A Day for the Life in Civilization

For those who have been away from civilization for some time, I thought I would give a little reminder of life in a place where there is still some measure of common sense and sanity:

I work for the railways in a major city in the US, with my home terminal in the downtown area. My 150 square meter home is located 40 km away in the suburbs. Since I work an evening shift I have the ability to sleep in as needed, and since I was struggling with some kind of mild virus over the past couple of days I decided to rest a little longer this morning. A gentle, fresh, clean breeze blows through my bedroom window, with the only noise coming from an occasional train blowing its whistle for a railway crossing about 300 meters away (something that does not bother me). Finally, my dog wakes me up, I let him out, then feed him and start my day. My morning starts with taking a number of vitamins and herbal supplements, and I wash it down with cold water from the faucet—never thinking about whether the water coming out of my tap is safe to drink.

A phone call comes from the franchise operator of a Chick-Fil-A restaurant. For those unfamiliar with Chick-Fil-A, it is a fast-growing fast food chain that serves the best chicken sandwiches in the world. Anyway, the franchise operator called me in a response to a complaint I filed through their website; I was recently at one of their restaurants and ordered a chicken sandwich without a pickle, but instead of preparing me a fresh sandwich, evidently one of their workers simply took an already-prepared sandwich, removed the pickle, and served it to me. I was quite disappointed because it still had a mild pickle taste. So in response to my complaint, the franchise operator called me to apologize, told me that the incident made for a good teaching session for their employees, then she informed me that they will send me a coupon for a free meal in response to the inconvenience. Given the highly-competitive nature of restaurants in the US, I know that the caller’s apology was true.

It’s a beautiful late summer day with slightly unseasonably warm temperatures—a perfect day to take Fletcher for a long walk. I’ve owned a small airplane for over 20 years, and I keep it in a hangar at the local airport about 1 km from my home. Fletcher loves going to the airport because of the open fields that allow him to romp and run. As we walk along the sidewalk on the way to the airport, I notice a small amount of trash strewn next to an electrical transformer–which is quite an unusual sight here–so I make a mental note to remember to bring a small bag the next time I walk that way so I can tidy things up. The dog and I go to my hangar, I get what I need, then we walk back home.

I’m trying to drop a little weight, so I would normally hop on my bike and ride the bike trails at the local forest preserve (county park) for about an hour or so, but I have to take a raincheck on that because I have some business to do before starting work. I am a Locomotive Engineer by trade, my triennial federal recertification (licensing) is coming up, and I need to go to a company-appointed doctor to get an eye exam and hearing test. So I look at the paperwork the railroad sent me and find the address of an occupational health center which is along my way to work. I leave for work early, zip down the expressways at an average speed of 100km/h, then stop at the health center. Ugh, there are a lot of people waiting, and the receptionist, after apologizing, informs me that it may be 1-1/2 hours before I can be seen. Gosh, I do not want to wait that long, so I leave, noticing on the paperwork that they have another office I can go to which is closer to downtown.

Good for me, that office is nearly empty, so after filling out the necessary paperwork, they bring me right in for my eye exam and hearing test, and I am out of there in about 45 minutes.

So I get to work and park my vehicle, and since I an almost an hour early, I decide to walk over to the downtown state Motor Vehicle office because I need to obtain a copy of my driver’s license records. Total time to obtain my driver’s record: Less than 5 minutes, and that time included the the elevator ride to and from the 10th Floor.

With all my business done, I settle down for an uneventful evening at work.

I roll back into my driveway a few seconds after Midnight, and since it is such a beautiful night I decide to take Fletcher for a longer-than-normal midnight walk. As we walk through the local community park, we pass by the newly-constructed playground, then I stop and look up at the starlit sky, draw a breath of clean cool air, and think that, just 2 years ago, I was going to give all of this up—my airplane (my biggest earthly love is flying), my nice home, a career that I absolutely love, and many of my personal belongings—then move to the Land of Imbeciles to live with the aswang who, along with her family and every other family that knows me over there, only see me as a Sugar Daddy and an ATM who they have used and abused in the years I had known them.

Thankfully, my lobotomy reversal was a success

Published in Expats


  1. Profile gravatar of CantFixStupid

    Awesome story of a successful life back in the lovley US of A. I’ve traveled so much, and now just enjoy each passing moment in a modern country. There is a reason most 3rd world citizens want to get here.

  2. Profile gravatar of Johnny

    “Total time to obtain my driver’s record: Less than 5 minutes, ”
    I’m not sure if you read my article on the Fixers. My experience in obtaining a copy of my registration took about 8 hours total with 6 steps.
    One of my cousins said the biggest joy he got when he went to the USA was driving down the freeway. I had no idea why until I lived in the Philippines and then that became one of the things I missed about the USA as well.

  3. Profile gravatar of Pinay Lover
    Pinay Lover

    I just hope you don’t have kid’s with her and their stuck there. If you don’t and you’re completely free of those parasites, I commend you. Great decision to rid them and live a peaceful life with Fletch.

  4. Profile gravatar of snakebitbytheflips
    snakebitbytheflips Post author

    No kids, in fact, I am thankful to God Almighty that I did not get the aswang pregnant, for that would have changed everything. In retrospect, she wanted to get pregnant as soon as I made the BIG mistake of tying the knot. Now that “the scales fall off my eyes”, and now that I am much more enlightened to the evil, conniving ways of the flips, I realise that she wanted to get pregnant right away so I would be permanently trapped (a friend of mine said it would have been “the final nail in the coffin”), and so the kid would be a tool she could use to extract more money from the “rich ‘kano”.

    I feel sorry for those “rich ‘kanos” who were not so fortunate. I know that having a kid makes things much harder, especially if the kid is being raised in that shite-hole.

    1. Profile gravatar of Mufazzza

      Yea. Wise to “test the waters” before you burn your bridges and commit wholly to that “more fun place” it seems…

      Sounds like you’ve gotta have a real masochistic attitude to actually appreciate staying there! 🙂

      Good on ya flipbitsnake! 🙂

  5. Profile gravatar of

    Really well written. Every day I compare my life here in Mindanao and there in Victoria, Canada. The only one thing that keeps me here in Mindanao is the love from my wife. In Victoria it is loneliness and a longing for partnership that is unattainable.

    1. Profile gravatar of BLX2

      Mine is cheap cigarettes, loneliness would be caused by not wanting to be rightfully bitched at for my heavy smoking. A truly deadly addiction for me.

  6. Profile gravatar of

    I have recently read a good amount of articles from this site, and while I am unable to sympathize with the majority of everyday problem experienced by members living in the PH due to my young age, different demographic and lack of experience, the ills of the culture, ever present, still manifest themselves: just in a different way, so I still feel I can identify as a bearer of the message this website delivers.

    As a new member, I have to address my curiosity with the motivations of people on this site: What is the logic in permanently living the Philippines? And why do people hold it to the same standards as that of a first world country? It’s a third world country with an unfamiliar culture. Surely these two things are enough to turn off anybody living comfortably in the U.S..

    I can’t help but think it’s mainly the women and the status of being a foreigner. I’m not trying to insult people here, and my perception of this site is based on admittedly insufficient time spent on it, but I don’t understand why people complain when their situation (I may be wrong, some people probably have businesses here and/or fucked up already) is relatively simple. It’s a choice between easy women and status and the perks of life in a first world country. This is not to say that the obviously apparent stupidity in the behavior of the average pinoy does not exist, but that should have been apparent with burning red flags within like a month of living here, so I’m confused about why people decide to take long-term residence here and then complain about it.

    1. Profile gravatar of BLX2

      If I could walk right back into my career I’d be gone in a heartbeat. Very unforgiving to have a large gap on your resume. That’s the short story. Still aiming for the right relationship to at least feel my mistake wasn’t that bad. I’ll either succeed and take them home with me, or I’ll give up and go home and admit defeat. I really fucked up. When I first came here I ended up renting from a pinoy who was raised in the U.S. and came back to attend nursing school. The pinay I married and took back to the U.S. did turn out to be a real shit head, but still I was clueless just how universally bad it was here. I didn’t understand that my American pinoy friend and my few foreign friends sheltered me from dealing with the true reality here. I had yet to run into BI, LTO and criminal problems here. I still believed the forums that there were plenty of diamonds to be found here, figured I just fucked up and would do better the next time. You know, that practice makes perfect thing. And it does, I was an armature fuck up, once again I rose to the challenge and became a professional royal fuck up!!!

    2. Profile gravatar of Random Numbers
      Random Numbers

      I will tackle your second question: “Why do people hold it to the same standards as that of a first world country?”. We don’t, but we find the ignorance, stupidity, dishonesty and horrible service to be among the worst in Asia. Thailand is not a first world country, and their English is abominable, but they have many times the tourists that the Philippines does because they understand customer service and keeping things clean. It doesn’t take much to get to that level, but the Philippines and filipinos seem incapable of understanding the importance of these 2 basic concepts. Just look at any major waterway in Manila, they have artificial islands of garbage floating in them! We aren’t holding them to first world standards, we are commenting on their total LACK of standards, and their complete pride in their lack.

    3. Profile gravatar of Mike

      Some people have no choice but to stay in the philippines. Examples might involve family that cannot migrate for one. Also from personal experience if a foreigner has a lot of money in a filipino bank they will have a very hard time getting it out IF they get it. You would be surprised at the excuses the banks come up with to avoid the release of large amounts of cash to foreigners. So the foreigners stays because as soon as he leaves the philippines will say he abandoned the money and take it. That’s what they do.

      Compare to a first world nation? No we don’t do that but filipinos accuse any foreigner who states any negative fact of doing that. It looks to me that the filipinos have no interest in doing anything to make the country better and in fact go out of their way to keep everything substandard. That’s not our fault for pointing these things out. Filipinos tend to want to point the finger of blame to other countries for their problems here yet refuse to even try to fix them. Philippines has become a professional beggar nation that depends on welfare from first world nations and they like it that way.

    4. Profile gravatar of TightWired

      I think their is a lot of truth in your observations. Yes a large portion of foreigners are here for Relationships, or Economic reasons. My disagreement lies in your idea that Foreigners need to except Fili-Fail Culture.
      First off…What is Fili-Fail Culture ??? I would say the “Idea” of Supporting the Family 1st, or Blind Faith to the Church’s teachings are some cultural traits of the Philippines (good or bad). But is lying, cheating, corruption, morals, etc… also a Fili-Fail cultural trait ???
      I will probabley never except the Family 1st, or the Blind Faith to the Church cultural traits. I will never lower my own Morals or beliefs to fit into this country. I survive in this country by putting up barriers to these traits that I don’t agree with.
      The largest majority of comments on this website isn’t about the Culture of the Fili-Fail, but instead they are about everyday encounter with Fili-fails who make a conscience effort to lie, cheat, steal, corruption, etc… especially with foreigners. This is not culture…Or Is it ???
      Why am I still here…1. Economic, 2. Lifestyle (not just $$$), 3. Relationship, 4. Weather.
      My decisions to live in this country is all about being Content with where I’m at in my life at this moment. Being content means to me “not 100% happy, but…willing to live with the good and bad”. One day I figure I’ll have enough of the Philippines…and then it’s time to go.