Thursday, November 09, 2006

Where is this place?

If you are comming from the outside, locate the Milky Way galaxy.

"Simply" head for the blue best looking planet:


Locate "Asia" to the right here, head for the spot in the green circle

Here is a closer look at asia and the image also show the weather situation right now

We are heading for The Philippines, again the green circle.

Head for "Manila" (The red spot)

From the airport, head for the pin named "Greenbelt Park place" (in Makati)

When in Makati, locate "Ayala avenue" (every taxi driver knows the place)

Finally, head for C.Palanca and "Greenbelt Parkplace".
Here you also see the nearby malls, Greenbelt, The Landmark, Glorietta

Shanghai / Spring rolls

So I have learned how to make these mysterious rolls that we can find back home in chinese restaurants.

Together with pepper, seasoning, soya sauce, egg and ground pork it made the fillings.

The wrapper felt like a mix of pancake, paper and added rolls aroma. They were all clinged together and taking them apart took some time.
The making of rols:
1. Lumpia - roll wrapper on the plate, then add some filling
2. "Roll" it, then before completing add som egg white to glue the roll to itself

The tools: pile of wrappers, egg white, fillings. Ready made rolls

Then fry in oil until golden brown.

The finished product :-) Mmmmmmm

We ate it with ketchup as seen to the right in this image.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Cucurachi - Cockroach in the house!

Life is good, I'm sitting in my pyjamas enjoying eating a good dinner with ice cold beer on the side!

Then something is tickling on my belly and towards my chest...... AAAAAAaa OO OOO OO *waving both arms wildly towards the tickling thingy* AAAAAaaaaaaah SHIT! OMG! Brrrrr! And there on the floor it was, a cockroach lying on it's back strugling to get back on its feet. It never made it!
My hartbeat jumped faster in rate that it's done in a long long time :-D

Probably it understood there was someone feasting in food and climbed up my pyjamas covered legs wanting to join in. (And we live way above ground, never thought this thing would be a problem...)

New things and old things

This living far away from home things gives me a lot of new experiences.

Recently I tries a waterfree urinal, for some reason it didn't smell pee as it does in many urinals with running water, it also said it saved 15000 liters of waer a year. (Hurray!!)

I also learned that ants find their way up two the 20th floor in a new building, yes we have a small ant problem... (and most of the units in this building are still not occupied)

My name is Joe, or at least it would be convenient. "Hey Joe!" I've heard, and they mean something like "Hey Mr. White guy!". Joe is like the general term for Americans and to many I look American, hence I'm "Joe" :)Typically they just wanna grab my attention and wave, just being friendly.

English was not long ago (some years) added as an official language together with Tagalog, so this country now has two official languages, just like in Norway have two official languages (both are norwegian ;) ). So if you work in any local authority office you have to reply a letter you recieve in the same language.

Most/many people in Manila (Especialy in Makati) area like to speak "Taglish". Taglish is a combination of Tagalog and English, and the less centralised the less English is spoken. It's amazing how you can sit and eavesdrop to a Taglish conversation and almost understand what they're talking about. I've done this especially at Starbucks (Coffee shop with wi-fi connection). In locations close to businesses where they probably are dealing with international clients it's more and more english in the conversations ;) - And they speak as if the foreign guy (Joe) at the next table can't understand ;)

Smoking cigarettes is for the "rich" people, it's a way here to show that you are well off. Too bad!Especially women is smoking, very few men compared to women, here in the business area that is at least.

Phillipinos speaks in general well english, and just like in any other country where it's not their first spoken language one pretend to understand you even though he/she might not. E.g. the security guy in the reception here where we live is smiling and nodding when I speak, now I have learned to understand from his funny smile that he is not really understanding, just being "polite" ;-)

Gesticulation is the most powerfull language I have learned so far!

I have always dissliked washing clothes, back home I waited until I had very few clothes left and then washed all at the same time and it went like this:- Fill up the machine with clothes, start it and hang up clothes for drying after 1-2 hours.

Now I disslike it even more ;)- We have only cold water so we have to use a cleaning service now and then to get it properly clean.- The machine takes very few clothes; do it more often.- It's semi-manual; adding soap and water, draining the water, squeeze out water from the clothes, add more water for cleansing the soap from the clothes, draining, doing it all over again, then a last time squeezing before putting into the "spinner" before hanging up for drying.

At home in Norway I live in the 3rd floor, it's the "penthouse", here I live in the 20th floor, and its just about half way up the building! There are 39 floors here but in reality its 36 (allthough the first floor / ground floor has a very tall ceiling). 13 is missing due to bad luck...........

Here is from the left hand side view out the window.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Free internet and powerfailure

Yeasterday we found a starbucks that has free internet (not adverticed, it just work...)
With high spirits hoping from free access today as well, I had just finished my breakfast; Stopped to buy a "0% fat 0% sugar" icecream, looked really good, the lady serving it was very friendly too ;-), so I went for "Tall" (Medium size).
She forgot to put my fruit (banana) in before the ice cream so it ended up on top, then she added some more ice cream (pink color) on top, then chocolate syrup, yes it spilled over the cup and I ate at the counter using toilet paper to clean it up, until no more could spill.

So anyway, I was carrying this healthy ice cream which tastes a bit like flour, but still "ok" on my way to "free internet star bucks café". Going into the underground passage to to cross the street the lights were all out, small emergency lights (that is present all over the country, running on batteries) were on. I started to get a bad feeling, yes, starbucks was dark!
"No coffee, only ice tea & ice coffee for the moment po!" ("Po" is when speaking polite to someone)

Opening the laptop still hoping, but no, the wi-fi is of course down as well. Having thousands of thing to do online I now feel a bit helpless. Oh well, lets write this blog entry instead :)

So here I'm sitting, feeling the nice cool air slowly changing to the same temperature as outside, my stumack full of spicy chicken from "Pinoy sizzlers" (really good) and topped with pink ice cream. Here is a picture of what's left of the "0% bad stuff" candy and my cup of water. Also you can see a "dead" star bucks, not much happening here now.

Aaah I'm sweating!

Here they have security gards opening and closing the doors, what does he do now? He opens the door to stand and chat to his colleague - Letting a warm wind in my face, I wave him over and ask him to close the door, his colleague leaves and he goes back and.. oh yes, he opens the door, like thats what I asked him..
AaaaaI'm sweating! :-D
(So I asked him again and he left to do something else, e.g. pick up garbage from the tables here. Now He's back at the transparent glass door, opening it looking out, as it he can not see through class. I give up! ;)

Found another place with electricity so here I am publishing this blog ;-P


Friday, September 29, 2006

The first typhoon experience

Yeasterday there was a typhoon here! It was the first typhoon experience I've had, so I was a bit excited :)
This stuff I had only seen on TV.

Before going to bed the day before it said on the news that a typhoon was on its way, it ranges in strength from 1-4 (after 4 it becomes an hurricane), the TV said Metro Manila would be hit with strength 2.

As we woke up there was a "noise" outside, we figured it could some signboard fluttering in the wind. Going to the reception people was talking a bit loud and mentioning a flooded hallway.

Correct, the back entrance was flodded with water, one guy was holding the door shut. I had to go in there and see how it looked.

It was first too much rain inside the 10 meter long hallway that I didn't take a picture, but as you can see I changed my mind after some time ;-)

You can also see people hiding from the weather here.

Outside we found the "noise", as you can see.

We wanted to take a cab to Starbucks in central Makati, no taxi driver would go there as the road to there was flodded. So we took the bus. Trafic was slow and trees was "lying all over the place" :)

Here you can get an idea of how windy and rainy it was, it also shows a big structure for signboards. Taking down the signboards is a standard precaution before typhoons.

And on this picture you can see some guys working to take down a smaller signboard (probably they thought it wasn't neccessary at first)

The aftermath. A park in Metro Manila.

Now the second day we can see even bushes still bending the way the wind blew yeasterday. basically all trees (except a few palm trees) are bent that way.
No electricity in big areas, luckily the malls or similar have power generators.

We love Starbucks ;) (Here I am working outside a closed starbucks having bought some wi-fi credit)

We bought an extension for the power outlet and it's HIT at various coffee shops with wi-fi connection. (Now crowded with people in need of an internet connection)

We are in good shape!

An small article about the event.

A series of pictures from the destructions

Some people from Kristiansand (my hometown) helping people in need

(editing the third day after)
We have learned that "all" the hotels are fully booked as most residential areas here and also nearby provinces are without electricity.

In general this seems aaalmost like a normal event for people here, if this was back home if would be "really bad". One fact is of course that its warmer here and you wount die from the cold here.. Today the generator where we stay "went down", no worries, and later on it was back on :)

Still in good shape!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

"The trip", part 2. Sagada

Next stop was Sagada in the Mountain province

As you can see the weather was not at it's best this day, and this picture is not lying, we could haaardly see the yellow divider line in the middle of road and still the bus was going at normal (if not even faster) speed. Sagada is in the mountans, so the road was going up up and up, hence the fog(clouds) and the road was mostly hairpin bends.

In this picture here we are actually passing another vehicle in this bad weather and bendy road. Good thing the bus had a horn to alert others...

This was the first time I was freezing, honey too :)

Some more pictures of this "exciting" trip :)

Here is were I get excited! A car litterally filled with (Chinese) cabbage.

CR = Comfort room, or "toilet", it's usually a water closet, but you might have to pour the water yourself, and there might not be any water around, and by all means having your own tissue/paper for wiping is really good! So why they call it a "comfort" room I don't know...
Probably because it's always nice taking a dump regardless of the place :-D

At Sagada it was raining heavily but it ended just before we had to leave for our next destination. So from Lonely Planet we learned about the "Hanging coffins" and set out to find them.

Here we are passing by the stone church on our coffin expedition.

The surroundings combined with the weather made it a bit spooky.
Here passing through the semetary.

Narrow pathways leading up to view over the valley with the hanging coffins.

In the end (probably after passing several ghosts) we found the hanging coffins! :-) Here you see them hanging high up in the mountain side on two different locations. Unfortunately we didn't have time to go over to them.

Here you see Sagada center, we stayed in the peach coloured building at the back, and our ride out of here was the blue jeepney to the right. From Sagada we went on a long journey to Banaue, Bagabag and then Tuguegarao were we again slept in a bed :) See Part 3

Saturday, September 16, 2006

"The trip", part 1. Se-Bay + Baguio

So our trip starts, heading for "Se-Bay" a surf resort just outside of San Fernando in the Province La Union.

This pic is not from the very beginning but it's a typical one ;-)

This is how our first room looked like, one of the few at this resort having a double bed. (It was terrible by the way ;-) )

Beginners and more experienced surfers were out in the waves, here is a picture of a normal day when we visited the place, the waves were not too big. The sea temperature warm, easily 26 degrees celcius, nice! :) After a total surfing experience of 1,5 hours, and a big smile from the good start we went on to Baguio city.

(A river with fish pens on the way)

Here is our dinner one day, it's equivalent to less than 10 NOK, the cheapest dinner so far.

As I'm very sensitive for sound/noise as I can't sleep if there is too much of it (my place back home in norway is very quiet) so we usually asked for a quiet place/hotel wherever we came, so in Baguio we was recomended the Henricos hotel, ok it was quiet... at night!

But at close to 06:00 AM this %#¤=!@&* rooster was next to our room (picture taken from bathroom window), cock-a-doodle-doooooooo - cock-a-doodle-doooooo. We moved to a new hotel after that! ;) Hehe I can laugh now, actually I laughed then as well, but with a very tired face :-p

I wasn't the only one annoyed by the sound, if you look close enough there is "something" lying in bed hidden under the pillow and blankets :-D

Exploring the spots in Baguio city the we had to check to underwear on the statues. We are on our way to Burnham park here.

Baguio Cathedral.

This is me in the future with a walking stick (and an axe ;) ), taken in one of the many souvenier shops at the city market.

It was a rainy day and here is the main street of Baguio.

More warrior fun at the city market shops :) Pretending to be two Warriors :)