Saturday, June 22, 2013

benchmark trip to manila

it was supposed to be hospital benchmark trip, but it turned out to be quite a bunch of mess. due to unprofessional tour guide.

#1. departure date
my husband always says be prepare of anything. so, he gave me his scale, universal plug and T. i also browsed about the mall that we were going to go at manila, and looked for the shop that i probably go to and made a shopping plan in my head. i also browsed about manila sim card which provided data plan. i was suspicious that the man explaining at our class was our tour guide, and he seemed unprepared. i asked about the sim card and he didn't know a clue. so, it was proven at our departure date. surabaya to kuala lumpur was fine. when we arrived at kuala lumpur, the line at immigration was crazy. some of us got through earlier than the other. and some was eager to pray because it was time. and after that we still had city tour. some of us was thirsty. so some women decided to told the tour guide, that we would go to toilet, pray and buy some water. and we agreed a meeting point. the stupid thing was, he didn't wait for the rest inside the building, and he was crazy mad when he found out that some of us didn't come out yet when it was time to go city touring. (-.-") that's stupidity number 1. as tour guide, you should informed us right away after we took off from the plane. where they could pray, where the toilet was, and where our next meeting point.  from that impression, i distrust him right away.

the city tour turned out to be just like what i have said. it was useless. we just went to near mosque and then back to the airport. since we were late, our lunch was being taken away and we had nowhere to eat. so we just sat wherever we could at the airport and ate. and then we were off to manila. dinner was on board, and the chosen menu was nasi padang. it was not a choice for everyone since some of us couldn't eat spicy food. but luckily, i had my chicken nugget and egg sausage muffin in my bag. i kept my muffin for later. we arrived at manila at midnight, and the price of the sim card was expensive, so we postponed it. our tour guide at manila was nice, but we were tired and kept on sleeping on bus to the hotel. when we arrived at the hotel, we were still sleepy, so we had no idea that we had arrived at the hotel! we thought it wasn't our hotel, since in front we saw karaoke and a lot of call-girls look alike walked around in front. but we found out that it was our hotel! our room scattered in that 34 floors building. me and stephanie got the room on 5th floor.

i brought my toiletries, so i just wanted to take a bath and sleep. but poor stephanie. i offered her mine, but she refused. the hotel just gave us a soap, like the one we used to wash our hand and a sachet of shampoo. the towel couldn't absorb the water, luckily i brought one. and the floor was sticky, like it was being cleansed by oil. and the building was like an apartment. the room next door was occupied by a family, and there was a dentist practice nearby our room. so i guess it was an apartment changed to a hotel, that's why we couldn't get a consecutive room.

#2 day one in manila
the breakfast was being delivered to the room. i thought it was special occasion only, since i was hoping to get american breakfast, but the next day i found out the hotel didn't have a dining room, that's why we got our breakfast delivered to our room. the breakfast was pretty weird. sunny egg with rice and fish, and then mangoes at side. in indonesia, we expected some vegetables on the side, but we found mango instead. if there were no banana, we wouldn't be that confused. since we were starving, (i already ate my muffin at the bus), i just ate it. the bad news for that day, our water heater seemed broken. i told the tour guide and he told us he would take care of it. which i doubted it. that day, our mission was to get everyone a sim card so we could be in touch with our loved ones. another failure: he didn't know which plan data to use for us, and he didn't get the right explanation for everyone. so i decided to dive in. i read the explanation and told everyone and they could decide which one to choose. i also helped him collect the money. and he failed to get the sim card for everyone, so some of us couldn't call or text our loved ones at home. that was stupidity number 2. when we paid him, we expected him to get us all the sim card plus how to use it. i couldn't get my data plan worked till midday. i had to call the provider myself. he had no idea how to get the setting for different phone model. he should find out when we were busy at the hospital! at that time, i was mad at him, and decided not to trust him at all. but i still had his head for fixing my water heater. i wanted my hot water!

after hospital tour, we went to glorietta and greenbelt shopping mall complex. i had some shop in mind. but first i had to find ACE hardware to buy a lock. then headed to kids shop. i planned to buy something for matthew on the first day. and i was lucky, i found something nice in gingersnaps. everyone else wasn't in shopping mood since it was all branded stores. ah, i also forget about the lunch. it was in the shopping mall also, and we had no idea what kind of food was that. dinner was written indonesian food, but turned out it wasn't indonesian food, but INDIAN food...stupidity number 3. how could he not check with the local tour guide about what kind of food we were going to eat. later we found out that he couldn't eat himself at the indian restaurant. stupid tour guide.

back at the hotel, it was raining, but we decided to go out and ate jollibee! my sister told me to eat the burger and not the chicken, so i did. we had a wonderful time at jollibee since it was our first time eating something proper in manila. back at the hotel, our tour guide and the local tour guide's wife were waiting for us at the lobby to make sure my water heater was on. and after a little bit chit chat, our water heater was on! yey!!

a little intermezzo: when we were back at the hotel, the door greeter asked us which floor were we, and when he found out that we were on the 5th floor, the door greeter jumped in the elevator and stopped with us, and even opened our door!! and when entered our room, we found this fruit banquet with a card saying apology (actually for stephanie) for feeling insecure in the hotel. hahaha.. i guess the hotel had to make sure we get our hot water or they would have to send another fruit banquet. haha..

#day two in manila
it was a city tour all day long. the local tour guide said it would be very hot. stupidity number 4: our tour guide said "ladies and gentlemen, tomorrow is local tour all day long, so we can be casual. wear jeans or even hot pants!" stupid, we were hospital management class and half our class was wearing jilbab. stupid comment. the tour was okay, but we couldn't stand the weather. at the end of our city tour, some of us already eager to buy souvenirs. but since we were told that there would be even cheaper at somewhere else, we just bought some and hoping we could get more with cheaper price. but the destination was changed at the last minute. we were supposed to go to greenhills, but the local tour guide changed it to 178 shopping mall in chinatown. and turned out, we couldn't find any. especially since we got lost from the other. the other could find one store that sold t-shirts and stuff, but not so many choice to pick from.

but then we headed to MoA, which had kultura, and we could shop souvenirs.. but the price was more expensive. well, we had no choice and shop all the souvenirs we had to buy there. my target was to buy all the suvenirs and then at last day bought something nice for myself and for david. so far, i was right on my personal schedule. ahh..about food, breakfast was still the same, but it was pineapple instead of mango. but lunch was another story. it was a buffet, and had japanese food!! i was excited.. instantly i reached for sushi and sashimi and stuff. other people was worried about picking the wrong dish, so they followed us, unfortunately, not all of them could eat raw food. so we had to told them the robatayaki station and other cooked food station. and the good news was there was ice cream... yummm.. a satisfying lunch. but there was stupidity number 5: our tour guide was late to tell us that the free drink was just water. and some of us already ordered mineral water. so they had to pay for it. blah. and we had dinner at members club. it was okay, but definitely better than yesterday.

#day three in manila
it was full with hospital tour again. breakfast was better! american breakfast at another hotel. probably since the tour guide was being complained by everyone, so he decided to move pak wid and all other guests. lunch was okay, but nothing beat the japanese buffet (for me, hehee..) after finishing the hospital tour, we headed back to MoA to do our final shopping. this time, i bought last minute souvenirs and then headed to several shops. and i bought something for myself! finally.. i could find a decent green jeans, but too bad, i couldn't find any floral skirts even in forever21 and a yellow skirt. *sigh* probably it was not meant to be. and we still had spare time so i found something for david. hahaa.. since my body measures was bad, i had to try it on my other friend, which was a size smaller than david. so if it fit him, then i had to pick a size bigger than his. the funny thing was, he also attracted to the polo shirt i picked for david, so they had the same shirts. ha!
and how could we forget the dinner? it was a cultural show, filled with singing and dancing. the interesting part was at the end of the show, they asked some people from audience to join them and tried the dance. fani was chosen, and as expected, she could show a good performance. rambo was also chosen (since we screamed his name out loud, ahhaaha..) we also screamed our tour guide's name, but he was runaway since he heard his name being called. coward!

#day four in manila
it was 4 am in the morning for wake up call. we had to rush to airport since we probably facing excess baggage. all the baggage in our hotel was being measured. though some had excess, but we predicted that it could be covered by other whose baggage was lighter. but at the airport we were facing nightmare. total excess in our group was 40 kg! that was ridiculous. i argued with the tour guide that we were not supposed to pay for that excess. we had measured our baggage, though probably it might be different from the airport's, but it shouldn't differ much. and our lecturer heard our argument and he decided to charge the outsider for the excess baggage. the tour guide was stupid, he already borrowed my scale, but he didn't measure the baggage from people from the other hotel. i believed pak wid had a lot of spare space, but those couple from batulicin and their good friend was suspicious enough for causing that excess. after all the drama, we waited at the airport. again, with no clarity about lunch and dinner. and the airport was dreadful. no decent food there, so i couldn't prepare anything. i just hoped i could eat whatever the airlines had to offer.
luckily, it was chicken rice for lunch and nasi lemak for dinner. i could tolerate both. and the almost final stupidity, again, he didn't told us where to go after took off from the plane, so some of us got lost. i heard from my classmates that he scolded those who were lost, saying that he already told one of us to wait at the gate. this was stupid. HE should be the one who TOLD EVERYONE where to wait, not just telling one of us, and hoping he or she would tell the other. it was his job after all.
long waiting at the malay airport. but it was okay... we could browsing, chatting, eating, drinking, and sight seeing. though it was small, but it had more to offer than manila's.
then our flight back home. last stupidity: he didn't collect the all the boarding pass, so he had to call out, those who had baggage tag attached to their boarding pass to come forward. and he didn't warn everyone not to come out from the airport until every baggage was tagged. it was quite a chaos, the wife from batulicin had already out from the airport with her 3 baggages. and some of us didn't get the tag. and finally, when all the drama had been sorted out, two of my classmates had their baggage lost. too bad. ..they had to report it and hoped that their bags were okay and could be back to surabaya. the rest of us went back home with one determination, our tour guide was a DUMB-ASS and we are strongly not recommended using his tour. i doubted that he would bring any group anywhere soon...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Book review : Reunion in Death

This the 14th book in In Death series. It started with a birthday party. It was supposed to be a happy moment for Walter Pettibone. His birthday was being celebrated by his second wife. Although he'd already knew about the surprise birthday party, he pretended not to know about it. and it was in the middle of the party. he was just finishing his speech and took a sip of his champagne, and then he was suffocating. a moment later, he was dead. walter was known as a and eve was assigned to this case. later she found out that the deadly champagne was being handed by a waiter, and apparently, eve knew this woman. eve put her behind prison 10 years ago. her name was julianne dunne. she was a man eater. but later eve found out that julie was being released for "good behaviour" reason. and julianne got out with a big plan in mind, getting revenge on eve.

julie was put in prison in the first place for killing his husband. her modus was married a rich man and then killed him. while eve was concentrating on putting julianne back to prison, she put her assisstant, peabody on a test. there was a cold case about the murder of a wife. eve suspected it was the new wife's job. but she let peabody to re-open the case. and interogating the husband and the new wife. eve thought peabody was ready for the next step, and she was ready to recommend peabody for detective position. so the only job peabody had to do was finishing that cold case as leverage.

the next victim was henry mouton. he was also a widower. with 3 ex-wives. and eve had to be hurried since julianne seemed to be in a tight schedule. she had a schedule before she went out from jail. and eve worried that roarke was included in her plan. but mira, the department psychologist, doubted that. mira told eve that roarke didn't have the same quality as the other male victims. all the male victim was rich, but didn't have respect for woman. they're all divorced their wives for newer, younger wives.  and eve had to go to dallas, where it started. going to dallas meant that she had to face her previous nightmare. but roarke was there for her.

at the end, eve was in the right place and the right time to catch julianne. this time, eve made sure that she wouldn't get out for "good behavior". and another good news was peabody was also able to solve the cold case. and eve put her name to be promoted.