I have been experiencing near technical meltdown, hence the erratic posts. First we had horrendous service from ZPDEE and finally fired them after weeks of inexplicably pathetic service and even more pathetic responses from their staff. If not for the brilliant help of two computer experts plus my wife who have come to my rescue, I probably would have given upâ€¦ We are now using PLDT DSL and I have finally switched to wireless mode at home and can now post entries from the garden, bedroom or herb garden for all of you to see. In addition, the number of hits to Marketmanila.com has grown steadily and I have apparently run out of bandwidth, whatever that means, so there have been blackouts or glitches that I do not and will not ever understand. I simply have to buy more bandwidth, I am told. So this has just been too taxing on Marketman and what little hair I have left not only turned white this past week but mostly fell off. And this is supposed to be a relaxing endeavor? So since I was in an ornery mood all weekend, I figure I should re-start posts with a rant on Diet Cokeâ€¦
I am a Diet Coke (Coke Light to others) addict. I love the way the bubbles tickle your palate on their way down. I love its deep caramel color and distinctive artificial â€œbouquet.â€ The way it is â€œsweetishâ€ without being cloying. I like the hit of caffeine and for me, it is a daily must. However, in the past few weeks, the price of a can of Diet Coke in the grocery has risen from P13.5 to about PHP17.30 or a whopping increase of 28%!!! The increase seems a bit excessive as it is neither contraband, it is only slightly affected by VAT and aluminum prices and royalties for the secret formula have dropped 10% as the peso has strengthened. There is no shortage of artificial sweetener and I understand they might even use well water in Laguna to make the stuffâ€¦ Since I drink up to 8 cases of the stuff, this increase means PHP700 more per month for a concoction of caramel, water, caffeine, coloring and fizz. That savings would allow me to upgrade my bandwidth to at least two levels up! I did some quick calculations, and realized I could save 50-60% if I just switched to drinking Coke Light from the 1.5 liter plastic bottles and promptly bought 2 cases of plastic bottles.
Back home, I twisted open a bottle and poured myself a tall glass of Coke Light with ice cubes. One gulp and I nearly spat it outâ€¦it was quite disgusting! I can definitely tell blindfolded what came out of a can and what came out of a bottle. I kid you not. The canned version is fizzier and appears to be less â€œsweetishâ€ tasting. The bottled version is flat and cloying. It is only slightly better than the fastfood store version that is nearly undrinkable and often tastes of horrendous plastic cups and the chemicals they are made out of. And our local canned Diet Coke version appears to taste different again from say a U.S. can of coke. Frankly, I am perturbed by this lack of consistency from a company that I have given so much of my money to over the past 40 years. And the things I have done to get Coke (since I dislike Pepsi that much) into certain hotels and restaurants is material for another separate post! Two thumbs and toes down on Coca-Cola, San Miguel and whomever else is responsible for this current state of affairs. Since I am addicted, I am not going to take any radical action other than to drink about 30% less of the stuff as my sign of protest. I gave up Diet Coke for lent once and it was harder than the year I gave up riceâ€¦