far. I continued:
- I read in the paper the other day that 105 people were killed due to the upcoming election, and that's not until 10th of May. So how many would have been killed when the election is over?
- Yes, but that's normal on the Philippines.
- So where is it most dangerous?
Well, anyway, class continued and I was about to fall asleep 3 times. I managed to avoid falling asleep, but one time I just had a flash sleep for a second or two. Embarrassing to fall asleep on one of these flimsy plastic chairs. Yes, would be very annoying to wake up on the floor over a collapsed chair.
Yes, the first two hours of class was terrible. Watching a PowerPoint presentation:
• Gas is dangerous!!
• Gas kills!!
• You will end up dead!!
- WOW!! Interesting!!
Yeah, you know what I mean. Obvious stuff and I was almost falling asleep. But when we were ready with the obvious stuff it became interesting. Yes, it was strange. I went from sleepy to full of vim. Now we were actually learning something and I threw myself in to the discussion. Suddenly time turned quick and it was time for lunch.
I took a taxi back to my hotel for lunch. I really don't feel like having one of those hamburgers that been transported on a motorbike through smog filled Manila centre.
I got out of the taxi and I stopped at the shop next to the hotel to buy some coffin nails, only a small pack because I'm giving up. At the hotel I ordered my lunch and I went to my room. Always takes them some time to make the food here, so instead of sitting in the restaurant stare out in the blue I went to my room. I started my computer and I turned on the TV for the latest news from Thailand.
I checked my e-mail and my Teacher asked when I was coming back to FUNKY TOWN.
“CALL ME ASAP WHEN YOU'RE BACK!! I WANT TO GIVE YOU SOME ADVISE”
Yeah, sure that I will call her 11 o'clock tomorrow night when I arrive a wee bit tipsy. I don't think she will appreciate that. Well, most likely she has been on my web page seeing me in the red shirt and flag.
So maybe she is concerned about me dressed up as a red shirt arriving to FUNKY TOWN.
- No I will not dress up like a red shirt!! But there is f@ck all I can do about the baldness, I promise! If there was I would have done it years ago!! And I would most likely have been a millionaire today.
Well, being shot at by the police is not any dream scenario. But there are nice polices as well. Songkran and I ended up with a few Thais, one of them where a police.
- Oh! Aren't you out shooting at the red guys.
- NO NO! This is a nice Police, his friends confirmed very quickly and we had another drink.
Well, anyway, while in my room waiting for my lunch I heard that the Yellow Shirts was marching in Thailand. Must be a very wealthy country, everyone won�t the power so they can fill up their pockets. And of course they use ordinary people to do the fighting.
Last time in Manila I had a Teacher that had taken part in the People Power Revolution that drove Ferdinand Marcos into exile and installed Corazon Aquino as the new president. It was later alleged that he and his wife Imelda Marcos had moved billions of dollars of embezzled public funds to the United States, Switzerland, and other countries, as well as into fictitious corporations during his 20 years in power.
My Teacher told me that the military was shooting at them when they took over a TV station. Many died but they managed to get rid of Ferdinand Marcos. They were so happy when they could hold free elections.
- But what a disappointment!! Ever since, every elected President had been a crock.
It's election again and one of the favourites is an old President, Joseph Estrada that had to leave office due to corruption. The allegations of corruption spawned an impeachment trial in the Senate, and in 2001 Estrada was ousted.
In 2007, he was sentenced by a "special court" to reclusion perpetual for plunder, but was later granted pardon by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He is back in business, guess there is plenty more to plunder.
So winning the election means plenty money in your pocket, and all the Filipinos I'm talking with are saying the same. So you understand why they spend lots of money for campaigns. Manila is full of cars with giant loudspeakers with messages blaring on how great just they will be as President.
Yes, when I'm in our roof top swimming pool I hear them pass and the first few times I was wondering “What am I doing up here in the pool, seems to be a carnival down on the street and I can be down there drinking beer having a good time”
Well, anyway, I went down to the restaurant and my lunch was ready. I had my lunch and I returned to school for the last afternoon hours. And I got confirmed that we will start at 08:30 tomorrow again, so no need to wake up at 6 o'clock tomorrow morning. Very nice!
I was picked up at school @ 3 o'clock by the hotel van and we returned to my hotel. I asked the driver if we could make a quick stop at an MINI STOP on the way back.
- No problem!
We made a quick stop at MINI STOP for a few diet drinks. I grabbed 4 bottles and I went to pay. In front of me were 3 children, 2 girls and a boy. Hard to say how old, but the youngest girl was maybe 3 years old and the boy 6 or 7. The oldest girl was buying ice cream for them. The first one to receive the ice cream was the youngest girl. I wish I had had my camera stand by when she got her ice cream.
She was so happy when she got her ice cream. She was jumping up and down.
But I took a few pictures when they took off from the MINI STOP. It started to rain so I skipped the swimming pool today. I think I will just stay at my room tonight. Packing my bag, last night in Manila. Hmm, maybe a last meal at Tempura at Robinsons? Well, we see.
I go home tomorrow and I had a look in my valet, more than 5000 Peso left and I have been here for 2 weeks. I have used 50,000 Pesos in 2 weeks, most of it spent travelling between Manila and Subic Bay. Seems to be impossible to spend any money. And it's not like I have been any cheap Charlie.
- Maybe I try another disco, the beers are cheaper over there.
- I walk, taxi is too expensive.
- Can I order that drink?
- Maybe I can save a Peso here?
No, a good night out are 4 to 5000 Pesos and you don't have to think about what you order. I think my biggest bill was the one at The Fort. Less than 2000 Pesos, and then I was on the floor dead drunk.
Well, I will have to try spending my last money at the TAX FREE on the airport tomorrow night.
Friday 30th of April 2010 and it�s my last day in Manila. Wake up call at 07:30, but then I had been awake for 45 minutes already. I went to bed at 8 o'clock yesterday watching a movie fighting
not to fall asleep. But at 9 I was a sleep so I had have plenty sleep. Shower and I were off to school after my breakfast. We will finish school at 3 o'clock and I will pick up my certificates and I will leave to my hotel with the hotel van.
hittade ni helikoptern igen? Nästa gång tar jag med racerbåtar istället så vi kan fräsa runt i fiskdammen istället. Hälsa busfröna och frugan.
And as every morning, we passed through the early morning life in the area around the hotel. Just as the people running the shops around my hotel these people have small shop were they sleep.
They do their good morning stuff like showers, cooking and laundry on the streets. I have wanted to take pictures while passing, but I wanted to wait until the last day.
Yes, Imagine someone coming through your home in a van taking picture of you in the early morning. But I will be gone tonight and they will most likely not see me in a very long time. So I decided to give it a try on my last morning going to school.
My van was waiting for me when I came out from the breakfast. We took off towards school and today the driver took off straight towards President Sergio Osmeña Sr Highway, going straight to the Norwegian Training Centre. I thought that I would miss all the GOOD MORNING action.
But he turned right before we got to the highway and we passed through all the action. Really poor people among all the election posters. But seriously, are any of the winners going to do anything about the situation for the poor? I don't think so. Hell, even Marcos widow is in the election to the senate or whatever they call it around here. Shouldn't she be in prison?
educated people are the only way to build a country. Look at west Africa, they have plenty of everything. But the people have not even shoes to wear. And instead of stealing the money from the people they should make sure the children got education and milk.
Poor people will not have any money to feed their children with vitamins and they will never be taller than 1,5 m and their brain will stop developing at 13 years.
You see the difference, at The Fort last Friday, the people was in normal size. But if you meet the uneducated and poor people serving them was 1,5 m.
But of course, if you're rich this is a very good system. To have a stupid working class.
- It's better for you to work for free than to receive any salary!
- Yeah, you're right. SIR!
Well, now you have seen some of the GOOD MORNING scenes of Manila. And coming to FUNKY TOWN today it's hard to imagine that this was a very common scene in the middle of FUNKY TOWN not so may years ago. But suddenly there was a fire in the shanty town and 2 years later there was a high rise building.
Coming to school and I had brought two diet drinks that I bought at MINI STOP yesterday. Well, there is one problem with the diet MAXI in Manila, if you buy the bottle that is. The label, wrapped around the bottle, is not glued on to the bottle. So when I had my first bottle here 2 weeks ago I held the bottle and opened it.
Yes, after 2 seconds I was sitting with the darn label in my hand and the freshly opened bottle was lying down on top of my desk and I had diet MAXI all over.
Well, I have learnt my lesson and I always remove the label before opening the bottle. OK, I don't have any trust in the vending machine at the school anymore so I brought 2 bottles to class.
Better safe than sorry. Well, anyway, I expect school to be fun today, only gas measuring and interesting stuff. No stupid PowerPoint presentations. Hopefully!
We got right on to it. The instrument they had, well, I had used them hundreds of times so I knew them. But it was fun, because there is always something to learn. A refresher. We have dräger equipment on my last ship. Here in school we only had the Japanese Riken Kieken, and that's the equipment I'm used to, far superior to Dräger. At least I think so.
I was just waiting for the test tubes, this is what I was interested in learning. We did them before lunch so we could leave the course at 12. We were only 7 students in class so it went pretty quick. We finished the test tubes 20 minutes before 12 and I could go and collect my certificates.
And of course, before I left I asked the guys for a group picture. So here it is, my class and Teacher. And of course, I know you have waited for it: THE BONUS PICTURE!
I went down to the office and the Clerk was on the way to get the last signatures on my certificates.
- Just a few minutes, he said.
- No problem. Take it easy!
I was outside talking with the Security guys when he came back. The clerk could see that I was cracking a few jokes with the Security guys and it was all laughs.
- I'm sorry, but I'm finished already.
The Security Guards asked me to take their picture as remembrance. How can I say no? So I took the picture before I went to pick up my certificates. They really appreciated it and I shook hand with them and left.
- Hope to see you back here soon again, Sir!
That's one of the things I will not miss with Manila, yes, you guessed it. This darn “Sir”. Going to buy a diet drink, Sir 18 times. Going in to a shop, every one of the staff.
- Good afternoon, Sir!
And I don't want to be mistaken for a snotty foreigner so I had to say “Good afternoon” to everyone as well. If I only could get a cent for every “Sir”.
I think I would be richer than if I found the cure for baldness. Yes, I'm pretty sure on that. The cure for baldness and you would for sure be a billionaire, but a cent for every “Sir” will add up.
I was back at the hotel around 12 o'clock and I had my lunch. I paid my hotel bill and I went to the scan shop for some last scanning. Back to my hotel to pack my bag and, well,
I'm out of here, time to go back to FUNKY TOWN and I will leave my room, I bring my bags and I will go down to the waiting pre ordered hotel van to the airport.
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