Katja and Arne's travel stories

Tuesday in rainy Manila

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What can I say? We did actually get up at the right time today. We peak out the window to see if Ruby is here.

It’s wet outside, but nothing to suggest a typhoon. We look at Facebook and the status of PAGAST, and see that Ruby now it’s downgraded to a “mere” tropical depression. It means the wind is down to 60 km/h and it will be rain, but not the destruction as estimated.
That said is the report that 27 have died so far, and I’m sad to say I think that number will rise when the aftermath is made up. We are lucky to be in a place not heavily hit, being in buildings that easily handle rain, and are in no danger of any landslides. The people of who are worst hit are the same as got the destruction brought on by Yolanda last year. Life is indeed not fair.
We walk to the yoga place and attend a Vinyasa flow class. It’s only the two of us there for starters and we get to choose how heavy the class should be. The third person coming to class was more experienced than me and worked with us on the”Pump up” flow. It was a nice class and we walked happily back to get a shower and breakfast.
After breakfast we got ourselves tickets from Myanmar to Kuala Lumpur for Christmas. And from KL to Hong Kong a few days later. We’re gonna meet our friend Mette there for new years and the following trip to Vietnam. We also looked at tickets from HK to Vietnam, but that’s a puzzle I think we need to do together with Mette.
We went down to Figaro’s again and chatted with HF in Hong Kong. We get to borrow his apartment there but he’ll be in Norway at the time. Would have been nice to catch up again.
Now it’s lunch time at Plantation before we plan the rest of the day.
During lunch we started talking about visa for Thailand. Several of the different visas we need was not obtainable while we were in Norway because of the time limits they carry. You need to enter within a set number of days after you get it granted. We are now looking at how to proceed for applying for a visa at the embassy of Thailand located in Yangon.
From lunch we went back to the room to walk through the procedure and found we needed a flight in to Thailand to apply. We know when we’re going, and after a little research we found good tickets for a reasonable price. The application form is downloaded and we’re getting closer to all necessary elements for a visit to the embassy while we’re in Yangon.


On our way to the museum

Now we wanted to visit the Ayala museum but the one day we would visit they close early because of an event. Thank you very nice. We end up at a juice bar and have a nice chat with family back home ‘coz all of Katja’s brothers family except Mads was there. Now we’re just killing time and Katja will do yoga at 18:00 and then dinner. After this many days in the Philippines it’s ok to move on and we’re looking forward to seeing new land on Thursday in Myanmar.
We head back slowly towards the hotel, and split up so Katja can do her yoga. I stretch out on the bed and watch a horrible movie called Lockout. A bad and over budgeted space version of “Die hard”, but not really watchable… Unless your killing time waiting for dinner with no real alternative. Read a book instead.
Anyway, Katja comes back and we step out for dinner. We end up in a restaurant called Balcony across the street. It’s a lot of people out, but the waiter says it’s normal. We should be here on Thursdays and Fridays. Same as everywhere else then. A lot of the restaurants around here serve the food quick but not simultaneously. Sometimes one of us had finished eating before the other get served. At first we didn’t like it, but now we just eat while it’s hot. That one starves while the other feasts is getting to be the norm.
We both get dishes with rice, and the rice in this country is not salted at all. That makes the rice by itself a little dull, but the food here is often served with gravy or another kind of spicy sauce to pour on the rice. For my untrained palate it would be nice with a little salt once in a while. One of these last few days we made dinner at home and spent an evening trying to find small paper bags of salt and pepper. You know the once you always get at any fast food place back home. Here in Manila they look at you as you’re crazy when you ask for it. We finally got a few with salt, but never got any with pepper. With so much good taste in this country they might not need it.
Having a washer and dryer has been a real treat. We’ve gone through all our clothes and are moving out of here tomorrow with a bag of clean clothes. And we leave some clothes behind also. The last of the technical t-shirts and some cheap singlets from Bali will not make it further on this trip. I guess they’re too big for anyone in this country to wear but they might get a new home. The same goes for my jeans. I have two pairs of long pants and only one will come further on, the same pants that can be used for climbing mountains and go out to dinner. We’re slimming down, down, down.

Today’s images:

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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