Monday, July 9, 2007

A well planned day, carelessly wasted.

Blown Monday: We took all the care we could to schedule this trip. How many times did our plans fail? Why, just today, four (4) times! At least. A little tale of a day lost in Manila. We hired a taxi driver we know, who was kind enough to email me on Jose Rizal's birthday, and haggled over the price to drop us off at the Acuario de Manila (guess), so we could start our planned two day educational feast of the Planetarium, Aquarium, National Museum, Orchidarium, and perhaps the National Library. Wednesday I'll hit NAMRIA, the national mapping and information agency, in a multipronged attack, seeking tide harmonic constants, and maps.

At the top of the order, our driver, Lemeul, took us into Intramuros, the spanish walled city, where we found a portal leading out through a part of the wall currently being restored. This passageway would lead us, we were told, to the aquarium, just outside the wall. We thriftily asked him to drop us off, rather than accompany us, which we could not afford at this point. After he had explained the directions to the planetarium from the aquarium, he left us, and we entered the passageway.

A few meters later, we met a security guard dressed the part of a spanish era civil guard soldier, with a straw hat colored black, and the forward facing bring bent sharply up against the tube of the hat, parallel with the plane of his face. He told us that since sharks are getting hard to find, and expensive to maintain, and many fishes had died, the aquarium is no longer open. Strike one!

It was kind of hot, so we texted Lemuel, did he want to come get us before he got too far away? Ok, he replied. He took us to the planetarium, giving us a little historical tour along the way of Intramuros and Fort Santiago, where Jose Rizal was imprisoned prior to his execution. Guess what? The planetarium is closed on Mondays. We are sorry, William. Let's move on to the fabled Museum. Strike two!

A few hundred meters up the road was the museum. The gates were locked, and the ubiquitous and obligatory security guard informed us that the museum is open only from Wednesday through Sunday. Strike three!

The Manila Orchidarium is but a little ways away; let's do that. Lemuel spoke to a security guard who told us that it is open, but the entrance is a hundred meters away, around the other side. We had to walk part of the way, but it wasn't far. We saw some beautiful orchids through the gate. The LOCKED gate. This is not baseball: Strike four!

We went to the mall, hardly ever closed in Manila, where Fe can finish her shopping errands for friends.

I have pixs to post. These internet cafes are amazingly bad.

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