I had some things to do in Dumaguete this morning
Perhaps this was not the most fun thing to do in Dumaguete but today was the day I decided to have the oil changed in my Rusi motorcycle. The rest of the morning involved going to Bureau of Immigration, dining at the Rollin’ Pin, and buying a cat feeder. Even mundane chores like these can be very interesting when you live in Philippines.
I woke up to a sharp pain in my neck as my sweet, young thing gave me a poke and told me it was 8:30 am and we had “things to do” today. Just a half hour more sleep, I thought as I rolled over until 9 AM. After all, I am retired. Somehow I had not previously imagined that waking up to a 36 kg, beautiful and well put together, 20 year old Filipina would be described as a ‘pain in the neck’. It’s a tough job but even at the age of 60 I can still hold my own.
After washing in a bucket, (showers are just an expression in our house), we were on our way to the Rusi dealership in downtown Dumaguete. It is a large showroom with a maintenance area that can easily take care of 6 to 12 motorcycles at a time. Since I bought the motorcycle from them 2 months ago, oil changes are free if I supply (read that pay for) the oil. This went without a hitch.
The other thing that is free at Rusi is registration and license plates. Yes, it’s free but it takes 5 months. 5 months to get the license plates and register the motorcycle so I can go through a police check stop without stopping way back and waiting for the cops to go for donuts before I drive through. Every time there is a check stop you can see hundreds of motorcycles that are not yet registered and cannot go through the check stop. I tried it once, long ago. Another friend tried it too. We both had our motorcycles confiscated until we could provide the correct papers. Bureaucracy here is nightmarish!
Since the plates and registration are not available today I went to my next errand. Bureau of Immigration has new staff and new policies for tourist visa renewals this month. I arrived at 10:30 am and the first thing I saw was a note on the door that Visa renewals will only be processed until 2PM daily. If you are in Dumaguete on a tourist visa, go early if you want to get it extended. At 10:30 there was no line up and the process went as well as can be expected until I paid my 2,930 pesos for the 2 month renewal fee.
“Come back this afternoon before 4 PM” the lady told me. I was astounded. Having renewed my tourist Visa in the Dumaguete BI office at least a dozen times I had never seen them work fast enough to return my passport to me the same day. Three days later, yes. A week later, yes. Even 10 days later was normal for this office but the new crew seems much more efficient as they promised to have my passport back to me within 5 hours. Outstanding!
It’s now time to eat and the Rollin’ Pin is one of my favorite places for a light meal. I ordered a very nice American breakfast with coffee and juice while Yvonne had Panini and blueberry milkshake. It is very good food for only 415 pesos (US$9). The complaint I had today was about the Silliman University students. We took the last, tiny little table in the café because every other place to sit was occupied by students using the free Wi-Fi. They look like they have been sitting there for hours and they have cell phone, laptop, PDA, and text books all over the tables. The only thing missing is any food and drink. They are not there to support the restaurant, only to take up space that paying customers need. It will be the death of that café if the owners are not careful.
Well those were the things I did this morning. On the way home I stopped at Animal Wellness which is a veterinarian clinic and pet supply store to buy a cat feeder. I plan to be away from home for a few nights next month and I want the cats to be fed while I am away. Some expats would have hired help or had neighbors come by and feed their animals but I prefer not to let anyone know I am gone until I am already back. It’s usually safer that way. Oh yes, if you are wondering, the cat feeder cost 650 pesos (US$14) which is expensive for Philippines but cheap considering the peace of mind it gives me.
How did your morning go?