The Big Post for July

July 10, 2015

I posted this on my personal Facebook for my family and friends back home, but I figured I'll re-post it here;

I was pretty confused how the hot season here could run from April to the middle of June, since the country is (barely) in the northern hemisphere and fairly close to the Asian landmass which has it's summer in the normal June-July time-frame. Turns out that it would be absolutely dangerously hot here during July and August, except that that's when the rainy season hits. We're getting pleasantly warm rain every day, and the temperatures are nice now. But, when it was really hot I never noticed that there were almost no mosquitos, and now they're back with a vengeance! I'm lovin' my mosquito netting at night, and my electric flyswatter (with insect-attracting UV LED) during the day! Zaps them suckers but good!

Things I never thought I'd say;
The very best bananas I ever had are grown in my own yard. Delicious!
Remember, when someone is driving down the wrong side of the road towards you, you have to let the ones in the curb lane pass on the curb side, and the ones in the center lane pass on the centerline side!
When I first got here I thought that the traffic system here was insane, but now I realize that this system is better, and the system in Canada is insane! I've lived here in dense city areas for a total of over 13 months now, and the only traffic accident I've seen was a single-vehicle crash where a drunk guy fell off his motorcycle. That's a hell of a lot less accidents than I ever saw during an equivalent time in Calgary. In Canada everyone is supposed to follow the million rules/signs/lights/road markings so that they can go as fast as possible without paying attention, and whenever someone breaks the rules there's an accident. Here there's traffic anarchy, and all the drivers are actually PAYING ATTENTION with the majority of their concentration, and ready to brake or swerve at any time with a fraction of a second's notice, and staying ready for anything. If someone sails through a red light, he probably won't hit anyone, because everyone else is ready for that. Little kids can run out into traffic from between parked cars and pretty much never get hit, because the drivers are ready for that too. People drive slow enough to react to any danger.
There are actually European residential areas that are getting rid of their traffic lights, road signs, and road markings, because it forces people to slow down and pay attention, and produces a safer system!

A lot of times during the day I miss Canada and my family, and when I have to deal with the many instances where it would be easier to get stuff done in Canada, I consider going back. But when I'm sleeping I keep having dreams where I'm in Canada and I'm trying to get back to the Philippines but I can't. Then I wake up and realize that I'm still here, and it's all good. I think I'll go snorkeling in the bathwater-warm ocean off the private beach behind my beautiful tropical back yard today.

By the way, there's another apartment available here on this property, with air conditioning and a separate bedroom, for about $450 a month. Figure another $300 a month for groceries, utilities, internet, sidecar taxi trips around the neighborhood, and satellite TV (but with only a few English language shows). For two people. Plus whatever luxuries and tourist-type activities you want to pay for. Great beer is about 1$ a can or 2$ for a 1 litre bottle, but when I drink (rarely) I usually go for the excellent rum for about 2$ a 750 ml bottle. Just sayin'.

One thing that does suck is that the economy here continues to improve, and Canada's continues to suck, so now I only get 33.5 pesos for a dollar, when I used to get 48. That's a big difference. But my apartment is studio with no A/C, so my cost of living is still only $600 Canadian a month. For two of us.

Hello to everyone from me and Marel! I miss you all and I hope you're doing great! Wish you were here!

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