Monday 23rd of January 2017 and they called me at 5 thirty and my alarm went off a few minutes later. A quick Pepsi MAX and a shower before I went for my breakfast. The breakfast was as exciting as the dinner had been yesterday.
6 thirty and my driver was not in the reception. I asked for him and no one knew where he was. A guy came and he told me that the driver was waiting outside.
We went out to have a look. We looked around and the “dispatcher” pointed at a car 100 meters away from the entrance where we were staying.
- There it is!!!
- Are you serious? The driver parks on the other side of Manila and he don't even bother to come in to the reception to meet me as was agreed.
Well, after the “pick up at the airport” debacle yesterday. Sitting down relax seems to be the popular thing to do. We got under the way and he dropped me at Compass training centre. After just a few seconds I realised that he had dropped me at the wrong place.
The girl told me that I had to go to their other office to register. I walked to the other office and they had to take my picture. She told me to remove my ear ring.
She asked me to button up my shirt (Only top button open)
- Take the picture now!
I never said anything, but I was thinking, well, just have a look out the window to see how things look around here. We finished the paper work and I walked back to the training centre. We were supposed to start at 7. At 7 thirty we were waiting for the last trainee to arrive.
The Teacher was not happy and I told him that we cannot have 23 paying trainees sitting here and wait. We have paid as much as him for the course so why can he be home sleeping? I asked.
We were watching a video presentation of the Compass training centre that was of so poor quality so it was embarrassing to watch it.
We got started around 8 o'clock and at 10 o'clock we had a 30 minutes coffee break and I went to look for some Pepsi MAX. I found a 7 Eleven and I bought two bottles that I enjoyed during the class.
Lunch at 11:15 to 12 and the only option was a McDonalds next to the 7 Eleven so I went there. I DIDN'T FEEL GOOD WHEN I LEFT MC DONALDS. I will buy bananas at 7 Eleven tomorrow for lunch.
We finished the training quarter to 2 and my driver was here 10 minutes before 2 to pick me up. I was in my room at 2 o'clock so it is not far between the Compass training centre and the hotel. I was delayed in the entrance door to the hotel, when I came they opened both the doors. Yes, just what I have noticed lately.
Helping me to walk stairs etc. But this was too much, I asked the girl to close her half of the door. I passed the door and I told her it was enough to open half the door as I'm so small. So no need to open the door more than necessary and we save energy on the AC
She can close her half of the door again
I'm surprised to see all the maids outside my door
I was in my room when they knocked on the door. My room was not cleaned as I had forgot to turn of the DON'T DISTURB light when I left this morning. I knew it was the cleaning detail knocking on the door.
When I opened the door the hallway was full of people. I asked who all the people was. They told me it was Trainees.
- How many?
I asked the Trainees to raise their arms and there were a lot of them. I told them to come back in 30 minutes and I was off to Mall of Asia to look for a new Samsonite bag. I have come up with a plan, I will have one bag for when I go to work (A wee bit bigger than my weekend bag that I bought in Cape town) and my weekend bag (adventure pack) will be used for, yes, adventures.
So I can always have my bags packed and stand-by and no more need to have clothes laying around in my guestroom. They will always be packed and it will look better to have these two bags than to have the room full of clothes and stuff and the bag empty.
I took a taxi to Mall of Asia and the first thing on my list was lunch at Tempura, the Japanese Grill. A visit is mandatory when in Manila. I asked for the usual things and I was DISAPPOINTED!
What have they done with the food? The tenderloin was only gristle, tendon, fat and shit. I could not eat it. The second serving was a chicken teriyaki, usually one of my all-time favourites.
I didn't finish my food. I had sked for a bottle of water, they dumped a bottle in front of me but no glass. I never left any tip and I took my 8 peso in change and I left to never come back again. I had a bad taste in my mouth and I was happy when I spotted a Dairy Queen, I bought the biggest mango ice cream.
I looked around for a Samsonite shop and I ended up in a department store. I bought my bag and I went to look for a taxi to get back to Century Park Hotel. My plan was to go to Robinson Place for dinner.
But the traffic didn't look so good and I went back in to the hotel for dinner. I stayed well clear of the buffet and I went to the Japanese restaurant where I had a very good dinner.
I had asked the reception for a beer mug or a tea pot for my room. hey were working on it, but when I had finished my dinner I discovered a SM Hypermarket outside the hotel. I went over to have a look for tea cups. I came up with another idea, no more breakfast at the hotel and lunch at Mc Donald's. Hopefully no more dinners on town as I remembered the Tuna Paella. I will buy a few cans and have in my room.
Maersk will save a lot of money and I will feel much better eating healthy. And I will try to get a few cans with me back home to Bangkok, Last time I brought tuna paella back to Bangkok it was 50 cans. And now I just bought a new Samsonite and there will fit a few cans in that bag.
Back in my room and I realised that I had forgot to buy Earl Grey tea. So I had to make myself a cup of Lipton tea. Not as good as Earl Grey but OK.
Time to go to bed, tomorrow I can loll around in bed until 05:50. Pick up one hour later and the training start at 07:15. A fun day to look forward to!
Tuesday 24th of January 2017 and I could sleep until 05:50. Breakfast, I will not go to the restaurant and the free breakfast. I had 2 cans (Only planned to have 1) of Tuna Paella with a bottle of Pepsi MAX. We left the hotel at 06:50 and I was at Compass training centre a few minutes later.
We started the day by continue talking about ECDIS and after the coffee break we were divided in to two groups. One group stayed in the class room. The other group went in to the room with the ECDIS simulators.
We had to wait until it was almost lunch time before they managed to start the computers. And then they still had one out of 6 stations that was not working. I could not help but being impressed. They had known that we would start today so they have had plenty time to get things in order.
So when we were finally ready to start it was almost time to go for lunch.
We had done the important things and I was off to 7 Eleven walking past Mc D in a brisk pace. I saw people stuffing themselves with the poison while I had healthy bananas on my mind.
I buy bananas for lunch
I got my 3 bananas and 2 bottles of refreshments. The bananas went down my shirt pocket and the refreshments in my trousers. The girl behind the counter gaped at me with the plastic bag in her hands. She had never seen something like this before.
- Yeah, you can close your mouth! We save on plastic and that is a plastic bag that won't end up in your sewers blocking them so you have flooding every year here in Manila!
No need to thank me, I said and I stepped outside to enjoy my bananas. The bananas was finished before I was back at the training centre.
My group were going to spend the afternoon in the class room. 12 students in each group and suddenly we had plenty space in the class room.
We have a good Teacher and the time was passing very quickly. And as yesterday, we finished the day with a quiz of what we have learned today.
I finished the quiz quarter to two and I was soon down on the street. The security guy told me that my car was waiting on the second floor. They went to get the driver and we were soon on the way to my hotel.
I made some tea and I opened a can of Tuna Paella saving more money for Maersk, no bills from the restaurants for them to pay.
Hey, we might be on to something here, only send people that's on diet and there will be plenty money to save. And I felt very good, it had been quite a success full day when it comes to my diet.
Breakfast: 2 cans of Tuna Paella (But I had only planned for 1 can)
Lunch: 3 bananas
Afternoon snack: 4 cans of Tuna Paella (But I had only planned for 1 can)
I had decided to go to Robinson Place today and I went out to take a taxi to Robinsons. I was going to check my Global SIM card. The internet is really sucking balls. A long story short, they wanted me to buy a new SIM and I had wasted 540 Peso. It says 4G but it must be the slowest 4G network in the world.
I told the guy (while I trashed my SIM card) that I didn't wanted my money back. I understood how they did business, scamming people, and I would never consider Globe again. I left to go look for Smart instead. I got my new Smart SIM card with 4 and a half GB and I went to look for a place to have my dinner.
I had been at Arya, the Persian restaurant here at Robinson before. Excellent food! I had also been at Arya at the bottom level outside Robinsons. That place was nothing but nasty. But now it looks like that place is gone. Shit places seems to disappear, like the previously excellent Tempura. The quality of the food, service and the restaurant slides downhill and they are soon out of business.
But the Persian restaurant on the 2nd floor was excellent and I decided to go there for some food. 2 plates of some very good food and I finished the meal with 2 plates of almond baklavas. BOOM! And my diet was destroyed!
A visit to Robinsons supermarket and I bought tea and Tuna Paella before taking a taxi back to my hotel. And I'm looking forward to yet another day in school tomorrow, yes, it is fun to go to school. Three more days to go and I will fly back home on Saturday. I have decided to skip Donsol as there is no whale sharks to see. DARN! Snorkelling in Malaysia instead?
Wednesday 25th of January 2017 and I could not sleep during the night, most likely because of two big cups of tea I had have yesterday evening. So I was proper tired when my alarm went off just after my wake-up call at 05:50. A cup of tea, two cans of Tuna Paella and a quick sip Pepsi MAX and we left the hotel 10 minutes before 7.
Stepping in to the class room at Compass training centre 10 minutes later. I opened my Pepsi MAX bottle that I had brought with me and I was reading the news until 07:15 when our Teacher stepped in to the class room. We continued with the ECDIS course and after the coffee break we broke the class in to two groups again. We started in the class room and we finished our stuff and the quiz very early.
We will do the ECDIS simulator after lunch, and we have a 2 hour lunch break and I left for the hotel. Tea and Tuna Paella before I returned to the training centre
Time passed very quickly in the ECDIS simulator and it was soon 2 o'clock and time to go back to my hotel again.
My driver was waiting for me in the car when I came out from the training centre and I was in my room making tea a few minutes later. I decided to go to Robinsons Place to refill my Smart SIM card. And I will have dinner at Arya, something I look forward to.
In the taxi on the way to Robinsons Place and I decided to go have a look at the Fort instead, and dinner at Tony Roma’s. So I asked the driver to take me to The Fort instead. The Fort is what we use to call the Bonifacio Global City. Kind of easier to say “The Fort
Bonifacio Global City
(also known as BGC, Global City, or The Fort) is a financial district in Metro Manila, Philippines. It is located 11 km south-east of the center of Manila in an area formerly disputed between the cities of Makati and Taguig as well as the municipality of Pateros.
The area is currently under disputed. In recent years, the district has experienced robust commercial growth through the sale of military land by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA). The entire district used to be the part of the main Philippine Army camp.
In 1995, Bonifacio Land Development Corporation (BLDC) started planning a major urban development—Bonifacio Global City. BLDC made a successful bid to become BCDA's partner in the development of the district. The Ayala Corporation through Ayala Land, Inc., and Evergreen Holdings, Inc. of the Campos Group purchased a controlling stake in BLDC from Metro Pacific in 2003. BCDA and the two companies now control Fort Bonifacio Development Corporation, which oversees the master planning of Bonifacio Global City.
Skyline of Bonifacio Global City
Bonifacio High Street
is a mixed-use development in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines located just near Serendra, Market! Market! and SM Aura Premier. It is owned by Ayala Malls, a real-estate subsidiary of Ayala Land, which is an affiliate of Ayala Corporation. It opened in the 2007 and it is one of Ayala Corporation's flagship projects.
The mall offers a mix of high-end retail shops, restaurants, amenities, leisure and entertainment in the Philippines. Currently, the mall has four sections, the first and second blocks are an open-air shopping, while the third block is a mixture of open-air and indoor commercial buildings dubbed as the Bonifacio High Street Central and the fourth block which was named Bonifacio High Street South or simply High Street South in which is a mixture of open-air and indoor commercial-residential buildings.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Heavy traffic and it took us quite some time and 230 Peso to get to the Fort. But it didn't took me long to discover that Tony Roma’s had moved from where it had been last time I was here at The Fort. I opened my browser to check out Tony Roma’s and there was no Tony Roma’s here at The Fort anymore. So I will have to go to Glorietta.
I walked up the Bonifacio High Street and I found nothing interesting and when I came to the end I was looking got a taxi to take me to Glorietta in Makati to go have dinner at Tony Roma’s.
Taxi, it was not easy to find a taxi. And I was about to piss my pants so I was happy when I taxi finally stopped to pick me up. We were soon on our way, but darn, the traffic was slow. And I was a wee bit worried as I only had 180 Pesos in my valet. I had not find any ATM on the Bonifacio High Street so I really hope I can make it to Tony Roma’s with 180 Peso.
Bonifacio Global City
Bonifacio Global City
Preparing for the Chinese New Year on Bonifacio High Street
Bonifacio High Street
Bonifacio High Street
Looking for a taxi in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
133 Pesos to get to Tony Roma’s at Glorietta 4 and I gave the driver 140 Pesos and I stepped in to an almost empty Tony Roma’s restaurant. I had not been at this branch for many years now but I recognised the place. I asked for my usual Tony Roma’s meal. They brought in the baked potato soup. I could not see the Waiter behind the soup bowl.
- What the is this?
I was shocked, they brought a bucket, a manly soup bowl of one of the best soups ever, the baked potato soup. Tony Roma’s in Bangkok, I have not been there since they refused to give me bread. But the baked potato soup is served in a small coffee cup. Same as they served the baked potato soup at Tony Roma’s on Bali.
But here, well, I was full after the soup. But as I use to say, there is always space for a full slab at Tony Roma’s.
I asked for a banana shake, without ice. Ordering milkshakes in this part of the world is a little like walking through a mine field. So I gave them careful instructions and I got what was maybe the best milkshakes I had ever had. And yes, I had to ask for a spoon.
It was so good so I had to ask for a second milkshake. I was full when I left Tony Roma's to go look for refill for my Smart SIM card. I bought refill cards for 800 Peso and it was not as easy as I had expected. The girl held up a 500 Peso card.
- I need for 800 Peso for the internet
- We only have 300 Peso she said holding up a 300 Peso refill card
- How much is 300 + 500? I asked
- But I need 800 Peso internet
- I have 100 and 300 only, she said
- How much is 300 + 300 + 100 + 100?
- 800 she said shining with a smile
I went to look for a taxi when I ran in to a guy from my class. Well, he was running in to me as I didn't recognised him. But I guessed that he was from my class. I stopped at SM Hypermarket and I bought more Pepsi MAX, Tuna and water for the tea machine in my room.
But this is the last tuna I will buy, I bought 31 cans to bring back to Bangkok yesterday. But as I suspect that the tuna isn't as healthy as I wish for I have decided to have breakfast at the hotel.
Fruit salad and tea only. And I will try tomorrow, if I eat any bacon I will have the remaining breakfasts in my room. But one more try tomorrow and I hope I can stick to the fruit. My diet have for sure not impressed anyone lately.
It took a very long time before it was my turn to get a taxi. They queue was not long, but there was not many taxis coming and it was slow waiting.
Still heavy traffic so it took us 30 minutes to get back to my room where I had a cup of tea before going to bed. Sleep is needed for a new exciting day tomorrow.
Thursday 26th of January 2017 and I was very tired when they called 10 minutes before 6. I was off to school one hour later after having failed with my plan to have my breakfast in the hotel restaurant. We spent the day mostly talking, well, we did a little in the ECDIS simulator.
Long lunch today again so I took a taxi back to my hotel and I had lunch at the restaurant. And no, it wasn't very exciting and it was my last meal in that restaurant. Back in school for an hour of chit chat.
The regulations require the course to be a week long or 40 hours. And it seems like they have run out of things to do, well, already after the first day. I told my class mate that we could as well have been home.
He told me that this was how it was working on the Philippines. Sitting around talking stretching the course so it would last a week. Well, and all they money different shipping companies are spending on this around the world.
I was back in my room before 2 o'clock. I had told them to pick me up at one thirty when I was back for lunch. So, where to go today? I pondered the question while enjoying my tea. I need lip balm and a bag for my new working shoes. So I can keep all my “ship” stuff in my new Samsonite bag ready to take off to any ship around the world within a few seconds notice.
And of course, it will look better to keep it in my bag instead of having it all over my guest room. So I was off to Robinsons Place and I asked for a Samsonite shop. They had everything I needed, but the wrong colours. The girl was very helpful and she directed me to different shops. I told her that I would be back if I could not find any black coloured things.
I was back in the Samsonite shop as I had not managed to find anything I liked. I asked if she could arrange black coloured bags until tomorrow.
She called around and there was a Samsonite ship at the Lucky China Town shopping mall. They would have it here tomorrow. I told her that I would take a taxi to the Lucky China Town. But I was getting hungry so first dinner at Arya, the Persian restaurant.
Dinner at Arya, the Persian Restaurant at Robinson Place
Almond baklava at Arya, the Persian Restaurant at Robinson Place
Arya, the Persian Restaurant at Robinson Place
Excellent food at Arya as always. Remember to stay well clear of the Arya at the street level on Pedro Gil Street. STAY AWAY!! But go inside and take the escalator to the 2nd floor and enjoy the food and good service there.
I finished my meal and I took a taxi to Lucky China Town where I could buy what I wanted at Samsonite. I was looking around for lip balm and I ended up at Mercury drugstore. 5 of the staff was chit chatting while two customer was waiting. Well, and plus me, I got angry and left, not the service I had expected. I decided to take a taxi to Harrison Plaza next to my hotel to buy the lip balm.
I was behind a young beautiful couple in the taxi queue. The girl had an infant in a baby cradle hanging from her neck. We waited and waited, no taxi. I told them that there were plenty taxis on the road but no taxi coming in here.
I don't know what happened, she exploded and she went to get the guard that was carrying a big shot gun, Filipino style. She was screaming at the guard, and I understood duck all of what they were saying. But she pointed to the street and I heard TAXI several times.
I left for the street and the guard went to stop a taxi and he called the young couple. They took off and I was looking for a taxi. There is a new thing I have not seen before in Manila. A bunch of guys running around stopping taxis. They ask you if you want a taxi and they are soon coming back with a taxi. You have, of course, to give them a tip. And it is worth it.
They brought me a taxi and I gave the guy 20 peso. I took my seat and the driver demanded 300 Peso and I told him to go by the meter. We had a bit of a discussion and the guy that had arranged the taxi was soon coming to see what was going on.
As soon as he understood what was going on he screamed at the driver. Now the armed guard came to assist and now both of them were screaming at the driver.
We were soon on the way and the driver dropped me at Harrison Plaza and I could buy my lip balms at Watson, a few bottles of Pepsi MAX ended up in my bag as well and I walked to my hotel.
Friday 27th of January 2017 and my last day in school. And we started by, yeah, sitting in the class room waiting killing time. After the coffee break we did a exam and I went back to my hotel for a cup of tea and some Tuna Paella. I was back at 11:20 and we will start with the ECDIS simulation at 11 thirty and we expect to be ready at 13 thirty.
I had asked for the car to pick me up at 13 thirty. But this was cancelled and I had to go to the office to arrange for my certificate.
I took a taxi to Glorietta in the afternoon and I had dinner at Tony Roma's. I walked around Glorietta before I went to look for a taxi and it took me 2 hours ++ to find a taxi and get back to my hotel where I made some tea.
Maersk asked me if I was ready to join on the first of February in Chittagong. I told them that I was ready and I will leave with Thai Airways on the morning of the 1st of February.
Well, my time here in Manila have come to an end. We will leave for the airport at 11 o'clock and my flight depart at 14:05. Click HERE to see if Singapore Airlines have any good tea on board.
OK, it has come to my knowledge that we have senior citizens visiting my web page. How hard can it be? So it's not very easy for them to see the blue coloured links to the next page.
Jiffy (also jiff)
noun [in SING.] informal a moment: we'll be back in a jiffy.
ORIGIN late 18th cent.: of unknown origin.
So as you understand, in a jiff pretty much depends on your internet.
So I put a “Next” button here and I hope that there isn't any problem to understand how to use that one. So just CLICK the “Next” button on your left hand side and you will be on the next page in a jiff!
Marunong ka mag-tagalog? Walang problema! Magpunta sa kabilang pahina pindutin ang “NEXT” button sa itaas
Faites vous parlez le français? Pas de problème! Pour arriver à la page suivante faites s'il vous plaît un déclic le bouton “Next” ci-dessus!
Haga usted dice el español? No hay problema! Ver la siguiente página sólo hacer clic el botón “Next” encima!
Farla parla l'italiano? Non problemi! Per vedere la prossima pagina lo scatto per favore giusto Il bottone “Next” sopra
Sprechen sie Deutsch! Kein problem! Wenn Sie die folgende Seite sehen wollen gerade klicken der Knopf “Next” oben!