We just got from dinner. A decent meal, not great. But, what a relief. I went downstairs and found the other foreigner on the ship, Eddie. He was sitting in the cafeteria while his wife waited in line for the paid shipboard meal. The line was unbelievable, outside down the side of the cafeteria, down the deck towards aft to the big sleeping room, back up the deck, and disappeared down the stairs to the first level. Must be a 1000 people in line, because there was a similar line on the other side of the ship. The third floor restaurant was basically deserted, just a few of us highbrows eating there.
Just a gentle rocking with the boat. Soothing, and someone took care of the rattling life preserver. Maybe someone else complained, I didn’t. There are a few kids around playing, some squalling, but not any big deal. What would an adventure be without some adventure. Praxy decided it was time to eat her coconut dessert she had bought on the dock in Dumaguete, binagol.
The goodie inside of this halved coconut is very gooey, about the consistency of warm taffy. The coconut halves are taped carefully together and it’s very hard to get them apart without a good sharp knife. Which we didn’t have. She finally got it opened when she accidently dropped it on the floor. Ingredients are; ground gluttonous rice, powdered cocoa, coconut milk, and sugar. The taste is a little similar to tapioca pudding, she ate some and I slicked the rest of it up.
We got a good night’s sleep. Next morning we were up at 7 to go get breakfast. A little late, we were the last people to eat at the Horizon restaurant. The eggs were cold and the chicken was about gone. I got the last serving, very tasty, but not hot. No big deal, I feel that complaining is, again, a waste of time and breath. I was incensed at the 6 oz. cup of coffee. Praxy gave me her serving and I went up to get a refill. “No problem, Sir, 40 pesos. Almost a dollar! Grrr. They can throw it out at that price.
Time for a walk around the ship after breakfast. We wanted a little exercise. And we found the livestock area.
This is the area for the fighting chickens. Chickens are so popular, that they are welcomed aboard and get their own special area for travel. The whole little place behind the door is specifically set up for the little cardboard chicken boxes. They are packed in like, well, feathered sardines. Owners and handlers were out caring for and bragging about their chickens. There was one dog, it might be the bomb sniffing dog. I don’t know and I didn’t ask.
Talking about being packed in, here are some larger sardines…
This is a “super” or “mega” class on the boat, 299 pesos from Dumaguete to Manila, $6.88USD. Everyone on the boats seems to have a bed, but food, linens are extra. These beds stretched around to the right and went clear almost aft. I didn’t want to be too nosy, but I feel that there is no way to violate someone’s privacy. There is almost NONE. The only privacy on the whole ferry for passengers is in the toilet stall or in a stateroom.
This was kind of a shock to me. The Filipinos are quite used to this and think nothing of the crowds, lines, and lack of privacy. I can hardly imagine what it’s like, but I’m learning. As I mentioned in an earlier post, this type of travel is not for the faint hearted. Praxy is quite surprised at how well I’ve adapted and calls me “gutsy”. I feel like the proverbial “duck out of water”. Crowds, noise, dust, smoke, smells, this is about as far away from the United States that I have ever been, including Mexico. There is little by way of American or European amenities. What you see is what you get.
Still over 4 weeks to go. I’m getting a little homesick off and on, but this is all that anyone will see of it. Things I’m missing; snow, a green salad, my family and my cat James, the fireplace and nearby easy chair, college basketball. Things I’m not missing; snow, work, TV, bills, icy roads.
Otherwise, having a great time and I’m glad I’ve have a chance to travel like this around a completely foreign country. Praxy told me she hasn’t had fun like this for years and is eagerly looking forward to Manila. I’m not sure about Manila. I’ve heard it’s one of the most congested cities in the world. I’ll finding out in about 6 hours.
Time to sign off with a picture from our port side, perhaps Simara island.
Talking to Ed, I found that he had paid nearly as much for “tourist” accommodations as I did for the stateroom. It REALLY pays to book in advance. We spent about an hour on the second deck watching the coastline and the flying fish soaring away from the ship.