Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breaths away.
Saturday, July 31, 2004
The 'Food I currently overdose on so to hell
with my diet' post
I was so happy when I found this at Pioneer Center where I do most of my grocery shopping. I was in the mood for some ice cream and lo and behold I found my favorite flavor - Mint Chocolate Chips. I was all set to buy it when I realized that the 525 ml cost P320!!! *Gasps* It's a good thing I checked the price! So I got the next size which is about the size of a yogurt. A tiny 132 ml for P90. Geezus!!! Add P10 more and I would have loaded my cellphone with P100 worth of phone credits. Oh who cares? I rather have zero phone credit. It's not like I have people to send SMS on a daily basis except my parents. SO there I bought the ice cream. I take one small teaspoon of it and control myself from finishing the whole thing in just 5 seconds. *Sighs* But at least now I know where to buy them. Yipppeeee!
If last month all I craved for were the chicken burgers at Carl's Jr. Nowadays, I'm into hotdogs. Jollibee's Jolly Hotdogs, Purefood's German Franks and
Their spicy and foot long hotdogs are so meaty and juicy. So whenever I'm at Edsa Shangri-la Plaza, I always buy them for dinner. Thank God they also have a Sabrett stall at Rustan's supermarket in Rockwell. So instead of BBQ popcorn, I'll have hotdogs while watching movies at Rockwell cinemas.
This is my workstation at home. See the printer at the right side of the picture? It is a Canon S530D model which I redeemed through my Amex rewards points. Totally free. So all my spending and charging to my AMEX card paid off real good. But I got it months ago. If I'm not mistaken sometime in 2003. Well I finally hooked it up to my PC with the cable. I loaded the printer cartridges which I bought in Singapore. I also installed the drivers and the software. Yeah baby yeah. I can now print some pictures, as soon as I figure out the correct procedure. The funny thing is when it prints something, my whole table shakes. It makes me dizzy because the monitor moves. I get cross eyed. (naduduling ako) LOL
'For the most cautious man on Earth, life is about to get interesting'
I watched this movie today at Power Plant Cinema 5, Rockwell. It was relatively a short movie but it had its funny moments. Hank Azaria's Claude character was hilarious. Nailed it to a T right down to the French accent. Ben Stiller absolutely reminds me of an ex even the way he walks. But he somewhat lacked a witty sense of humor. I meant my ex. Not Ben Stiller. LOL
Polly Prince: "I've been living my life, okay? I've been in good relationships and I've been in shitty ones... and I've moved alot... and I've been happy, and I've been sad... and I've been lonely... and that is what I've been doing. Which is a lot more then I can say for some freak, who thinks he's gonna get the Ebola virus from a bowl of mixed nuts"
At this point in my life, I live by the above line which was uttered by Polly, Jennifer Aniston's character. Only thing is ... I haven't met my very own freak ... yet. Oh well!
Still in a funny mode I've been back since Wednesday.
For a week, I over ate, got wasted (just once), shopped like I was in a race, walked till my feet bled, spent money like I won a million dollars.
Activities I haven't done in my 3 years of sedentary life back here in jolly old Pinas.
It felt good. I felt 'alive' so to speak.
Nowadays I still wake up craving for prawn mee/seafood Hor Fun & Choco Mint ice cream.
Even though I didn't even hop on a single bus nor the MRT in Singapore this time around, I still wish it was that easy to be 'mobile' here.
It felt good to walk even though I would be the last person to do so.
HMR is just across the street from where I live but I haven't been there because I rather go somewhere where I my sister can drive to.
Now I need to find space for all the items I bought. They are still laying in their ziplock bags scattered all over my room.
I have 3 issues of Time Magazine to read.
1 week back issues of Philippine Star to sort through.
I still haven't finished "The Da Vinci Code"
I have to clean the house because it looks like a whirlwind swept through it.
I HAVE to find work projects so I can pay off my debt.
I need to do my laundry.
I have to go grocery shopping to replenish the empty fridge and pantry.
I need to clear my inbox of all the emails S sent me.
I MUST lose weight so that when the barkada will meet again in October I don't look like a beached whale.
I have to go to the bank to deposit a few cheques I received in the mail which would eventually just go towards paying for my new shoes. LOL
But I rather sit here and read up on other people's blogs and my favorite websites.
Post about my vacation which I did at record breaking speed.
I didn't know it could cause my brain to freeze researching on the internet if all the places/stores/restaurants I visited in Bangkok and Singapore had official websites.
So scroll down and read about my adventures ok?
Now if I don't blog for a while I think you would understand.
But before I log off, let me share this email I got from an egroups:
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.
We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.
Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.
Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.
Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.
Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there any more.
Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
Amazing Race 5 Episode 3 Thank God for reruns. If not I would have missed last week's episode of TAR 5.
They show it again on Sundays at 7 p.m both on AXN & Studio 23.
Just when I was all set to root for Jim & Marsha they get eliminated.
Tough Luck with the flight bookings.
Colin & Christie => I don't like the way he talks to her.
Marshall & Lance => are the loud, brash American tourists you avoid at all cost whenever you visit a new place. The types you see at the Colosseum in Rome, Italy shouting "wow this is cool just like in "Gladiator" Idiots!
Karli & Kami => dumb blondes who don't have the presence of mind to cross over the swallow part of the lake to reach the pit stop.
Linda & Karen => they both squeal way too much!
Bob & Joyce => they always make a big deal about being the oldest team in the race. Yeah well so what?
Brandon & Nicole => I just don't like them.
Chip & Kim => they seem harmless so far.
Mirna & Charla => they are cute in an annoying way. I find it hilarious that Mirna makes a big fuss about seeing Phil at the pit stop.
My 'favorite' quote for this episode:
"I need a doctoro"
7:30 a.m - had breakfast for the last time at Starlight Cafe, Oxford Hotel
10 a.m - last minute shopping at Raffles City
1 p.m - checked out of Oxford Hotel
2 p.m - early check in at Changi Airport counter Terminal 2
2:30 p.m - late lunch at food court, 3rd floor. My last serving of prawn mee!
3 p.m - roamed through the duty free shops, book store, food outlets.
4 p.m - boarded at Gate E28
4:55 p.m - SQ 076 leaves Changi Airport for Manila
6 p.m - dinner (pan fried fish fillet with white wine sauce, ratatouille and potatoes with salad of green been, potato and tomato in vinaigrette. Ice cream for dessert. Red wine) is served
6:25 p.m - watched "Taking Lives" with Angelina Jolie & Ethan Hawke but fell asleep towards the end of said movie. LOL
8:20 p.m - this announcement:
Steward - "Ladies and Gentlemen thank you for flying Singapore airlines. We shall be landing shortly at Corazon Aquino International Airport. We hope you enjoyed your flight."
If you always fly the same route, it would be practical to know the correct name of the airport at your destination right? It's Ninoy Aquino International Airport not Corazon! What a moron!
But I had a good laugh and it was really great to be back home!
10 p.m - arrived at the condo, huffing and puffing as we lugged our baggages up the stairs of the unit.
Day 6 - The IT challenge (posted at 2:45 a.m. July 26, 2004)
I was already so tired I couldn't care less if I went out of the hotel at all. But today is our last night in Singapore and we still needed to buy some IT stuff. We woke up at 10:30 a.m. too late for breakfast. We walked over to Raffles City shopping center and had lunch at Food Junction. Still not making sawa on prawn mee I ordered it again together with nasi goreng and popiah. Devouring them like it was my last meal on earth.
4 p.m. after buying these Perllini-Mel bags from Robinson's Department store, we walked to Funan Center, the IT Mall. Hopped from every single shop in that mall looking for the appropriate CD-R/DVD ROM for my sister's Fujitsu Life Book. Comparing prices, haggling for the best price, even arguing with this obnoxious sales man. He insisted that 50 cycle voltage would work in the Philippines. Did he think we were stupid?? We knew better! Only appliances/electronics with 50/60 cycle can function here without causing a major power trip in the central electrical system of the building. What a moron!
Anyways, we bought most of the items we needed at Challenger. Printer cartridges, cables, paper for printing pictures - we ran up a huge bill at the cashier. We limbed back to the hotel which was like 3 blocks away from Funan Center to deposit our haul.
I was very cranky, not wanting to go out anymore. I was willing to just order room service.
But my sister said it was time we visited Boat Quay. I said alright fine but only if we took a taxi because I wasn't going to take a bus or even the MRT because it meant we had to walk back to Raffles City. We went, we dined on Pepper Crab, steamed garoupa, salted fish fried rice and Beef with Kaylan and oyster sauce. It was a lovely night, the view was magnificent.
We went bar hopping albeit without the parents who opted to head back to the hotel early. Suffice it to say, I got totally wasted on shots of tequila, 4 gin & tonic, 6 cans of Tiger Beer.
I had not drank in ages and I might have overdone it. By 11 p.m, the bar was full of SPG, Sarong Party Girls which is a term for Singaporean ladies who like to party. SPGs are more often than not accompanied by their expat boyfriends. Caucasian guys who work in Singapore and think they own the world. Guys who are butt ugly but think they are privileged because they have huge expat packages. My head was spinning so I couldn't care less if the guy at the next table was eyeing us maliciously.
He wasn't even my type for Iyad's sake! Ewww I shiver just thinking about it!
Lecherous DOMs, anxious yuppies and loud drunkards all bunched up together.
I finally concluded at 2 a.m that I had enough alcohol in my system to drown a small town,
so we headed back to the hotel.
While I puked in the bathroom, my sister packed our luggages.
Day 5 - Orchard Road shopping galore (posted @ 01:30 a.m July 26, 2004)
We overslept and totally ignored our wake up call at 7 a.m. By the time we were all set for the day it was already 10 a.m. First we had to go to Park View Inn on North Bridge Road. Just a few blocks away to have our tickets validated at Emirates Airlines, which is code shared with Singapore Airlines. Long story of frequent flier miles redemption yadda yadda yadda. LOL
Our parents had gone off earlier to Orchard Road so we met them for lunch at Crossroads, the outdoor cafe of the Marriott Hotel. I ordered my favorite dish at this restaurant, the seafood Hor Fun. My sister ordered the prawn mee hon, Mom had the Hainanese Chicken Rice and Dad ordered the Char Kway Teow. Lip smacking good makan.
Then it was time for heavy duty shopping. First stop was the near by C.K. Tangs department store. Tangs is a special store for me. Know why? Ok I will tell you. It is only in Tangs that I get to buy shoes that fit me and they aren't even in the kids department. I ransacked the store and bought all these. Next we hopped over to Wheelock Place to head over to Borders Book Store. One of the largest bookstores in Singapore next to Kinokuniya. We spent about 2 1/2 hours here just browsing at all the books. While my sister was checking out International Relations reference books, I sat down to read this book
Very interesting read!!! But unfortunately I didn't buy any books because it seems they are still cheaper here in Manila.
Our next stop was at the Wisma Atria which is mostly a boutique mall and rather expensive. It has a link way at the basement to the Orchard MRT station so it is a very convenient place to meet up with people. It also has an underground link way to Lucky Plaza, and Ngee Ann City. I rarely venture into Lucky Plaza and in fact avoid this mall at all cost. The only reason I go to Ngee Ann City is for its branch of Books Kinokuniya where I finished reading "The Veiled Kingdom". We then crossed Orchard Road from Ngee Ann City over to the Paragon Shopping Center. We proceeded straight to Metro Department Store. By then I was already very tired but I still managed to try some outfits which unfortunately didn't fit me. That isn't unusual because if you have seen Singaporean women they are so thin that their clothes are sooo small you would think they were for dolls.
Just a few steps away is the Heeren which houses HMV the largest music store in Singapore. But I was no longer in the mood to browse at all the VCDS and CDs. Barely able to walk with all the shopping bags not to mention my stomach grumbling so loud, I went ahead to Centerpoint Shopping Center and sat down at one of the seats in front of the Giordano store. I just sat there almost in tears because my feet were in so much pain from walking since 10 in the morning. When they finally showed up, we made our way to Cuppage for dinner. We ordered Pepper Crab, Oyster Omelette, Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce, Crispy Fried Baby Squid, Kaylan with Oyster Sauce and Beef with Pepper Sauce. The highlight of my day. All of my favorite Singapore food in one sitting. I even ordered extra rice. It was already past midnight when we headed back to our hotel. Extremely tired, feet swollen I took a very hot shower to relax, fell asleep with my hair still dripping wet on the pillow. LOL
Day 4 - Mall Hopping
(posted @ 9:36 p.m. July 25, 2004)
At 7 a.m sharp my wake up automated call rang, then I went to have breakfast at the Starlight coffee shop. By 10:30 a.m after my parents had come back from hearing Mass at the Cathedral of the Good Shepard, we took a taxi to Suntec City. It seems that the shops at that mall open at 11 a.m. Barely 30 minutes into opening time, I had already bought some toiletries from Watson's, several t-shirts at Giordano for pasalubongs and my copy of 8 days magazine. Since I was wearing my 2 inch black slide ins, my feet were starting to ache like crazy from walking all over the 4 floors of Suntec City. I was desperate to find some decent pair of walking shoes. The first shop I entered was Hush Puppies and I proceeded to their kids department. Yes I'm bold enough to approach the kids shoes section when I'm abroad. LOL I found these, bought socks and wore them right away.
By noon, we were seated at a table for 4 at Crystal Jade Kitchen Restaurant located at the basement. Pigged out on salted fish fried rice, beef with pepper sauce, century eggs, double boiled soup, grilled garoupa, fried dumplings and to top it all we had mango pudding and honey dew sago for dessert. Boy I can't begin to describe how sumptuous that meal was.
Yum Yum Yum.
Just a few steps away from the restaurant is the Fountain of Wealth. It is said to bring good luck if you run around it in circles. But hey I wasn't going to do that. I didn't like to get wet. LOL
Next stop - Marina Square. I remember it being adjacent to Suntec City. Little did we know that it was currently undergoing some major renovation so we had to walk through scaffoldings. Inch our way inside the Pan Pacific hotel and take a loop through the Oriental Hotel to reach it. It was a disappointment because the shops looked run down and I didn't get to buy anything.
Upon seeing a sign that the Esplanade was just a few meters away, we followed the path and were there in 10 minutes. This is the durian shaped massive building known as the theatres on the bay which is situated right along the banks of the Singapore river. Most plays, concerts and artistic activities are held there. Streaming outside, one can see the new location of the Merlion as well as the lovely skyscrapers of the CBD or the Central Business District.
Then we took a taxi to Bugis Junction which is my favorite shopping mall in Singapore.
Seiyu, the main department store, the small shops inside the mall, the wide variety of cuisine offered by the different restaurants all add to the attraction of Bugis Junction. By 8 p.m. after shopping like crazy, we settled at Seoul Garden to have dinner. It is a korean restaurant fondly known by the moniker The Table BBQ people. It is buffet style and on your table you have a hot plate with a steamboat and you cook your own food. You pay in advance and can go back to the buffet table as many times as you want. To top it all, they even had CHOCO MINT ice cream which is one of my favorite flavors. My feet were killing me but I over indulge and ate alot. Our hotel was just about a block away so we just walked back. We passed by the pasar malam (night bazaar) on Bugis street and bought magnets, a Singapore wall clock and these really cheap wrist watches for me.
By the time we reached the hotel, I was hungry again. LOL So I went to the Rochor hawker center located next to the Allson hotel and bought myself prawn mee (prawn noodle soup) and fish ball soup for my mother.
11 p.m. I was very exhausted after a very lond day of walking and shopping and fell asleep dreaming of Choco mint ice cream.
Day 3 - Goodbye Bangkok, Hello Singapura (posted at 4:06 a.m July 25, 2004)
Despite being extremely tired from the heat and all the walking, we managed to get up at the unholy hour of 5:30 a.m. We went down, had our last breakfast at the Arnoma's coffee shop, Buttercup. By 8:30 a.m we checked out of the hotel and were driven to the airport by the same driver who picked us up 2 days ago. A Thai with a permanent smile on his face and even if he didn't speak English much, his bright deposition and pleasing personality was a nice way to end our Siam journey.
After a 15 minute delay, we finally shoved off from Don Muang Airport aboard SQ 63 bound for Singapore at 11:45 a.m.
We landed at about 15:30 p.m Singapore time (the same time in Manila) at Changi Airport. I was naturally expecting and dreading the tedious security check we experienced previously. But guess what? There wasn't any!!! It just proves to you that only flights from Manila are subjected to intensive security checks. But hey that's Singapore for you! Paranoid, well organized too sanitized for my own good. Anyways I've always maintained that Singapore is a good place to visit but to actually live there (which I did for abt 3 years) is another story. So we took a taxi from Changi Airport to Oxford Hotel on Queen Street. Right behind Allson Hotel off Bras Basah Road. Room 514 for my sister and me and Room 715 for my parents. Even if we requested for adjoining superior rooms or if possible 2 rooms on the same floor. But nope it was fully booked and only rooms available at the time of our check in was 514 and 715. Ok fine whatever. I was too tired to argue and my eyes are red because my contact lenses were dry as the desert. Since we were going to spend 5 days there, we decided to take it easy a bit and we all fell asleep from exhaustion. By the time we woke up at 19:30 p.m we were all famished. LOL We decided to walk to Raffles City which is the nearest mall to our hotel. Passing through Chijmes and the Cathedral of the Good Shepard. At the Food Junction, 5th floor of Raffles City, I devoured my prawn mee with gusto. Also feasted on popiah, and nasi goreng. Yes I was that hungry. LOL I noticed that Robinson's was now the flagship store and not Sogo and that the former Times Book Store was now occupied by MPH. Hmmm interesting! But when I checked the prices of the books, they were still way cheaper here in Manila. Because 1S$ = P32. We limbed back to the hotel by 10:30 p.m and once again promptly fell asleep the minute my head hit the pillow.
Day 2 - City Tour & Shopping (posted @ 3:30 a.m. July 24, 2004)
At 7 a.m. we went down to the cafe at the lobby, Buttercup to have a full hearty breakfast. Since it was going to be a long day. Upon arrival at the airport the day before, we booked the half day Temples Tour. Since our time was limited we opted to explore the temples instead of the Royal Palace. Our tour guide, Nancy was waiting for us at 9 a.m. sharp.
First stop - Wat Traimit or the Royal Traimit Temple. This temple is where the World's Biggest Golden Buddha is enshrined. It is more than 700 years old and was built during the Sukhothai era. It has a dimension of 12 Ft 5 inches width, 15 Ft 9 inches height and weighs 5 tons of solid Gold. A person needs to take off her shoes to enter the shrine and you can burn some incense sticks as offerings.
Next stop - Wat Pho or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. It was a rather sunny day that morning and a bit humid. We had parked a fair distance away so we had to walk about 10 minutes before we could reach the entrance. An entrance fee of 20 baht per person. Nancy was really fully knowledgeable about every place we visited. She cited the history behind each stupa as well as regaled us with tales of Thailand's royalty. Wat Pho is a large and extensive temple and it contains the gigantic gold plated Reclining Buddha some 46 meters long and 15 meters high with inlaid mother of pearl soles. This temple is also regarded as the best center of public education and is sometimes called "Thailand's first university". I scalded my feet when I had to take off my shoes and walk around the hot asphalt floors of the shrines. There was an instance where I tiptoed around because it was scorching hot and almost stumbled into a Buddhist monk. It was good that Nancy caught me and pulled me away. It is strictly forbidden for a woman to touch a monk and we had to sway away from their path. Which is kinda difficult to do since most of the monks are just hovering around the temple. We were scheduled to visit 1 more temple but we opted to let Nancy drive us around the city instead. She showed us the old Parliament building and the avenue where all the government ministries is situated. As well as the King's residence in the capital, we also passed by Chinatown and several smaller temples. We dropped by a handicrafts center, a gems factory and a wood craft center. By the time we were through with the tour it was already 2 p.m. So we told Nancy to drop us off at MBK mall so we could have some lunch.
The rest of the day was spent shopping at Siam Center,Emporium, Zen Department located at the Central World Plaza just across the hotel. By the time we went back to the hotel it was only 9:30 p.m. So my sister and I decided to go to the night bazaar at Baiyoke. Armed with only a map to guide us, we discovered it was quite near. But it turned out to be a 15 minute walk along the streets of Bangkok. But it was well lighted up and we felt completely safe even at 10 p.m. By the time we were done with our haggling and shopping we were too tired to walk all the way back to the hotel so we flagged down a taxi and crashed into our beds at 2 a.m.
Day 1 - City of Angels
(posted @ 6:23, July 23, 2004 )
4:30 a.m the AVIS taxi we booked arrived at the condo to take us to the airport. It was a balmy morning and by 4:45 a.m. we were the first in line at the Singapore airlines counter at the NAIA. With 2 large suitcases and 3 hand carried bags, we waited till 5:20 a.m. when the counter opened and we managed to check in hassle free.
At the immigration counter, it turns out that the officer validating our passports was a former student of my father. Way back when he taught at the Cavite City high school. What a coincidence. My father was whisked away for some reminiscing so I kept myself occupied by reading "The Da Vinci Code".
By 07:35 a.m it was time to board SQ 071 at Gate no. 6. My seat was at 49C - a window seat which is something I always request for when I fly. I like looking at the scenery during take-off. The flight was a bit turbulent once it was over the South China Sea. Have you ever noticed that everytime meals are served during a flight that is the time when it gets turbulent? For breakfast, I chose the parsley scrambled egg, chicken chipolata, tomato and hash brown potatoes with tea, breakfast roll and a glass of orange juice.
We landed at Changi Airport, Singapore at 11:45 a.m. Here is where it gets nasty. It seems the Singapore government doesn't trust the security measures undertaken at NAIA airport. So the minute you step out of the aircraft, the first thing that greets a weary traveler is the intensive security check. By intensive I mean really thorough. They open all your hand carried bags, you go through the radar and if anything beeps you are frisked from head to toe and told to go back through the radar until you are 'noise free'. We just had an hour to connect to our Bangkok flight so I was worried we couldn't make it on time. When it was my turn to go through the security check, I had to empty my pockets of coins, ballpen and I took off my rings. For some strange reason, as I passed through the electronic machine, it beeped. The lady frisked me and found nothing on my person. She told me to pass through it again thus halting the whole line. Guess what? It rang again and again - I believe it was 3 times before I was cleared. After the third time, she asked if I had any metal implants or braces and I said No. I guess it is just my magnetic personality that made the device crazy. LOL It was pretty embarrassing because I kept the flow of passengers. By the time this whole fiasco ended, it was already 12:43 p.m. So we ran all the way to gate E21 to catch our flight. From gate F40 to gate E21 it was fairly a long distance. If you have ever transited at Changi Airport you will know what I mean by loooong distance. We were all huffing and puffing and hauling our asses off because our flight was to leave by 1:05 p.m. SQ 64 SIN - BKK (1 hour 55 mins). Now you won't believe this BUT there was another security check before we could enter Gate 21. If you thought the first one was tedious, the second one was irritatingly stressful. They open all your bags, luggages and inspected every single item. Yes every single item! Arghhhh. I was ready to faint from running from the previous gate to this one and here I was being asked to go through the detector 4 times. Yes 4 times!!!! WTF!!! Still not able to find the source of any metallic device on my body, they asked for my boarding pass and wrote some technical term on it. During the flight I kept trying to decipher what RTG P 23-945 meant! It really ruined my mood and I couldn't wait to disembark from the plane to reach Bangkok and the hotel.
At exactly 14:25 we landed at Don Muang Airport, Bangkok, Thailand. The path leading to the immigration counters was another very long walk. All sort of nationalities were present. It seems 7 airlines all landed in a span of 10 minutes apart so the whole airport was swarming with passengers. I was too tired to walk fast and we just decided to take our own sweet time. At the immigration section, as expected there was a long line. All 8 counters were full. You can judge the tourism arrivals of a country by the number of immigration counters open at any given time. By the time we lined up there were 12 counters open and all of them were full. We didn't encounter any problems since we don't require visas to Thailand being part of ASEAN. But I noticed some tempers were flaring at the other counters where certain nationals didn't have the proper visa required to enter Thailand.
So finally we were in Bangkok, Thailand - the Land of the Free, the City of Angels.
By 4 p.m. Bangkok time which is 1 hour behind Manila time, we checked into our hotel. 3 star hotel with 4 star facilities and conveniently located in the Pathumwan district of Bangkok
The view from the window of my room 1507 is the BTS Station and Erawan Shrine
Right across Arnoma hotel is the Zen Department Store which is part of the Central World Plaza complex
We were all very tired from the flight and decided to rest a bit before we explore the surrounding areas. By 6:30 p.m. we hopped on the free shuttle bus which took us to the Central Department store in Chidlom district. Since it looked like any ordinary shopping mall we decided to take the BTS train from the Chidlom station to go to Siam part of Bangkok. I had no idea that to get to the station one needed to go up a steep flight of stairs. Half way up I had to stop. It was really high. Midway, my mother experienced shortness of breath and my father told us we better just forget the idea and just take a taxi instead. It was ridiculously high really. There was a very kind Thai couple who stopped and gave my mother some mineral water and helped her back down. Good Samaritans, God bless their kind soul! They even flagged down a taxi for us and told the driver where to take us since it was obvious he didn't speak a single word of English and everytime we asked him something he kept saying OK and smiled. LOL So we reached Siam Center, Siam Discovery Center and had some sumptuous Thai food. Don't ask me what! I cannot remember the name. But it was tasty and not too spicy. Thank God because all of us except my mother are allergic to very spicy food. By 9 p.m. we were really exhausted and our feet hurt from walking all over the mall. We decided to head back to Arnoma. Since the mall beside the hotel was still open, we peeked inside to check the prices of items. The thing with shopping is to automatically convert the currency into your own currency and if they are cheaper then buy. If not, forget about it. It turns out most of the items are still cheaper here in Manila. Oh and I almost forgot, we all had a relaxing foot massage right there at the mall. For 199 Baht for 1 hour, I had started to drool as I dozed off while my feet were having a foot spa massage. LOL Our day ended by strolling along the pavement in front of our hotel where after 8 p.m there was a daily night bazaar. People selling everything from picture frames, shoes, hankies and several bric bracs.
I'm leaving on a jet plane ... Alright so I'm all packed.
Checked and double checked everything on my list.
I'm going to have an early dinner.
Sleep a bit although I doubt I can because I'm too excited.
Our flight is at 8:20 am tomorrow morning.
But we will be going to the airport early.
Mom wants to be there by 5 a.m. Geez!
But if you ever been to NAIA [Ninoy Aquino International Airport], you will understand why you need to be there at least 3 hours before the flight.
It's ok I will just read The Da Vinci Code so I won't get bored waiting.
See you all in a week's time.
Don't miss me too much!!! :)
Traveling tips The trick to having a really relaxing vacation is to be well organized.
Making lists of everything you will need to bring is the first step.
I have 5 lists.
1. Meds list - always bring more than the actual number of days you will be away.
zyrtec for my allergies
2. Clothes list - list down every single item that you will pack in your suitcase.
Start from your head down to your toes.
3. Documents list - have 4 copies of all your documents as well as the documents of those traveling with you. I put one in my suitcase. Another one in my handbag. 3rd one I leave at home. 4th is extra if needed in such instances as hotel requiring a copy etc
Airport Transfer confirmation
4. Toiletries list
This list is very essential. These items would determine how shabby you look during your entire vacation. Items include
shampoo & conditioner - I bring sachets they are disposable and wont be heavy
solution for my contact lenses
Soap I usually bring my own since those small hotel soaps melt like butter
Travel toothbrush & toothpaste
Perfume preferably travel size
Q tips [loads of them]
travel hair dryer - I always ask if there is a hair dryer in the room if not I bring my own
5. Miscellaneous List
glasses + sunglasses
small bottle of mineral water
a book if you have time to read
charger for the phone + digital camera
Ziplock plastic bags - a whole pack to put in the wet stuff such as razors, the soap etc
foldable bags which you will eventually need once your luggage is too heavy and which you can use as hand carried bags - I have about 4 of them
Keys to the luggage
Now if you will excuse me I need to check and recheck my lists and start packing for my trip. Or else I won't be able to sleep tonight since everything is on my bed right now. I like to pack early so that the day before the actual trip I'm relaxed. There is nothing I hate more than to be hassled and stressed out on the way to the airport. Always thinking if I forgot something. It beats the fun out of traveling.
Daily Dirt We're All Going On A Summer Holiday...
1. Are you going anywhere this summer?
YES in two days time Wooohooo 2. If so, for how long?
6 days 3. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Paris, France - my favorite city! 4. What do you like to do while you are on holiday?
Take a city tour, visit museums if it is my first visit and if I've been there before I shop for books, clothes & shoes. 5. Where was the best place you have ever been on holiday?
Hmmm tough one because I've been to alot of places but I would have to say Paris again because you never run out of things to do even if it is just a walk along the banks of the river Seine! C'est la vie en rose, cherie.
Tuesday Twosome Just a little fun...
1. Ice cream or sherbet?
Ice cream 2. Two fave flavors of ice cream/sherbet:
Chocolate & Choco mint 3. In a cone or cup:
Cup 4. One or two scoops:
Three LOL 5. More painful: dropping your cone/cup or a brain freeze?
Brain freeze Ouch!!
Tuesday Iffers Vacation's All I Ever Wanted...
Question provided by Elena (tweaked just a little to turn it into an "If" question. Stop by Elena's blog and say hello!
If you take some "time off", do you need to travel elsewhere to feel as if you've vacationed? When vacationing is it necessary to have an itinerary or do you play it by ear?
If I can't afford to travel for some 'time off' I go to my parents' house up in the hills [Antipolo] for some home cooked meals. But I made a decision to travel out of town at least once a year so I can recharge my batteries. I usually have an itinerary for the first day then for the rest of the vacation I play it by ear.
Diplomatic nightmare Having a citizen of your country in peril is every diplomat's nightmare. There are steps and protocol to be observed for every situation that arises. Naturally your first priority is to look after the interests of your citizens. After all, you are the emissary of your country in a foreign land.
It is truly a thankless job.
I think the government committed a major faux pas by prematurely announcing to the world that Angelo De la Cruz had been released by his Iraqi captors.
But I don't blame the government.
I blame the media!
The media in this country is so power hungry, they hound everybody for their so called 'expertise'. Interviewing all the political analysts they can find. Analysts who give their opinions without knowing all the facts of the situation. A media who despite having a news block out imposed on them won't stop at anything just to outscoop the rival network station. What do they intend to accomplish by interviewing the hostage's brother who is working in Saudi Arabia? Why are they now co relating the Flor Contemplacion case with this crisis?
The government imposes a ban on workers going to Iraq for their own safety.
What does the media do? They interview every single worker who was stranded at the airport from leaving and ask him is it fair to be put on hold? Of course the said worker having his face in front of the camera would say it isn't fair. That they still want to go despite the ban. That they can't find work here. But once they reach Iraq and something untoward happens to them - guess who they blame? The government who else?
People need to be held more responsible for their actions. They always malign the government for not doing enough but once they get into trouble who do they turn to?
It's true that this hostage taking incident was bound to happen sooner or later. That the policy of the government is to not give in to the demands of terrorists. That Angelo Dela Cruz is 'collateral damage' in this unfortunate situation. But if you are looking for someone to blame ... I suggest you blame the person who started this whole mess in the first place.
Monday Madness Let's try some 'true or false' questions this week! Feel free to elaborate as you wish!
1. I like my job. True 2. I find time to 'smell the flowers' so to speak.
True because it's the little things that count 3. I have no problem thinking of things to write about in my blog.
TRUE - I always have something to say about anything and everything 4. 'Organization' is my middle name! True 5. If 'Plan A' doesn't work, there's always a 'Plan B.'
True - always have a 'spare tire' 6. I adjust easily to new surroundings.
True - story of my life 7. I'd rather work 'behind the scenes' than 'in the spotlight.'
True - utterly behind the scenes you don't even know I'm there! 8. I'm happy where I am, at this point in my life. Absolutely TRUE 9. I can wake up in the morning without an alarm clock. True 10. I can function pretty well on less than 8 hours of sleep.
TRUE even with no sleep at all
***OH look at that ... I answered True on all the questions! :)
What's in a name? Starbucks has this policy of writing people's names on the cup of coffee they ordered.
The thing is more often than not they get my name wrong.
Maybe because it isn't a common Filipino name.
But my name is spelled D-A-P-H-N-E. In all the instances that I've ordered coffee in such places. My name has been spelled as:
DAFNE / DAPNE / DAFNI etc
My all time favorite - DEAFNEE.
For some time now, I've chosen to give a different name. Just for fun!
I know it sounds silly but really I swear I've used:
SARA / LAURA / PRECIOUS even FIFI.
Because I don't like it when people misspell my name.
Earlier this evening, I was at the food court of Glorieta Mall.
Yes, second day in a row I was at this mall this week.
I got thirsty so I ordered a green mango shake from Fruit Magic.
It seems they also write your name on the cup.
This time I gave my name as SUSAN.
A foreigner in a tight black t-shirt and jeans was behind me.
As he approaced the counter, he gave his name as Jean Paul. His accent sounded French and with a name like that. I'm positive he was French or he might be Canadian/French. Whatever!
Here comes the funny part.
The girl at the counter asks the lady beside her.
"How do you spell his name?" in the vernacular so the guy won't understand.
She answers "Ewan" meaning "I don't know".
She scribbles something.
His drink for some reason was served before mine.
As she gave him his order of melon shake.
I noticed she spelled his name as "JAN POL"
Looong Day [Friday] Here I am wide awake at 2:30 a.m.
Simply because I was really exhausted last night.
From all the errands I had to do for my trip.
I fell asleep upon reaching home at 9 p.m
I love to travel. It is my passion.
It is the days before departure that drives me crazy.
I went to the bank during lunch hour when most people do their banking transactions.
By 1:30 p.m I was still in line, terribly hungry!
I practically gobbled my Tonkatsu Bento at Kitaro, Podium in 5 minutes.
I had barely sat down to sip my Iced Cappucino at Dome Cafe, when my sister SMS me that she was on her way to pick me up.
Then off we went to the Department of Tourism to pay the travel tax.
Weaving in and out of rush hour traffic, we finally reached Glorieta Mall.
By 6 p.m. to meet my mother at Rustan's.
She chose the gift for the baby.
I say CHOSE because she made the decision.
I was totally clueless what to buy.
Her reply after I sent an SOS to help me find a gift.
"OH alright I better go with you. What on earth do you know about babies and their stuff?"
My reply: "NOTHING"
My actual reply [but only in my mind]: "I just know how to make babies, that's it." LOL
While waiting for the item to be gift wrapped.
I came across a pair of exquisite shoes.
Something which look like these:
I have really tiny feet. I swear they are tiny.
I have a hard time finding shoes my size.
It actually makes me cry.
I've stopped entering shoe stores when I shop.
I KNOW without a doubt. They won't fit me.
So back to those pair of shoes.
They were at the kids section!
By looking at them, I knew they would indeed fit me.
But ... I was too darn chicken.
Or rather too shy! To try them on!
There were mothers with toddlers hovering around.
Pushy mothers forcing their kids to try every single pair on display.
So I was too embarrassed to make my move.
This isn't Europe or some foreign country.
Where I wouldn't care if people saw me.
This is a shop I frequent on a weekly basis.
So no way am I ever going to have the courage.
My sister insisted I try them.
I told her to hush. Then I simply walked away.
I know I won't hear the end of it.
I better snuggle back to bed and just read.
Hopefully fall asleep again.
Dream about shoes! *grins*
A funny incident on my way to the dentist. I have this habit of putting my sunglasses on the top of my head.
1. it keeps my hair off my face specifically my eyes.
2. I can just grab it and put it on readily.
3. I don't have to search for it endlessly in my bag.
So there I was in the elevator with my shades on my head.
I reach the car, open the trunk put some stuff inside then hop on the passenger seat.
Half way through the parking lot I pull my shades from my head to wear them. *Gasps* One of the lenses is missing. WTF???
I shout to my sister to pull over. Wait go back!
She pulls over all the time muttering that we will be late.
I don't care. I search under my seat.
I get out. Walk all over the parking lot.
I decide to retrace my steps back to the unit.
I look all over the lobby, the elevator, the corridor leading to the unit. Open the door. Search my living room, the kitchen.
Run up to my bedroom, the bathroom, my sister's room.
Sweating like a pig. My sister calling me on my cellphone telling me to hurry.
Nothing, I can't find it.
I get my spare sunglasses from my closet.
This time with its case and rush down to the car.
I told her not to talk. Don't say a word.
I ain't in the mood to be given a lecture.
We reach Edsa Shangri-la Plaza 30 minutes late for my dental appointment.
I go to the trunk to retrieve the items I needed repaired at Alterations Plus.
Lo and behold -the missing left lens of my shades is there!!! And it never even occurred to me to search the trunk of the car!
Gosh ... I'm getting senile.
For the first time in a long while, I actually had a hearty breakfast consisting of eggs with bacon and coffee. Now my stomach is acting funny. Stomach spasms. Ouchie
I received a bunch of really funny emails from S which cracked me up big time. Mostly wmv files of commercial ads from various countries. I believe he gets them from this site. Check it out. They are hilarious! I've always wondered where he gets his emails from which he forwards to everyone. They are never recycled ones.
I was supposed to go to the dentist yesterday but I chickened out! Not really my favorite place to be if you know what I mean.
'Alias', 'CSI' and 'The Practice' are all shown at 9 p.m. Wednesday nights. Deciding which one to watch during that time slot is a dilemma for me, the certified couch potato.
I still have no idea what to buy for the baby shower. Call me silly or even crazy but the first thing that came to my mind was a breast pump. That would come in handy for breast feeding the baby right? LOL
Wednesday Matinee Please turn off your cellphone for the duration of the meme.
1. What's your favorite Harrison Ford movie?
There are just alot of his movies that come to my mind right now but if I had to pick one I would say "Clear and Present Danger"
2. What's your favorite animated movie?
3. Have you ever walked out during a movie?
Never because if I chose to PAY to see a movie, I'll stick it out till the very end. If it was crappy I will just rant and complain about it after!
Wednesday Whatevers 1. In the morning, do you brush your teeth before or after eating?
Before and after
2. Do you believe in the emotional power of colors?
3. What do you do to preserve your memories?
I take pictures and ever since I got a blog, I will post about it
Astigmatism Last night I had my eyes examined at Sarabia Optical, Greenbelt branch.
I had my prescription from the last time I had my eyes checked on August 14, 2001.
At Optic Art, Bur Juman Mall, Dubai.
I wore my glasses in public which for me feels like I went out dressed only in my undies.
Not a comfortable situation for little Miss Vain Me.
I had my 3 year old contact lens in its case.
I had my sunglasses whose lens are full of scratches.
I wanted to have them replaced.
I came prepared.
A mere 20 minutes examination later where you read those letters in a dark room illuminated with very bad lighting.
The optician tells me I still have the same grade.
-7.00 for my right eye and -7.50 for my left eye.
With astigmatism on both eyes.
He asked if I wanted them checked to determine if I need reading glasses or not.
Upon learning that I was ONLY 35 years old, he deemed I was still too young to need one.
So I just bought a pair of Bausch & Lomb extended daily wear contact lens for P1,500.00
I was able to save about P3,000.00 or perhaps more.
I didn't even find out the exact cost.
For non reflective, ultra thin lens for my Gucci frames.
Instead, I indulged myself by spending P295.00 to buy "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown.
Actually the real price is P345.00
But I had a National Book Store voucher for P50.00
Therefore I was able to save twice. Yippee!
So I ended up splurging on a book that would make my eyesight worse by reading till the wee hours of the morning.
Ironic isn't it?
Winners All ***Jackson & Monica***
Couples Fear Factor champions.
They won US$ 1 Million after doing all those stunts and eating those disgusting stuff. But I think if Adam & Meg had not backed out of the spider challenge they would have won hands down. Not that I wanted them to win, I was rooting for James & Meghan!
***Roger Federer & Maria Sharapova***
Wimbledon Men & Women Champions respectively.
Bravo! Way to go! Great games. I was really cheering for the both of them.
*** Greece ***
Euro2004 Champions. Greece of all nations! They beat Spain, France, the Czech Republic to reach the finals. They played against the host country, Portugal to pull out one of the biggest upsets in soccer history. Portugal, in Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Figo, Rui Costa and Deco, possessed all the flair players. But they failed! Of course I was all for Portugal to win. But alas this gorgeous hunk couldn't score a goal!
By the way, thanks [You know who you are] for giving me a blow by blow report about the game. Through his Yahoo Messenger straight to my cellphone [on SMS mode] at 5 a.m.!!!
Ten movies you'd watch over and over:
1. City of Angels
2. Finding Nemo
3. Godfather 3
7. 4 Weddings and a Funeral
8. Brothers McMullen
9. Before Sunrise
10. Under the Tuscan Sun
Nine people you enjoy the company of:
4. My sister
5. My father
6. My mother
Eight things you're wearing:
3. Black shorts
4. Purple tank top
Seven things on your mind:
1. My father's health
2. My mother's health
3. The trip to Bangkok & Singapore
4. A certain email
6. Payment for the bills
Six objects you touch every day:
1. my cellphone
2. the keyboard of my PC
4. Mineral water bottle
5. the mouse of my computer
6. Clips for my hair
Five things you do everyday:
3. Send SMS
4. Watch tv
Four bands or musical artists that you couldn't live without:
1. Bon Jovi
3. Bee Gees
Three of your favorite songs of the moment:
1. The Reason [Hoobastank]
2. She will be loved [Maroon 5]
3. Here without You [3 Doors Down]
Two people who have influenced your life the most:
1. My parents
2. My sister
One person who has been nice to you today:
Understanding: Yes, very Open-minded: Fairly yes Arrogant: Sometimes Insecure: Often Interesting: Well ... a bit Friendly: It depends Smart: I think so Moody: Definitely Childish: Occasionally Independent: Heck YES Hard working: Sometimes Organized: Yup Shy: Blushes Difficult: Stubborn more like it Attractive: I'm cute not attractive ;) Bored Easily: No Responsible: It depends Happy: YES Trusting: Sometimes too trusting for my own good Talkative: It depends on the company
Have you ever had...
Someone say they hate you: Yes *sobs* Someone besides family say they love you: Yes Someone punch you: Hell NO!
I walked the 5 floors of Megamall from end to end. Meaning from Building A to Building B. That is my only form of exercise. If you don't count the.cleaning.of.a.loft.style.condo.unit EVERY single freaking day!
I had my protein treatment + haircut. So my hair is straight for a couple of days before the wavy curls pop out of my head. No wait. The curls are out already as I write this blog. Tough luck! I still have the same style, layered sides and back though shorter by 2 1/2 inches. Now I look like a 12 year old kid 'cause of my haircut and height!
After a frenzied texting session between 4 individuals with busy lives, we managed to sort out our sked. We set july 11 as the date for the baby shower for Carr. Now comes the what.to.buy.for.a.baby dilemma. Considering the fact that I'm the last person you will ever see in a baby/maternity/toy shop.
I do feel lighter nowadays. Because I've been limiting my food intake. Lately the major food groups I consume are nestle yogurt, kitkat, peppermint tea and 5 grain bread. Plus it seems I've developed an addiction for the chicken burgers from Carl's Jr. My only 'problem' area would be the 'bilbil' buildup around my waist. But hey that's the only evidence I'm a 30 something babe. So no worries. I'll just wear 'hide the waistline' outfits. LOL
Well the verdict would be cast when I meet up with my friends next week, they would naturally greet me with either one of the following:
"Wow ang taba mo ngayon" OR "Uy pumayat ka!" Translation => "Wow you're so fat now" OR "Hey you've lost weight!"
1. Faith is the ability to not panic.
2. If you worry, you didn't pray.
If you pray, don't worry.
3. As a child of God, prayer is kind of like calling home every day.
4. Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.
5. When we get tangled up in our problems, be still. God wants us to be still so He can untangle the knot.
6. Do the math. Count your blessings.
7. God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.
8. Dear God: I have a problem. It's me.
9. Silence is often misinterpreted, but never misquoted.
10. Laugh every day, it's like inner jogging.
11. The most important things in your home are the people.
12. Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional.
13. There is no key to happiness.
The door is always open.
14. A grudge is a heavy thing to carry.
15. He who dies with the most toys is still dead.
16. We do not remember days, but moments.
Life moves too fast, so enjoy your precious moments.
17. Nothing is real to you until you experience it,
otherwise it's just hearsay.
18. It's all right to sit on your pity pot every now and again. Just be sure to flush when you are done.
19. Surviving and living your life successfully requires courage. The goals and dreams you're seeking require courage and risk-taking. Learn from the turtle -- it only makes progress when it sticks out its neck.
20. Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
A few memes before dinner:
Friday Feast Appetizer Name a board game you enjoy playing (Scrabble? Monopoly? Trivial Pursuit?) What's fun about it? Do you change the rules or go by the book?
I used to play scrabble and boggle a lot when I was younger. I go by the book and it is interesting because it makes your brain think.
Soup How's the weather been in your area lately? Hot and dry? Wet and muggy? Stormy? Beautiful?
It has been stormy, it rains a lot and the sun playing peek a boo with the clouds. But I love rainy weather. I'm the opposite of people who feel blue when it's gloomy. LOL
Salad Do you consider yourself an emotional person? What types of emotions do you experience most often?
Yes, I'm very emotional. Or rather I'm moody. It's the same thing right? LOL
Main Course List 3 songs you've been listening to recently. Are these songs from a different category of music than you usually choose, or are you devoted to a certain type of tunes?
Maroon 5's "She will be loved"
Vertical Horizon's "Best I ever had" (Grey Sky Morning)
Hoobastank's "The Reason"
These songs are usually the genre I prefer to listen to. I think it is categorized as "Soft Rock"
Dessert What's on your refrigerator door? Magnets? Your child's drawings? Photos? Calendars?
Loads of magnets I've collected through the years. Mostly from places I've visited all over the world.
Friday Four Who
If you had to live the rest of your life as....
1. ... a movie character, who would it be?
Amelie 2. ... character in a book, who would it be?
Melanie John - "Almost Heaven" 3. ... character in a song, who would it be?
Uptown Girl - Billy Joel 4. ... a cereal box character, who would it be?
No Idea because I don't eat cereals LOL
Daily Dirt Romance...
1. better to receive: flowers or candy?
Flowers 2. what's your favorite flower?
Yellow Roses 3. when did you last receive flowers from someone?
Last year my birthday 4. who sent them?
Someone from my past 5. what's your opinion on romantic holidays... valentines, sweetest's day, etc?
That we don't need just one day to make someone feel loved and special. We need to give love 365 days or 366 days if it is leap year. LOL
As well as:
My hump is blue. My hump has 2 hands and it is battery operated. My hump is round with an intricate design. What is it?
It's a wall clock I bought in Istanbul, Turkey. It is hand painted. The blue intricate design suits the 'blue-ness' theme of my bedroom. I hang it on the wall above my computer so I look at it everyday!