Sunday, 26 November 2017

Back at Redwoods... and out of Grass Residences

I'm writing this late afternoon on Sunday. We had quite an eventful evening yesterday. The four friends were going back to their home in Malabon and the plan was to drop me off at Grass Residences to drop in the key and receive the refund which had been agreed with the owner in Dubai. Unfortunately she didn't tell her mum who manages the apartment. And, as we approached Grass Residences, my friends decided that they wanted to join me for a meal in our favourite roof-top restaurant rather than go directly home. Naturally, in the back of my mind was the cynical thought that they wanted free nosh, but I liked the idea also. A meal for 5 costs about 20 euros which is about what I spend on myself back in Spain.
It soon became evident that the owner's mum was too far away to change her plans and meet me that night. She suggested next day but I didn't want to make the journey again until Nomel came up with the obvious solution for me to sleep in the apartment (room) and meet mum next day. Which is what I did.
After the meal, Nomel suggested sharing a bucket of beer but in fact the offer was a "tower" of beer which is a vertical tube filled with beer.

I think we were all rather tired - I was for sure - and it ended up quite expensive, almost as much as the meal before-hand. I think I said before, restaurants add VAT and a service charge afterwards, so the price can be something of a shock. After that, I went back to the room to sleep and the others continued on their journey to Malabon. Taxis are incredibly cheap here, so it is not expensive to send them on their way with 350 pesos. It is not much more than 5 euros. I just wish they would say, "Thank you," a little more often because I can easily get the impression that they are taking me for granted. But if I mention it to Nomel, he convinces me that it is not the case. He probably doesn't convince you! In reality, apart from the cost of the acommodation, I am spending much the same as I spend in Girona from day to day, except that I am paying for 4 people (sometimes 5). So that's not a bad deal is it? The other interesting point is that I am using the debit card of my bank in the UK. I have two private pensions which arrive in Barclays Bank in UK Pounds so it makes sense to do one converstion from UKL to Pesos rather than use my regular Spanish account which obviously involves a double conversion. I get 67 pesos for my UKL and 60 pesos from 1 euro, not a big difference. I just noticed that the UK Pound has dropped to about 1.1 euros. My State Pension arrives in my Spanish account directly in euros; they handle the currency conversion.

This is a flash-back, so I've written it in italics! One occasion was rather difficult. As I mentioned, we had been looking online for a washing machine for mum and Nomel was insisting on something cheap, a twin-tub, plastic. Sometimes I would suggest a machine and he would say, "But that's expensive!" In the end I found one in the shopping mall which I thought was brilliant value. Single tub and not plastic. As I left to pay for the machine at Customer Services, Nomel was by a cosmetics counter and he said, "We will buy some makeup". We met at the checkout and they had gone a bit crazy, there were bottles of lotion, lipstick, I have no idea. They stood aside for me to pay but I said, "No". It was about 2000 pesos. We had to empty out the bag and get credits on the till. This was obviously very humiliating for them but I thought maybe it would be a harsh lesson that I am not an ATM with unlimited resources. Later I felt bad about it and gave Nomel 1000 for cosmetics (1000 pesos is about 16 euros).Obviously I was a little annoyed that I had been away at the time paying for the washing machine, had I been there, I could have stopped their bonanza at source. But don't get the wrong impression, we have a great time together and this episode was quickly forgotten. Or forgiven, I think I mean. If it was forgotten, I wouldn't be writing about it would I??
Back to this morning (Sunday 26th), I woke to an empty flat with an empty fridge so I went down to a supermarket to buy some fruit juice and some cake. Then I had a welcome coffee in Starbucks when it opened at 10am, the same time as the adjacent shopping mall. I slept a little in the room, met the mother of the owner at 1pm and handed over the key. She promised that they would send the refund by Western Union tomorrow (Monday).
And, so here I am back at Redwoods, on my own, still feeling rather tired. A problem that I have always had is that my nervous energy keeps me going when I should be taking a rest and sometimes I get over-tired. I feel wide awake but in fact I am very tired, I don't get warning bells, as it were! I have been feeling cold symptoms for a few days, maybe airconditionitis but I have no temperature, I feel fine. Sometimes I think it is a symtom of stress or tiredness. I hope I can relax on the beach this week, away from the big city.
I will put some more photos here from the past two days. We had fun with makeup one evening!! The glasses are for effect, not real, they have plane glass in them, I bought them very cheaply in Bangkok and I think they make me look like a school-mistress! The extended jeeps are called "jeepneys" and I think they are exclusive to the Philippines. They are basically modified US Army jeeps.
There is a huge 7-lane highway which connects the two locations and along the way, there are one or two spectacular churches.
It is now 5pm on Sunday afternoon and I will go swimming now! I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures.
I don't mention the weather very often but it is very pleasant, not more than 30c during the day and about 25c in the evenings. Nothing like ther heat and humidity of Bangkok. And I see one European or American once a day maybe. Generally, I am the only non-asian here, in Quezon City, Manila. Well, it's hardly a tourist resort. Things will be different in Bantayan, lots of Europeans go there for holidays.

These photos are of Nomelyn and her mum. Plus me of course, but not as you've seen me before!! 

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