4 Uber + 2 Grab equals…

22 08 2017

…a very interesting first night in Jakarta, to say it in the most positive possible way… Typical of course of my usual positivity!

That was Sunday night…

After a great seafood dinner in a bit of remote place in Jakarta north I had to get a bike to go back to my hotel, in Jakarta west. 

Amazing seafood


Like in Vietnam I like the motorbike taxis more than the cars, because of the crazy traffic and jams in this overpopulated city! In fact the only Indonesian word I know is “macet”, meaning traffic jam.

On the roads of Saigon


So I sent my request for Uber bike referring to the location given by the Internet signal…

Uber


The first 2 Uber after apparently riding around my position with the time for arrival changing from 2 minutes to 15 than 3 and randomly increasing again cancelled.

I take this as a partly personal mistake since then I realized my position was about 50 meters wrong. So I corrected it and try again..

One of the first 2 Uber driver accepted again but then after 20 minutes he canceled again.. And the same happened with the 4th attempt..

Then I gave up on Uber…

Grab


….and tried my favorite application for my Vietnamese time… but here more expensive than Uber, still… it was time to change!

I must admit that the drivers seemed to get to my location easier than Uber ones, maybe even too easily: the first driver was a little too eager to pick me up, and start drinking.. Maybe he had a hot girlfriend waiting for me at home, or a hot meal or both..

But after not even a minute when I ask him if he was sure of the direction (I know nothing but I can read maps and I know the cardinal points) he showed me his application with the destination and clearly it was not my hotel…
He had picked up the wrong person!!! Bad luck the first 3 digits of the license plate were the same as for my real ride…
…that luckily arrived a few seconds after the wrong one brought me back…
You might think the adventure was over, right? That was my thought.. and of course I was wrong..
I realized that even if all drivers have a special holder for the mobile phone to put on the front of the motorbike, they are not so good at following the GPS! He stopped 4 times to ask indications to other riders until we got to an area I thought to recognize, I took out my phone with my own Google maps and told him where to go…
After about 1.5 hour (instead of 20 minutes max that I took on the way to the restaurant) I was back to the hotel..
FUNNY THING OF THE DAY – Today I noticed my Uber rating is going fast downhill! That is not good: I’ve been rating almost all drivers with a 5, even when they got lost or I had to support with my own maps… And I wonder why hey have been rating me low.. Occasionally I hit my helmet on theirs with the sudden breaks and accelerations (I always think, hypothetically, a Kaya driver turning and punching me in the face) and most of the time I need help to latch/unlatch the helmet straps.. But these are not so negative points I think.. Once I even gave one driver the laugh of the day putting on the helmet from the wrong side (no, I had not the back of the helmet in front of my face, but the latch was not under my chin but over my forehead… I have no idea how I managed..). Today I tip the driver (almost the same amount of the ride,still cheap for us.. but… not common I think) and he gave me a 5 (my rate was higher than before)… I must carry some change for my rating!!!

My Uber rating Sunday


My Uber rating today before tipping the driver (after it was 4.42)

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A child of 45!

6 07 2017

That is what most of people and myself in primis think when getting to know me!

How could I disagree with that??

always all natural

  • all children almost at once like me: we think in the same way, of course!
  • I sleep on the floor: futon on a very rough handmade base
  • my room has no door, I live with 2 cats and 2 house mates
  • I work to maintain my “life hobby”, Aikido.. nah, let’s say it loud and clear: my life, Aikido!
  • my savings are not much more than … monthly balance.. no future planning (except for Aikido seminars), living the moment.. totally incapacity to answer the question: “what you want your life being in .. 5 years? 10 years? after retirement?”.. what life?
  • I have no girlfriend.. as a matter of fact I almost never had one
  • I got no children and already given up on any thought of a traditional family: enjoying every second with my closest friend children
  • I have never owned a car, a motorbike, a scooter, a dog or cat, never lived with a partner, never been married (reinforcement to my being weird concept)
  • I do not do very well with changes
  • fashion? Sorry, what’s that? I cannot dress properly, not like a 45 y/o man or not even as a 30 something y/o normal person.. I am still a jeans and T-shirt person (like the girls I usually like..). Next week I will go to a wedding in Italy and I am still unsure what I will wear, what I want to wear, where I can buy it, if what I have planned to wear will have the effect to be removed from all contact lists of the people attending the wedding, or just the will not open the door. I hope there is a children table!
  • I listen to more or less the same music I have been listening in the past 25 years
  • I fall asleep in front of the TV (PC) and then get up in the night to switch off the lights.. or I do it in the morning when I go to work!
  • I get grumpy fast like a little child not allowed to do what he wants, that very moment, but also I forget my anger equally fast, most of the times
  • I trust people, like a child.. I got burned quite a few times, but I keep trusting people.. maybe I am a stupid child, or just got a shorter memory than most.. or just I do not want to change (see above, not doing well with changes!)

My biggest fear is becoming a child of 50 that talks to himself (and even answers from time to time), unable to be socially acceptable in any ways (I mean, worse than now!) and being content about that or not even realizing it..

Being still a few years of neural degrading for reaching that point, I hope (at least!). I hope Aikido will help to keep some neurons alive!

And just for the final irony, I discovered today is world kissing day… ironic for a guy child, I mean, that has not kissed that much in his life (but enjoying it every time!) and probably has the record speed of being unmatched on Tinder..

..but at least tonight it is time again to fly to an Aikido seminar and especially to many friends I missed a lot lately.. and in particular celebrating 10 years of knowing a crazy fantastic person from Prague..

flying to…everywhere…





The return of a nightmare

22 05 2017

This morning, 4 am, I woke up, suddenly, in pain: the weight of the duvet on my right knee was enough to send jolts of pain through my nervous system.. and after a few hours, when it started swelling and the slightest touch was equivalent to deep pain, dark thoughts of “The Return of the Watermelon Knee” jumped in my mind and during the day the thoughts became unfortunately reality.

right knee swelling


Besides being in the Netherlands with almost no access to the Chinese products that cured me last time (yeah, no cure from what I got, RA is the only companion for life I will ever get), and not even the first round of pain killers that had proven very useful at the worst time of the swelling period, I have a very busy week in front of me preparing 3 even busier weeks when I will travel for work around Great Britain to give hands on training to different hospitals.. standing and talking activities.

I wish I could find a laowai friendly hospital that could prescribe me again the Tibetan herbal tablets I got then in China and used for a really long time. The only solution is scavenging among the bags of medicine I brought back from my short life in China and see what I manage to put together for a fast hopefully good effect.

leftovers of the magic Tibetan cure


I consider myself having a pretty high pain threshold but today I cried actually twice. I had forgotten the full inflammation pain and the return of it has been a quite traumatic awakening. 

In the next days I need to contain this pain and manage to control it. From next week I got pretty important work tasks that will require me standing most of the day when not walking pulling heavy cases. 

I wanted challenges right? Here they are… be careful what you wish for…

The first challenges were biking tobanf from work but especially walk three flights of stairs to get to my room at home. 

Habits are also painful. I always step into my hakama first with the left foot and I always mountvmy bike from the left side, therefore passing over the right leg… that is bending my swollen and inflamed right knee: the sudden sharp pain pain was definitively a good call to pay more attention!

my hakama

After the ice and evening rest I try to follow the other two rule of the recommended R.I.C.E. procedure: Rest – Ice – Compression – Elevation. 

knee elevation on the loft ceiling of my room


If I were a bat I’d probably be certainly better tomorrow… since I’m not I’m more curious about my weekend to come in Prague…





Ahhh Trondheim!

13 11 2016
winter is coming

warmth & memories

The warmth in my very cold room..

Trondheim, miss this home very often!!

norwegian sunset...

dramatic Norwegian sunset…





Sweet Monday!

31 10 2016

Monday can start in a completely different way when you got a colleague who is baking such great cakes!

sweet monday

peanut cheese cake





1 year anniversary 

25 10 2016

Exactly one year ago I moved to Amsterdam after about two years in Utrecht. 

last step of the move: my first beloved bike (stolen after less than 2 months 😭)


No regrets at all, I should have maybe done it before even!

Morning in Amsterdam

It helped that the company I work got also moved here but since I had already chosen the place for the love of my life, Aikido, I would have moved anyway… eventually… 

I’m just a tiny bit sad that friends who visited me when I was in Utrecht have not been back now that I moved. A few did come back, and saw I also managed to learn some of what this city can offer.. still hope someone else will also come back for a weekend of exploration of the beauty of Amsterdam. 





Unfit

13 10 2016

Last week I had to stop practice after the first hour and it was a bit annoying: I have a couple of physical problems that are carrying longer than expected, and a few too many thoughts on my mind, that are also not helping.

During a first hour of several beginner techniques, working especially on ikkyo and with no throws at all, I had to compensate a lot a problem with one knee that is forcing me to avoid as well all suwariwaza work. That is boring, but last year, more or less in the same period I had the same problem, that went away with some rest..

hope... for something better....

hope… for something better….

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