Putanga – Life on the Road

Stories from my journeys around the world…

Two new weeks in the Philippines

Posted by Monica Johansen on September 15, 2009

The last few days have been very stressful, and unfortunately I don’t handle stress very well. What typically will happen is that the more stressed I am the more I forget and the less I manage to get done. Hence, the result was that when I left Singapore to fly to Manila on Sunday afternoon I managed to forget my security token on the coffee table at home, which means that I would have no access to corporate email while away. When the gate opened at the airport we were suddenly informed that takeoff was delayed due to issues with the radar in Manila, and I was actually hoping that the entire trip would be delayed to the next day so that I could go home and pick up my token, but naturally I wasn’t that lucky. The plane was “only” delayed for one hour, and I arrived in Manila around 9:45 PM.

Since I am away for the next two weeks I had to solve the email problem quickly, so I contacted the IT department in Singapore on Monday morning, and luckily they had a spare token they could send me. I am still waiting for the token to arrive, and to be honest I am not looking forward to all the emails I have to reply to when it arrives.

Greenbelt Park, Manila

Greenbelt Park, Manila

On the plane to Manila I was sitting next to a very nice German guy, named Bernhard, who I ended up talking with for the entire trip. Not only did we discover that we were staying at the same hotel, but we also found out that we were visiting the same customer. The world is very small sometime, almost too small… Anyway, since I usually watch a movie or listen to music on my flights, I had taken out my Bose headphones from my bag and placed them in the seat pouch to use after takeoff. However, I never used them during the trip, and I forgot all about taking them out, so when I finally arrived in Manila and checked into my hotel room I discovered that they were gone. First I tried to call Singapore Airlines, but it was impossible to get through on the phone. Secondly I tried to find a phone number to the international airport in Manila, but there were no numbers displayed on the web page. Lastly I run down to the reception and asked them for help. They had a phone number they could call, and manage to get hold of someone at the airport. I was then asked to go upstairs and wait for them to contact me.

Around midnight I received a phone call in my room from someone at the airport. The man told me that they had found my headphones and he could deliver them at around 1:30 AM to my room. I asked him to leave it in the reception since it was getting late and I had a morning meeting the next day, but in the morning I went down to the reception and happily discovered that my headphones were waiting for me behind the counter. Thanks Heaven there is still a few honest people in this world. I mean, it is no major disaster to lose the headphones, but they are quite expensive and buying new ones would be out of the question.

Last night Bernhard and I decided to meet for dinner, and we ended up in a seafood restaurant in Greenbelt Park called Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. Anyone who has seen the movie Forest Gump will know where the name comes from, and the theme was quite consistent, because the movie was rolling on the TV over and over again, and there were pictures from the movie everywhere. The food was awesome, so we both ate a lot, and after dinner we went to a Cuban bar near by with live music and a dance floor full of people. The music was loud, even though we were sitting outside, and when you try having a conversation you end up getting a very soar throat after a while. Today my voice is pretty reduced, and I don’t even drink alcohol or smoke. I can only imagine how people must feel the next day when they drink and smoke in these places.

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