I awoke in my new home on Sunday morning, 21 floors up, with the sounds of Manila waking up. I was rather down emotionally, I thought I had compounded my one mistake with another. Travelling around has been so difficult it has made me feel rather pressured. And Manila is not Bangkok. In Bangkok, there are the three types of Metro which cover the main part of the city very well. Manila is rather like Bangkok was when I visited it in the 1990s. It is a huge city, the traffic is very slow and I quickly realised that The Redwoods was far too far out of town for my friends to visit me. But now I woke to a very small room, basically what they call a flat. A joke surely. The single bedroom is simply part of the room partitioned off, with a sliding door which doesn't slide. I made some breakfast and felt a whole lot better. But unfortunately it seems that I cannot wriggle out of paying virtually in full for the apartment in The Redwoods and I was beginning to regret leaving. But my friends would never have come to see me there. Although we had checked out, it was still basically mine. And (later I discovered) this small room is only about 400 euros for 20 days. The owner gave me a 1 day discount because of the troubles getting registered yesterday and it was less than I was expecting anyway. The person managing the room came with the bill for me at 5pm (which I insisted on, she just wanted to show me the amount on her phone yesterday). I had asked for a meal in compensation but we gave up waiting. She said that they came with a meal at 6pm. 6pm!! We gave up and went to the supermarket long before that. There was no attempt to contact me. She said she didn't have my phone number but all she had to do was ask the owner in Dubai to send me a message. I was in contact with her by WhatsApp at the time. I gave her my (Phils) phone number.
So, I have two apartments in Manila and one in Spain. I will go back to Redwoods when I need a bit of tranquillity... and space. And the apartment manager, Nancy and the owner, Rio in Dubai have been so very kind to me. This room has a bad feeling because the arrival was so traumatic. I have to admit I got very angry and frustrated and lost my temper at one stage (but apologised later).
But, after breakfast, I went swimming and that was superb. The pool is 50m long but only 4 lanes wide, so it appears longer than 50m. I then went out to discover the area around Grass Residences, that was terrific! My spirits raised greatly. This is what it is all about really. Travelling like this has its risks. Things go wrong. But it is enormous fun when things go right. I accept the double booking as one of the risks. Bangkok has many visitors from abroad, tourists. Manila appears to have none. They all go to the islands and the beaches. And Manila is very difficult to navigate. But I have discovered trains, a bus station near by. There is not even a Metro map, I had to draw it by hand from my computer screen! In fact, there are 3 Metro lines. I also discovered a bus that goes to Bulacan which is way to the north of Manila near the sea. So that is definitely on the agenda.
The novelty of having two ladyboys in tow is a little stressful. To be on my own this morning was really great, I could wander around and make discoveries at my own speed. I stopped for a coffee and cheesecake in Starbucks. It was about the same price as in Barcelona. I am writing this as I wait for Nomel and his mum to arrive (they are coming by taxi). Samantha (real name Joshua) is coming too. Are they an item I wonder. Nomel is gay and he says he likes straight men and Joshua is definitely not that. But I challenge him when he says that, because a straight man would be in for a big surprise if he is expecting the usual female apparatus! I cannot imagine a straight man being attracted to a ladyboy unless she has had the full works! Operated, I mean. And Nomel doesn't intend to do that - it scares him. Anyway, it is expensive. Maybe people think that I'm gay, with my blue fingernails and unisex clothes, but being trans is quite different. I love women. Mon in Bangkok was really attractive to me. I even thought about spending time in Bangkok on my way back but changing flights would be expensive. And I have an appointment for a regular checkup on 14th December in my local health centre which I have put off since October due to my travelling so much, so I can't delay that again.