Katja and Arne's travel stories

Manila – Tuesday walkabout

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Katja is better from the cold, but not quite over it yet. She got up at 05:00 when she couldn’t sleep anymore, while I slept a little longer. Katja got out and around the corner to a coffee shop and came back with two large coffees. The day could begin.

Instant oatmeal - Add banana, extra cereal and milk

Instant oatmeal – Add banana, extra cereal and milk

We did breakfast in the room with oatmeal and banana. Quite good and very nice compared to all the white bread they serve around here.
We are still working out the details for the rest of the stay in the Philippines and we spent some time on the computer to look up different hotel deals, flight info and “which day we’ll do what”. We took down three hotels we’ll check out and compare to the one we stay at now, and then we’ll see if we’re gonna move on or prolong our stay here at Best Western.
Then it was time to hit the streets. We walked to the nearest hotel and got prices and looked at a couple of rooms. It’s impressive how much pictures can lie about space, cleanliness and light. We can save a few dollars on moving, but it’s a hassle and we’ll avoid it if we don’t really save on it.

We moved down Makati avenue, one of the main streets in this neighborhood. It’s hot, humid, noisy, and dirty. What else is there to find in any big city?

We walked all the way down to Glorietta. One of the larger shopping malls in Makati. The entrance didn’t look like much, but when we got inside it was huge. Story upon story with shops of all the brands you could imagine: Tag Heuer, Zara, Guess, Old Navy and lots and lots more. We’re here to get internet enabling on my phone. It’s easier to navigate that way, and we looked up Global service center and found it here. Getting enabled for Internet took 30 seconds, but that didn’t happen until I had spent 20 minutes in line to buy an additional 500 pesos load on the SIM card. If I knew this was the process I could have done it by popping into 7/11 and be done in one minute blank. We smile, chalk it up on experience and move on our merry way.

New Galaxy Note 4 - remodeled by KogA

New Galaxy Note 4 – remodeled by KogA

And merry it is. For here the malls are all playing x-mas songs. Over and over and over again. When I catch myself humming Santa Claus is coming to town, I bite my cheek and remind myself it’s still six weeks till Christmas Eve.
Walking around in a mall with Katja is a disaster waiting to happen. So many stores, so many shoes and handbags, so much glimmer and gold. Aaaaargh! How to keep her in check? I try my best but if we get out of here with no purchase I’ll mark the day for a yearly celebration. We can safely say there is no new celebratory day.

Katja get's fever from not buying all the handbags

Katja get’s fever from not buying all the handbags

"I want them all!"

“I want them all!”

We got over to GreenBelt in search of some healthy food. We walked past most of the restaurants as they were really expensive. We sat down at last and got ourselves something to eat. The portions here in Asia is not for a guy like me (as I have repeatedly nagged about from Indonesia), but we try to make due with what we got. I can still loose some kg’s before I’m in trouble.

Waiting for lunch

Waiting for lunch

Next stop on the way was to locate Bliss Yoga studio. We will do yoga there tomorrow morning 9:30 and then meet Gerald in the park for some Kali at 15:00. Gonna be a good day tomorrow. On the way to the yoga studio we stopped by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf  and got us some coffee. Katja has joined a “frequent drinker” program and wants to cash out a diary for 2015. A prize received after drinking 12 cups of brew from The Coffee Bean. I’ll guess we’ll nail that during our stay here in Manila.

Buy 12 get a useless diary for free

Buy 12 get a useless diary for free

We found the yoga studio and it was very nice we are now booked for tomorrow’s class. When we asked how to most easily get back to our hotel, the answer was “cab”. People don’t walk more than necessary in this town. We on the other hand are on a walkabout today and sat a course back to the hotel. It took us about 1 hour and that was included several small stops, I guess we’ll make it by 30 min for tomorrows yoga.

The Bliss yoga studio

The Bliss yoga studio

We chilled for a while before heading down to the market outside the hotel for dinner. Just as crowded as yesterday, and more of us pale riders. One thing though, the canopies that are stretched out over this area are of course reflecting the average height of a Filipino. Needless to say I walk as a hunchback around the stalls so not to get beheaded by the ropes keeping them up.

Behead the tall white guy!

Behead the tall white guy!

We got ourself some extremely delicious suckling pig. I think we by now might be holding the pig farmers in East Asia in overdrive to supply the new demand. As that might be, they make fantastic food here and to all our Norwegian readers: Making crispy pig skin is obviously over-complificated during Christmas time back home. They had it to perfection here. Katja’s thought it strange to eat this crispy skin and enjoying a fresh coconut, but hey… If it works, don’t fix it.

There were a new band entertaining tonight. Not good, but entertaining. Though mostly between the actual music. Anyway, it reminded me of when Henrik, Pelle, Guri and I played in a band together. Mostly fun for us and not the audience, but we DID have fun. And while writing this Katja nudge me and points for the bass player. Everybody probably know a bass player joke or two, right Reidar? No joke this time, the guy plays with his left hand strumming. Not necessarily so rare as a lot of lefties do that, but this guy have no right hand. Just a little knob where his hand should be, but he plays to level with all the other guys in the band. He has earned my deepest respect for his dedication and stamina. Hat’s of to you, my good sir.


Author: arnber

Humongen! The big guy! The man, the myth, the legend! And then theres' me. The nice guy in the house. The man without cooking skills, but with five stars on the Playstation. Boss at work, relaxed at home. What you see is what you get. Life is good. I choose it to be.

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