Day 1037 of retirement

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Hi All

Saturday 8th December:

At 10:00am I made my way into Gasan to Gil’s place where the Hiking Association of Marinduque (HAM) was having its monthly meeting. Present was Gerald, Gil, Manny and myself with Gil’s visitor Colin (American) sitting in for a while.

We discussed ways to inform and encourage visitors to the island to see the countryside that you don’t see from a vehicle. We talked of ways to advertise, accommodate and provide a great experience for visitors while making it sustainable and beneficial for locals in the villages.

The outcome for today is for Gil to design our HAM logo (for tee shirts and advertising material), Gerald to formulate a walks program we can put on the website (http://hamclub12.wordpress.com), Manny to prepare a short YouTube video and I will gather info from other hiking websites that we may be able to use.

Gil described it well by saying that at the moment we have a bowl of spaghetti in front of us and are now slowly sorting out the noodles.

I arrived home at midday just as Guy was off to Mahjong.

After lunch I made my way to Google IT to post the blog.

I finished reading my 74th book of the year “AirFrame” by Michael Crichton (Kindle Book). A great story about aircraft incident investigation and corruption.

Sunday 9th December:

No Thunder Monster wash today. She will get her makeover on Tuesday just before we leave for AUS.

I headed to Google IT at 11:15am but they we closed (don’t know why) so it was back to the cottage.

I dropped Guy off at Mahjong at midday and made my way to the Barbarossa for the expat gathering. I had forgotten that it was the Manny Pacquiao (Filipino boxer) fight in Las Vegas today. The Barbarossa had two TVs setup and was full of locals watching the fight.

After a few texts the expats moved our gathering across the road to a nice quiet café. And to make things worse Manny was knocked out so the Philippines are in mourning tonight.

We had a brownout from 5:45pm to 8:45pm (3-hours) to finish off the night. Guy arrived home just after midnight from her Mahjong game.

Monday 10th December:

A leisurely morning as I laid out my stuff for the AUS trip (We leave the island on Wednesday and the Philippines on Sunday). Has been a while since I’ve had to pack for a trip away that required something more than shorts and tee shirt. I actually broke out a jumper that I haven’t worn in nearly 3-years.

Guy will do her packing tomorrow (she’s not as anally retentive as me)…

After lunch we rode into town and she made a hairdresser appointment for tomorrow morning. I then dropped her of at Mahjong for the afternoon / evening.

I cruised up and saw Ron (Yank). He is just back from Manila from one of his checkups and is feeling a bit crook. He had a bit of a cold and now has high blood pressure so isn’t the best. He is 78 years old mind you.

Then off to Google IT and got all our travel documents printed off ready for the trip. Some quick Wi-Fi and it was back home to back up my MacBook.

Once backed up to a 1TB USB drive I took it up to Gerald’s and swapped it for drive number two. Number one will stay here (with Gerald) and number 2 will come with us to AUS and used to do periodic back ups while we are there.

Guy arrived home just after 12:30am from her Mahjong game.

Tuesday 11th December:

We had a visit from John (Pom) at 9:00am for a cup of tea and a chat. At 10:00am Manny dropped in to deliver me a video clip to post on YouTube from one of our walks.

At 10:30am Guy was off to the hairdresser for a cut and colour. The boys left at the same time.

I gave the Thunder Monster a good wash and wax and tucked her away in the cottage for the next 6 weeks. Also defrosted the fridge and sorted out the last of my packing for AUS.

Guy was back at 1:00pm with lunch. We had a lovely little brownout at 2:00pm, which lasted till 2:30pm (30 minutes).

We were all packed up by 3:30pm so decided to catch the JAC Liner bus on the road at 4:30pm (and travel all night) rather than wait till the morning.

So just after 4:30pm we caught the bus and headed off to Cawit Port. The Ro-Ro was an hour later leaving so it was 9:00pm by the time we left. There was also another brownout from 5:30pm to 8:00pm (2.5 hours) but didn’t worry us this time.

Just after midnight we arrived in Lucena Port and it was back on the bus for the trip to Manila. We arrived at 4:00am ish and managed to get a Trike to Guy’s Mum’s / Sister’s place. We crashed at 4:30am some 12 hours after leaving the cottage.

Wednesday 12th December:

We slept till 10:30am and with us both managing some snoozing on the bus / Ro-Ro we didn’t feel too bad.

After brunch with Guy’s mum we made our way to the Quezon City Malls (3 Malls in one place). We need to visit all three malls to get done what we wanted to do which turned into a bit of a hike.

At 5:00pm we caught a cab back to Guy’s mums and dumped all our gear. We decided to go into Makati to see the Xmas lights and had the choice of spending 2-hours in a cab (Rush hour) or catch the MRT (Light Rail Train) which would only take 30 minutes but spend that time like a sardine packed into the train.

We opted for the MRT and it was a wise choice as we passed the gridlocked traffic below us. We wandered round Makati and looked at all the lights and enjoyed a fantastic light show that was set to Xmas carols music and lasted about 10 minutes.

On our way back to the train station we indulged in Kentucky Fried Chicken for dinner. We arrived back home at 9:30pm starting to feel just a little bushed so an early night was had by all as we have another big day out tomorrow.

Thursday 13th December:

Up and off to Divisoria this morning with Anajoy (Guy’s niece) and Remy (Guy’s cousin). We are training up Anajoy as an angel wing buyer for Rebecca back in Adelaide (AUS) who sells them on her website for kids’ clothes.

After a Trike, LRT (Train) and Jeepney ride we arrived in Divisoria. Now this is a part of Manila where you can buy anything from food to building fixtures to clothes to medical supplies and of course angel wings. OOohhh today’s special was a pack of 100 urine specimen containers.

It is wall to wall people and prime pickpocket territory. I had my decoy wallet setup in place but it wasn’t needed. Remy was our guide and after forging our way through the crowds we finally found the wings.

It was lunch at Jollibee’s and then Anajoy and Remy stayed on in Divisoria and Guy and I tried to walk out to find a cab. After some wandering we weren’t sure where we were so we caught a pedal trike that took us out of the market area to catch a cab to Greenhills Mall.

Once at Greenhills we got what we were after which was mainly DVDs for Jo and Jordan in AUS. We went back to the same guys we have been seeing for the past 3 years as they now know us and look after us and give a “good” price and tell us if a DVD is sub standard……. We left with another 60 odd DVD’s for the kids.

After a yummy Thai dinner at “The Banana Leaf”, we made our way home (after waiting for over an hour in the cab rank).

On the Jeepney today going to Divisoria a 12 year old ish beggar boy got on and handed everybody a little red envelope to put “donations” in.

Everybody just sat there thinking why would I give to this kid.

The boy then sat down at the back of the Jeepney and started singing.

He had the most amazing voice that stunned us all. It was beautiful.

Needless to say, we all put coins in the envelopes for this amazing young man. He then disappeared back into the traffic never to be seen again.

Every one on the Jeepney smiled at each other (All strangers) as it made our day.

I’ll never forget this young talented man……..

Friday 14th December:

After breakfast it was off to the bank round the corner as Guy have issues with her ATM card. Had a chat to the bank and it turned out to be a combination of the banks ATM system being down and Guy using the wrong PIN. Luckily she didn’t loose her card as she only tried twice with the wrong PIN. Apparently it is three wrong PINs and the card is captured by the ATM.

Then in a cab off to the three Malls in Quezon City. We started at the Trinoma Mall first.

It is four levels and is shaped a bit like a wagon wheel with corridors going everywhere. We split up and while Guy shopped I wandered through the whole complex, as I have never actually done this before. It was an interesting walk.

We meet up for lunch in mall two (EDSA North) and then set ourselves up in Starbucks for the afternoon with very slow Wi-Fi and Chai Lattes.

We had a smallish dinner and hit the cab line at 6:00pm to go home. Well it was approximately a two-hour wait in the cab line (It was longgggg) so we went back inside to a little café (They served real tea) and waited.

At 8:15pm we tried again for a cab and after an hours wait we managed to get a cab home.

Three more sleeps and we are in AUS.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

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