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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Trust hurts…

15 08 2017

Finally, after ages before too late, tonight I am going to the concert of Megadeth!!

Lost in a dream
Nothing is what it seems
Searching my head
For the words that you said
Tears filled my eyes
As we said our last goodbyes
This sad scene replays
Of you walking away
My body aches from mistakes
Betrayed by lust
We lied to each other so much
That in nothing we trust
Time and again
She repeats let’s be friends
I smile and say yes
Another truth bends,
I must confess
I try to let go, but I know
We’ll never end ’til we’re dust
We lied to each other again
But I wish I could trust
My body aches of mistakes
Betrayed by lust
We lied to each other so much
That in nothing we trust
God help me please, on my knees
Betrayed by lust
We lied to each other so much
That in nothing we trust
How could this be happening to me
I’m lying when I say, “Trust me”
I can’t believe this is true
Trust hurts
Why does trust equal suffering
Absolutely nothing we trust

…I do trust thought it’s gonna be a great concert!





What does matter at the end?

21 07 2017

I tried so hard and got so far

But in the end it doesn’t even matter

I had to fall to lose it all

But in the end it doesn’t even matter….


#linkinpark #rip





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…





Amsterdam Valentine

14 02 2017

Love to the city – love to the friends – love to the sky – love to this light…

Love yourself (more or less literally up to you)





Conversation with a ghost of the past life

8 02 2017

I have written this story on a small sheet of paper sitting in my usual spot in my usual bar, alone as usually, but completely relaxed, enjoying the noise around me and feeling in complete peace with myself. It is good sometimes to be a ghost lost in a crowd..

– In the previous life we were a couple
M – Were we?
– Yes
M – And how was it?
– It was good, great even from time to time. We had 2 kids, 2 girls
M – 2 can be tough
– You know that, right. But 2 can also be awesome
M – Was it awesome for us?
– It was for you.. when you left me
M – Did I?
– Yes, and it had been the right thing to do
M – Was it?
– I loved you and the girls with all myself.. but it was not enough
M – What was missing then?
– Loving myself as well, accepting myself, stop thinking I should have been better
M – Could you?
– I tried and failed, and drunk myself away from my failures, or at least I thought I could get away
M – Was it worth?
– I gave you a chance for a better life when I was over, when I was done… so yes, my failures gave you freedom
M – Did I really want that freedom? From you? Have you ever asked this to yourself?
– I was taking you down with me, taking the girls away from happiness because of my egoism
M – Have you not being selfish killing yourself?
– Have you been happy afterwards?
M – …
– …
M – I missed you in the past life, the girls missed you
– But then they found again happiness, you found happiness.. they forgot me, you forgot me
M – Have you found peace now?
– I see the past, my errors, the present, I see you.. I am content
M – But not happy
– Happiness is overrated
M – Fuck off
– I loved you. I still do. I will always do.. in my way
M – Fuck off
– Are you happy now?
M – Yes, I am
– Then stop talking and let me enjoy your smile.. so I am happy too

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The Seventh Day…

31 01 2017

…he rested.. I mean, I rested, finally! Yesterday.. yeah!

During the weekend, feeling quite tired at practice in Belgium with Kuribayashi sensei, and going to bed relatively early Saturday night after the dinner event, I realized that I have been practicing quite a bit this month. Every day since last Tuesday (no practice on that day). At least, a bit for my own self, nothing compared with my aiki-bro Aikifreak. More or less like the Stavanger days, but there I was teaching most of the classes and it is quite a big difference, especially here in Amsterdam, between being instructor or not.

19 training days this month and my condition is far from optimal. The elbow inflammation and the probable knee bursitis are following me from last months in 2016 to now. But it was ages I did not practice that much in a month, and none of these days was a full teaching session.

A couple of weeks ago I had a bike incident, smashing on the frozen tarmac after misjudging the height of a step and try to “jump” with bicycle and all, I had landed on the same knee already in pain and for some strange Aikido reflex I had managed to not smashed the left arm on the ground when I bent the handlebar:

bike handlebar re-work

bike handlebar re-work

An accident due to 80% stupidity, 10% iced road and 10% bad luck..

Funny thing is that after the crash both knee and elbow seems to improve.. Fight fire with fire?

…but the not traditional healing method did not really stick, and nowadays I have started thinking to get back to some more traditional cures, that wouldn’t require to crash again my poor bike..

In the close future I see some more very active weeks coming and I am quite happy. I have planned to attend interesting seminars where I will meet amazing people on the mats and have more chance to test my body and mind. Last Aikido year had been fantastic. I have hopes and I trust this year will be equally great.. but I have to improve my own condition. Learn how to recover faster as well.

Tuesday’s are my days of rest but unfortunately it’s almost sure I work overtime every single one. But I also promised myself to stop on the way home at Bukowski bar, my oasis in Amsterdam. Often alone I sit in my spot, have an occasional chat with the people working there, check my Instagram or social places or write my blog… like yesterday night….