Leaving the Philippines

Living in the Philippines is mildly depressing.

It’s the depression of lowering my expectations countless times. Of never being able to take a stand when being fucked with by a local – or worse, of taking a stand which only guarantees I’ll be fucked with three times as bad should our paths ever cross again. Of finding a reliable source of a minor pleasure then seemingly having the system take it away once it was noticed. Of feeling like a target. Of hearing yet another foreigner being shot or stabbed. Of joking that I don’t know which is worse, getting salmonella or being treated for it by a Filipino doctor.

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6 Responses to Leaving the Philippines

  1. Tiger says:

    I enjoy reading your blog.
    It sounds like you are not adjusting to Philippine life style. Everything you mentioned were already known well before you arrived. Yet, it can’t be that bad. There are 1000s of expats who either love/tolerate/getby for many years.

    I wonder of you will adjust to Thai ???

    • fourletternerd says:

      The map is not the terrain.

      Yes, my research done prior to coming here identified all the issues that I mentioned in the post. Yes, it’s not that bad. It’s just bad enough. This is the first time I’ve tried to live in a foreign country. I’m hoping to find a place that I can do more than tolerate or get by. I know I could do those here, I choose to see if I can find a place I like better.

      I expect I’ll learn more about myself and my reaction to the Phils when I can put it in perspective of being in a second country. Who knows, this may be as good as it gets. I can always come back.

      I have multiple reasons for moving on. I wrote two different drafts announcing the decision. They had nothing in common. I posted this one because it was about a reaction I had not yet written about. The other one was just a recap of things mentioned over the past year. The planned third draft was that I didn’t think there was a town big enough in this country that I wanted to live in that also had low enough air pollution that I wouldn’t keep getting sick.

  2. Tiger says:

    i know you are a smart person and appreciate your honesty on your blog.

    This is common sense supported by years of travel.
    Cheap prices = crimes/dirty/corruption. It’s like gravity, universal law.

    Problem with most Americans (sadly) is that they want the comfort and protection of American life style at WalMart price. It’s not possible.

    As you already know from living in Asia, those expats who live there (thus seem to tolerate) are/maybe just like the natives (cheat and lie).

    Based on my experience, expats become like the natives, but they lie to justify their existence.

    But I respect you for being honest, and I hope you can find peace thru your research.

  3. Ellen says:

    I think you are going to be happier in Latin America, if and when you ever get there. The cultural differences vis-à-vis USA will be more positive.

    As far as the romantic angle, I think you were kidding yourself if you expected a Filipina to be interested in anything about you other than the financial security you represent to her. Of course, some men make that calculation and are OK with it.

    • fourletternerd says:

      Of course the only reason they go with foreigners is for the financial security. I have no problem with that, nor do they.

      Support is one thing, being conned is another. I was on the receiving end of the most common sob story laid on foreigners. It wasn’t so much the 30,000 Pesos ($ 650) she wanted (and didn’t get), it was that it came from someone I had concluded didn’t play that way. Live and learn.

  4. […] the Philippines – The Reasons D’oh! I go stream of consciousness on the keyboard and friends email asking if I’m emotionally OK. Yes I […]

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