We all have our complaints about the living situation here. I am one of the complainers in a big way. But I have put things in perspective on a comparative basis and that keeps me relatively happy. Here are some of things that I think about very often!
- Let’s face it guys, where else in the world would this be possible? My wife is 36 years younger than me and is one of the most attractive women in the world, not just the Fils. It didn’t come easy keeping her but it’s worth it. If I was in my country this would not be possible, a woman of her age and appearance wouldn’t even look at me. She wouldn’t need to she would be mobbed by men even younger than her.
- If I was back home I would be faced with, obese, post menopausal, dried up retirees, with nothing to talk about but the past and pensioners benefits and taking their meds three times a day.
- She likes a simple life, a load with face book and TV and going out a few days is enough. If I was back home, my partner would be reading all day and watching weather reports and planning trips to Arizona in the winter.
- When I met her three years ago she could hardly cook an egg. Now, because cooking is my hobby and I am an ex nutrionist, she loves to cook all the healthy things I have taught her.
- Being thrifty. She used to call me kuriput, cheap, but now she has learned the reasoning in how I spend and has learned about limits.
- Filipinas are smart not stupid.
- I like to drink beer. Two or three liters a day, in my country this would cost $60 70 80 bucks here it costs me about 200pesos.
- I drive a motorcycle. If I was in my country I would already be in jail from breathalyzer tests, many times. No freedom where I come from and super taxation on alcohol. Really bullshit laws too.
- It’s my head that’s at risk, if I want to drive without a helmet that’s my choice not theirs, the police will even give you a fucking fine for driving a bicycle with no helmet, I’m not joking. Unbelievable.
- Here I can live a basic happy, healthy life on $2000 a month, which includes a lot of things that would not be possible back home. Like going out to drink, taking public transportation, eating in a restaurant, going to a gym for 25pesos a time, how much a month back home?
- 40 pesos for a haircut, how much back home, $10, 15, 20
- I’m a long distance swimmer, used to do triathlons, so this is a perfect place for me. I swim a mile three times a week in the ocean at a beautiful resort for free, twelve months of the year. If the tide is wrong I go to another beautiful resort that has a chlorinated 25m pool and do my lengths there, for 70p a time. Can’t lose in this tropical climate.
- I love to eat fish; here there are hundreds of kinds, shrimp for 200p/kg, dorado or pandawan for 140/kg, squid for 200/kg, malasugi or swordfish for 250/kg, tanigui or barracuda 250/kg, lapu lapu, maiyamaiya, so cheap. Where I come from one piece, one meal of any kind of fish is about 600 pesos or about 3000p/kg and only about 10 kinds.
- If I have electrical problems like a bad plug, in a few minutes I have someone fix it for 50p, back home an appointment a few days later and $60/hr. Plumber, gardener the same. Any kind of things that need fixing are done in a flash here. Back home bullshit union wages and overcharging and waiting forever.
- Eating and drinking anywhere is possible here. Back home even if you are in a park they will take your beer and pour it out, even arrest you.
- Here at immigration I can talk to a person in five minutes, when I try to talk to a human at my embassy it is almost impossible, I can’t even get a visitor’s visa for my wife, applied two times, wasted three hundred dollars and didn’t even get a reason for refusal. Just get the same email over and over; please check our website blah, blah, blah. At immigration here I get answers in minutes.
- Back home there is the constant feeling of being old, ads on TV, wheel chair friendly this and that, wheelchair sidewalks, handicapped friendly washrooms, pension this and that, hundreds of life insurance commercials. Here you just fight and do your best.
- Back home there are beautiful gardens, parks, and forests everywhere, here just people forever and is there any rainforest left?
- Peace and quiet when I want it not when I’m privileged enough to have it.
- Polite people back home.
- I hate tipping; it’s ridiculous to always feel pressured when I leave an establishment. Here no pressures, no tipping necessary.
- No trash anywhere, so clean!
- I drive a 125cc Honda that cost me 53000p, really basic bike, almost the same as my first motor in 1968, a Honda S90. It has drum brakes, chain drive, spoke wheels, really feels good, really solid and well made. I get it tuned up every 6 months for 200p. Back home they are all big, with ultra modern crap, oversized engines, and cost thousands, tune ups forget it, hundreds, really ridiculous prices and upkeep because they are so bloody complicated.
ON THE OTHER HAND
If you look you will notice that almost everyone does it, no matter where or when. Especially when they exit a door going out, first thing is spit, men women and children. I walk a lot and am really tired of seeing the blobs everywhere. I was sitting across from a Gasul distributor, having a beer and in a 30 minute period the worker came out five times to spit. When the kids run out of their classrooms they spit, mothers waiting for them spit. It’s disgusting and nauseating.
2. Shouting at each other.
Filos don’t talk at each other they shout at each other’s faces. They shout from house to house all day anytime. They are so loud it raises my blood pressure. So many times I have asked people to talk not shout.
3. Noise of motors.
It doesn’t matter how small the engine, I have to stop my sentence when they go by because you can’t hear. They take the baffles out of the muffler so it’s just a straight pipe, or they have the home made pipes that are straight pipes. Also the big diesel trucks, I have to block my ears when they go by.
4. Air horns on buses and trucks.
They use them anywhere, anytime, and for no reason, or at a time when they think it will make traffic move when all it does is frustrate people. You know the horns I mean. The one’s that just about blow your head off if you’re close. Almost gives me a heart attack, they should be banned.
5. Noise of neighbors.
All lined up are rows of amakan or bamboo or plywood houses behind my rental house and all day every day they shout between the houses, ate, dai, bla bla bla, kaon ka bla bla. It’s especially annoys me when it’s 5am. Also from about 5am all the sound systems go on. The radio’s are the worst, they have those commentators that when they finish a phrase there’s some noise comes out. They have them full volume so that it’s bassy echoey boom sound. Sometimes I can hear four or five sound systems at the same time. And then they start the sing along so it’s like one big karaoke noise, wtf?
6. Heeeey, my friend, hey!! Kano, joe, fuck you, hahahaha bla bla.
I walk a lot in rural places twice a week. They feel compelled to say something when passing. I don’t know them and they don’t know me so wtf? Then you get the laugh even if you don’t react and know they said something smart ass. Don’t walk past a school room when the class is on, omg, 50 hey joes. And if you do react it just makes them happy and it makes it worse.
7. Dogs – A National Crisis.
The poor buggers. They are everywhere by the millions. Sometimes four or five per house. Every single one has flies and mange and is malnourished due to lack of protein. Sometimes tied to a one meter chain or in a cage. If I go to someone’s gate there’s like three of them all going ballistic and the owner tries to talk to me like they’re not there, buong ka?This country is like one big dog farm even when the owners don’t have money for themselves never mind the dogs. It costs 1500p for a spay or neuter. It should free through government subsidy. I would say it’s one of the biggest crises this country has but it will never change.
8. No manners in line ups or going somewhere.
I don’t know how many times I’ve been in a line up and someone buts in, just kind of drifts in to the side. Or I’m walking up steps or in a crowd and someone steps on the back of my thongs so I almost fall, like don’t give any space. And they don’t line up in a line behind people they kind of come in from the side.
9. Throwing trash indiscriminately everywhere.
When I drive in to the town near where I live the road sides are full of veneer bags and rice sacks full of garbage. Most of them ripped open by dogs and everything spread around. If you go to a sari sari store, on either side there’s a line of junk food bags of every kind, cigarette buts, those long plastics that they sell water in, you name it. School playgrounds are just a field of bags and garbage. All because of lack of education and lack of caring. Unbelievable mess!
9. Bakeries where everything tastes the same – sweet.
Things look different but they all taste the same, sweet and sometimes salty. Really need some education and whole wheat flower. Oh what I would give for multi grain breads and good bakery stuff.
10. Calenderias where everything is full of msg and salt.
I try not to eat at them anymore because everything is laced with magic sarap (msg) and salt. I get a skin rash from it if I eat out at them for a few days.
11. Selling palm oil when the Phils is nothing but coconuts.
If you have ever been to Indonesia or Malaysia you will remember a sea of palm oil palms forever. That’s what they do with the land after they slash and burn the rainforest. Really enrages me, then we get the smoke. So I don’t ever bye palm oil, but why is so prevalent and sometimes hard to find coconut oil when the Phils is covered with coconut trees? Maybe they export it all to China?
12. Driving habits.
If I wasn’t a defensive driver with a lifetime of experience I would be dead long ago here. It’s all one lane in both directions where I live and the frustrated drivers behind the slow tricycles pass when they fell like it even when it’s in my face. I don’t know how many times I have had to go on the verge or get hit, really ignorant and stupid.
13. Thousands of multi denominational churches.
Almost every block has some kind of religious structure! Why do they need them? Someone tell me. The Baptist one’s are always playing music, the catholic and Igesio de Cristo want money, they all have weird rules that dominate your life. Why bother is my question. I look at the sedimentary rock my area is built on and see the millions of years old fossils of coral and giant clams. Oh really God created this a few thousand years ago, ya right. Get a brain, halleluiah.
14. The use of PA systems when not needed.
How many meetings have I seen where the room is as big a living room but the speaker is using a mic. Churches, seminars, classrooms, anything, but it’s not needed, yet no one questions it.
15. Pricing systems pork and goat.
The number one meat eaten here is pork, but! If you live where I do you see endless numbers of goats wondering around. If you go to the palengki and try to find goat it’s not there, unless it’s a big market. When I do find goat, which is super delicious, low in cholesterol and fat, it’s like trice the price of pork. Why? Pigs require intensive care, special food, stink, noisy, and the meat is the fattiest and highest in cholesterol of all. Who decides the price of the goat meat, why is it expensive, they don’t require any care, just let them roam, they breed like flies, WTF? Why not make them half the price of pork and sell the meet everywhere? I’m serious there are millions of them here. Three times more than pigs! So why double the price? Must be cultural?!
16. Fat women.
I don’t know why but compared to a few years ago there is an explosion of overweight, chubby, fat and obese women over the age of about 30! Is it an increase in the middle class due to OFW’s and immigrants? Is it a lack of caring after having kids and the hubby not doing it anymore? Why, and why suddenly? I don’t know but everywhere I look they are there with flowing blubber.
17. Floor ladies in department stores.
I really feel sorry for the poor things for they have to endure eight hours a day six days a week. The floors are as slippery as ice but they still have to wear heals when it should be rubber flats. They wear those stupid non see through nylons, short skirts so they can’t bend over. The makeup is so thick you could peel it off and use it as a mask. All rules from some idiot not living in the real world with no regard whatsoever for human comfort or respect.
How many security guards can you count in a department store? Who opens the door for you in a convenience store, carries automatic weapons at banks, security. Searches your bags endlessly, sitting outside of every imaginable building. Imagine what would happen to the unemployment rate if they only had the one’s necessary? How many bicycle, tricycle, motor drivers, taxi’s are you everywhere you look. At least 50 are redundant. Need I go on? What a mess.
19. Christmas from September to January.
Every retail outlet from Sept till New Years is playing f……g Christmas music. WTF?? What the hell is wrong with this nation? It doesn’t snow here; there are no reindeer, its multy denominational, why four months, who decided? Just another non-sensical no brain for no reason just bullshit that nobody bothers to change.Published in