I found a town in the Phils that I think I could live in. So what am I doing in Thailand? A combination of just plain traveling and some checking it out as a place to live.
Northern Thailand is out of the question because of the air pollution. The burning season + my allergies + my susceptibility to upper respiratory infections = no can do.
The next most appealing area of the country is the south with it’s world famous beaches and islands. That’s where I am now. This area becomes, depending on who you talk to, insufferable during tourism’s high season (Nov. to Feb. give or take a few weeks). It certainly becomes much more expensive and crowded.
So the plan is to travel in the south until no later than late Oct. and form some opinions. Then it’s back to Dumaguete in the Phils. Find a place to rent and settle for a while.
No idea how long ‘a while’ is but I expect I will have a much better idea about how well of a fit the Phils and Dumaguete will be for me by the end of March. That’s important because April and May are the summer here and I don’t want to go through another one unless I’m optimistic about the future.
I have doubts about living in the Phils. I know and have written about the pros and cons. I predict / fear / am concerned about two of the cons.
The first is that I will get tired of what is called the Long Nose Tax. It’s a habitual but slight mistreatment of foreigners in the form of higher prices and lower quality. And the quality of goods and services is low to begin with. It’s the sometimes blatant discrimination, the different standards applied to foreigners.
I look upon the tax the same way I do tipping in a restaurant in the states. If I want to go back to an eatery and receive decent service I need to tip. Forget the logic of paying the servers almost nothing so they have to rely on tips and that most of them seem to do as little as possible to earn the tip, it’s the only game in town. You can’t fight city hall. It’s a given. (Sorry, I can’t think of any more cliches). There are only two things I can do about it: accept it just the way it is and just the way it is not, or go somewhere else.
The other reason is that the probability of pissing off the wrong person in the wrong way. It is a revenge culture, I’m not very diplomatic and occasionally go off (verbally) on people. That is a bad combo platter for living in the Phils.