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Grey Skies


ekimswish

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I should be more positive and upbeat, write about the sunny sun, the green grass, or all the things I'm blessed with. But not today.

I'm sitting here with 44 minutes left on my contracted work in South Korea as an English teacher, and after that it's a hop and a skip - two days - until we're on a jet plane, not to come back again. I should be ecstatic, but I'm not. I'm not exactly nervous. I just feel like a guy waiting to get shat on, lol, and then smile about it.

Life is like that: you make half of what you expect, and spend twice what you plan. Life has never been easy for me, and it's never been that bad. I'm a white guy from Canada: I'm never going to starve to death. But this time I wonder, could it be? Is this the moment that makes or breaks my life, at least momentarily? Will we succeed and have stability and freedom to enjoy the days and nights which has so far been lacking? I hope so.

I don't expect it though. We're going to the Philippines with a pretty good plan, but I'm not psychic and neither is my plan. Probably, somewhere along the way, there's a good chance we get bumped off the tracks and I end up scrambling for an ESL job in Taiwan to raise money to get us back to Canada. I hope not, but it's where I'd place my bet. There's an equally good chance that we succeed, but I still need to teach again in Taiwan just to get us moving with some extra income, and then come back to the Philippines to be with my family. I wouldn't mind that, but I hope it's not needed.

You don't hear that many stories of young people who make their lives in the Philippines, so I feel like I'm headed into a bit of a grey area. A lot of older guys make their lives there, supported by pensions, 30 years of saving, or sold houses worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Not a lot of young people make it. Is that because they don't try or because they don't succeed? Do they not try because they know it's not smart, or are they just missing a great opportunity? Grey skies.

I feel a bit like a First World refugee, not that I couldn't make a living back home, but that it would take a long time to save up to do my own thing. Maybe I'm the first of many. There was a time when buying a house, a car, starting a business, and supporting your family all on one income was easy in North America. Not any more. Maybe I'm the first one to see that my ten grand will go further in the Philippines than it will in Canada, and once others see it, too, they'll also come rushing to dig for gold.

Or maybe my head's in the clouds, up in the grey skies.

I don't know, but the fun part of life is that you can find out. I intend to explore, discover, and find out a lot of things. Free from the chain of teaching English - at least for a few months - I wanna hit the ground running and join the rest of the human race, not profiteering off the language they were born with but have no idea how to teach. I need to get on with it, on with life. If I suck at it, at least I'll know, and there's always ESL teaching in Asia, or middle class incomes awaiting me back in CA.

I don't know. What I do know: it's cold here, in Korea, and warm in the Philippines. Everything else is soon to be seen.

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Mike I think you are going to be OK. If you never get up to bat, then you would never know if you could have hit the ball. You have things you can fall back on, and one of them would be teaching English to Korean students in Leyte, Cebu or in other places within the PHL, so IMO you are going to do great. IMO, the reason there are so many of us who are older who live in the PHL on pensions is because of our generation, and you do not see that many younger guys because there are not many younger family men with the guts to give it a try. Sure there are those single guys who just go over for the women, and others who have been lucky enough to inherit lots of money, and yet others who are on disability, but few your age without the financial backing have the guts and abilities that you seem to have and I am pretty sure that I could be counted in as one of those who would be chicken to give it a try. I am rooting for you pal, to make it, and make it big. :541: 

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ekimswish

Posted

Thanks Lee. When it comes down to it, the only thing I know is I don't like cold winters, and the Philippines is not cold. I think that will continue to guide my decision making process for the rest of my life.. lol. God I hate winter.

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Hello my friend,Excellent essay about your apprehension in venturing out to another Far Eastern country. It is a valid concern, especially whether you can make it financially by living off the land. In your case, getting your feet wet in raising a pig farm. Hell, to begin with, I would be totally stressed out just thinking about the logistics of moving my family and personal effects to another foreign country (like your dog for example). You may need to take some chill pills upon arrival to Mactan International Airport. Leyte is still over the horizon. I believe Lee will agree with me that you have an analytic mind and have made contingency plans for any unforeseen events along the way. For example, my left and right hemisphere of my brain would never sync up if I had to concentrate learning multiple languages. And you, young man managed to put it all together by teaching in their native tongue first and then teaching them English or Spanish or Martian. Freakin' amazing.....!! You are truly a pioneer (like Lewis and Clark), by trail blazing a path that many men (young or old) would never have the gonads to leave their comfort zone.Judy and I are praying for your family and your safe arrival to Leyte. I wish you SURFS UP with bucket full of cold beer, sitting on a nice WARM tropical white sand beach and nobody around except for some string bikinis. Yeah, I would follow you anywhere. No more grey skies my friend......Respectfully -- Jake

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Dave Hounddriver

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I'm reminded of a story I heard years ago. A shoe wholesaler sent many, many young people to the Philippines to see if they had what it took to be great salesmen. They all came back to say the boss was crazy, no one wore shoes in the Philippines. All they wore was flip flops.Then one day a young man did not come back. He sent a letter back to the boss to say "WOW Philippines! The potential here is so great! No one has shoes yet! I will sell millions. And he founded a huge empire called ShoeMart, now known as SM Mall.Good luck with any and all of your business ventures.

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ekimswish

Posted

Thanks guys, and that's a pretty cool story. We've made it to Marikina, where we'll stay a few days with the step-kids. Watch our daughter's track meet - she's been racking up the 1st places - and then head down to evangelize the natives and tell them about the glory of lechon. If that doesn't work, then it's Jake's idea of bacon in chocolate.

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Thanks guys, and that's a pretty cool story. We've made it to Marikina, where we'll stay a few days with the step-kids. Watch our daughter's track meet - she's been racking up the 1st places - and then head down to evangelize the natives and tell them about the glory of lechon. If that doesn't work, then it's Jake's idea of bacon in chocolate.
How's one of my favorite places - the Marikina Sport's Center? Still 10p admission? ESL= English as Second Language? You've led a very interesting life so far, definitely not the norm. Hope to catch up with you over there, all the best.
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ekimswish

Posted

Thanks guys, and that's a pretty cool story. We've made it to Marikina, where we'll stay a few days with the step-kids. Watch our daughter's track meet - she's been racking up the 1st places - and then head down to evangelize the natives and tell them about the glory of lechon. If that doesn't work, then it's Jake's idea of bacon in chocolate.
How's one of my favorite places - the Marikina Sport's Center? Still 10p admission? ESL= English as Second Language? You've led a very interesting life so far, definitely not the norm. Hope to catch up with you over there, all the best.
Still 10 pesos. My daughter was running track meets there this week, so we were hanging out there as well. ESL is becoming more of a norm for recent college grads. It's a quick way to make money and travel around the world. As the job market worsens back home, increasingly young college grads who decided to teach for 1 year keep extending and extending to 4 years or more. It's good to make money, but sets you back in terms of job experience when you go home, since you haven't used your degree.
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