Sunday 14th November:
Usual days activities today.
- Cleaned the Thunder Monster
- Picked another nice big fresh Papaya.
- Guy off to Mahjong. Ooohhh and she had a win today so very happy with that.
- Me to the Barbarossa for the expat gathering. Had ten expats at the gathering today (one new guy who is Iris born but worked in the USA and other places). The group is growing which is good but certainly leads to some interesting conversations on religion and especially politics, as you can imagine with a mix of Swiss, German, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, English, Irish, American, South American (El Salvador) and Aussies.
Monday 15th November:
After our hectic weekend we had a bit of a sleep in this morning. Slept till 11:00am and man it was nice. The nightly temperature is now dropping into the mid to high 20Cs so very pleasant sleeping conditions and beautiful crisp clear mornings.
Quick trip up the road to Kevin’s (Aussie from Coffs Harbor) block as he was pushing over some coconut trees for his house plot as we were going to get any Buko off the felled trees. But of course the front loader had not arrived and was not expected till later in the day (if at all). Was also very very muddy at Kevin’s block (his is rice field territory) and after some slipping and sliding we made it in and out but the poor Thunder Monster was covered in black sticky mud. Quick wash back at the cottage and all good.
Lunch was the leftover chicken dishes from yesterday and very nice they were.
Then off to Buenavista to the Lands Title office to finalize our property transfer tax. After a couple of visits to the Xerox shop to photocopy all the required paper work we left it with them to process. Should only be a few days but they will let us know once completed and what fees are payable, if any.
Everything is still done with hard copy paper here. No computer system at all. Just like the good old days back home in my youth.
Back home to afternoon tea with some nice fresh treats from the Buenavista bakery and then siesta time.
Brownout at 3:00pm ish and with it came the afternoon rain. Ooohhh well more siesta time for us. Power back on at 4:00pm.
Nice leisurely walk to the shops up the road to stock up on Coke and back along the beach admiring the sunset.
Tuesday 16th November:
Well another public holiday today (Muslim holiday). Not sure what this one is called but the government slaughters 200 cows and gives the meat to the poor. True story.
John (the pom) arrived at 8:30am to take me to meet Gerald (another pom) and Julie his wife who live down by our block. I have heard about Gerald but never met him, as he doesn’t come to the Sunday expat gatherings.
I meet Gerald and my summation of him is that he is a very English, well-educated, gentleman. He retired here about 14 years ago with his Filipino wife Julie, after working mostly in the Middle Eastern countries as a microbiologist in hospitals.
He is also a keen hiker and computer programmer so we hit it off quite nicely. I now have two fellow techo’s (Eric & Gerald) to talk shop with which is good. He has hiked this area extensively and once the wet is over (3-4 weeks) he will take me exploring into some new and existing areas. There used to be a hiking club here of expats who would go hiking weekly but it disbanded about 4 years ago. We might have to have a look at getting it going again as there seems to be some interest from a few. For you Sydney folk think SBW……
Back for lunch and we had our first Hungarian sausages (thanks Frank & Rosie) with Malunggay and green Papaya (both picked fresh from our yard) cooked in fresh coconut milk (Guy squeezed it that morning). Very very nice, in fact bloody good and all cooked by Guy.
Then off to Joseph’s Mini-Mart for some Wi-Fi as Guy had loads of emails to sort and get up to date with her school reunion blog as they are having a big reunion in December.
Back home and once again we managed to dodge the afternoon storms. Nice leisurely walk up the beach and dinner of rice and the left over Malunggay and green Papaya. Desert was ripe Papaya and Bananas sprinkled with a little brown sugar, marinated in evaporated milk and chilled in the fridge. All washed down with a nice hot cup of tea.
Wednesday 17th November:
Up and off to the Gasan market this morning for some supplies as Guy is cooking Pork Sinigang with a difference. She used Malunggay, green Papaya and Snake beans and it turned out very very nice indeed.
The boys are working at the cottage today harvesting the coconuts so we snagged four for fresh Buko.
After lunch back to Buenavista and the assessors office to finalize our paper work and pay the final P50 ($1.25 AUS) transfer fee. Well not quite finished yet. We now have to take the final copy of all the paper work to the central office in Boac where they will stamp it and then it is all done. We’ll get that done in the next few days.
Called in and saw Kevin on the way home at his block and he gave us three more Buko. And then Vicki dropped off twelve more Buko this evening. Will get the Buko factory back in operation and freeze up this batch.
We have been drinking some of the last frozen batch and it is very nice. You wouldn’t know that it had been frozen.
Thursday 18th November:
Got the Buko factory line up and going this morning. Got all the Buko processed and in the freezer so we now have a freezer full. Should last us a few days or so.
Guy headed off to Mahjong with Vicki and I headed out exploring with Ron. First stop was Boac as I needed a re-charge for my SMART Pre-Paid broadband and phone.
We then headed to the Pulis (How they spell Police here) headquarters here in Boac. Ron just happens to know a few of the local cops so we did the rounds and he introduced me to them. As Ron says, “Get to know the cops as you might just need them one day”.
Also passed the local Provincial Jail where all the inmates are busy making Christmas decorations. Believe me you would NOT want to get locked up in this establishment.
Then we headed for a house of an American friend of Ron’s (Peter & Melanie (she’s a local)) out behind the airport. Peter works abroad so Melanie is building this beautiful two-story house here on Marinduque. Had a great chat to her about island life and building here before heading home in time for dinner.
Just as we finished preparing dinner at 6:00pm ish off went the power. So at least we had a nice hot dinner in the dark.
Friday 19th November:
Off into Boac this morning to drop off the block paper work to get the final stamp. Will go back on Monday and see how it is progressing. When Guy asked when will it be ready she was informed that it will be ready when it is ready and that will be when it is ready.
Also organized our satellite TV installation for tomorrow. We have been without TV since arriving here in June and we are just now looking forward to it, mainly to see what is happening in the world. We both also enjoy the Discovery, National Geographic and other like channels. The Dream company we are going with has an Australian channel which is mainly news so will be good to catch up on what is going on back in AUS.
The cost is P4,000 ($100.00 AUS) for the equipment and P1,500 ($37.50 AUS) for the installation. Then it is P390 ($9.75 AUS) per month for the service. This is the most popular service here with the expats as it has a good coverage of other country’s news and programs (each country has its own channel). Just a tad cheaper than Foxtel back in AUS………
Guy headed off to Mahjong with Vicki and I hit Barbarossa for some slloowwww broadband access.
Ron was there so had a chat to him and as he left Geoff turned up for a coffee. After finishing my email stuff Geoff and I headed to Ron’s place as he has Dream Satellite TV and I had Ron and Geoff proceed to show me all the features including a very cool old rock radio station that is available.
Then back home and I cooked up some Adobo Pork and some of these little local sausages that you cook the same way as the Pork. These were devoured with rice and the left over Malunggay.
Guy arrived home one very happy person as she had her biggest win so far at Mahjong. So with a big win, some very yummy dinner and a cold Buko, life is pretty dam good.
Saturday 20th November:
Got an email from our dear friend Lisa P today where she noted that she enjoyed short periods of time relaxing and long periods of time running like a hamster. Guy and I noted we enjoy short periods of time running like a hamster and long periods of time relaxing. Lisa, I think we might have finally got it right……..
Cherry and her daughter arrived for the washing day. Cherry was limping badly and on closer inspection noted that her ankle was all swelled up from a sprain. I was able to give a few anti-inflammatory pills to hopefully help with the swelling and pain.
I spent the morning doing the weekly rubbish burn up. Took ages as everything (the coconut palm leaves I use to burn) is damp from the regular afternoon rains. Also did a tidy up round the incinerator and organized everything so the dried coconut palms are now off the wet ground and stacked so they drain in the rain.
The satellite guy turned up and was only about one hour late. Then right in the middle of setting up the dish the afternoon storm hit and it rained solid for an hour or so. But once the rain cleared we got the dish zeroed in and we now have TV.
Watched the AUS channel, which had the ABC news on, so was good to see some news from back in AUS. Now have 32 channels with about five that are okay. But it does this really cool old Rock Radio station with no ads.
Life is good.
Trevor & Guy