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Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/19/2019 in Blog Entries

  1. 1 point
    Shortly after I arrived back at Fred's he asked me to run an errand. I was to go to the nearest town to collect some stuff. Take the motorbike he says. I haven't driven a motorbike for years, but what the heck. It's a half hour drive and as I pull in to town I get a rear tyre blowout. A guy points to it "Oh" he says, "You have a flat tyre"........mmm........helpfull. Seriously though, this guy is good, He organises a motor trike driver ( resting nearby ) to remove the wheel, and a pedal trike driver to take the wheel to the repair shop, "Give him 50p for the repair" he says. He comes back one hour later with the repaired wheel. " give him 50p for his fare" the guy says. The motor trike driver replaces the wheel and I ask him "how much?" "No worries mate, forget it" he says. Well he doesn't say that exactly but the message is the same. I press 50p into his hand. I get on the bike, thank everyone, wave goodbye, and I'm on my way. I'm thinking One hundred and fifty pesos. Three dollars. I couldn't buy a cup of coffee for that where I come from. The next day I go with Fred in the car to order some things from the hardware store. Fred is known here. Behind the counter is a woman and a young girl. Right out of the blue Fred says to the woman "My friend here is looking for a girlfriend. Do you know anyone?" The woman flings her arm round the girl next to her. The girl turns bright red and bends to concentrate more fully on whatever she is writing. The next day Freds helper goes to collect the material from the hardware store. When he gets back he reports to Fred, "Oh, the girl in the hardware store," we look at him, "She's interested." Fred turns to me "And that's how easy it is" he says. I never did get back there and and left for home a couple of days later. When I get back to the Philippines I'm going to the mall. I'm going to walk up to the most attractive girl working there. "Hi" I'm going to say. "I'm looking for a girlfriend, do you know anyone who might be interested?" I'll smile. "Maybe you?" I'll say. At this point I may do the Groucho Marx eyebrow thing......Portrait of me as a ladies man. These days, here in Australia, when I walk through the shopping centres and malls, I'm invisible, In the towns near to where Fred lives I'm surprised by the number of young girls who hold my eye, and smile as they pass by. It may not mean much, but it sure beats the hell out of being invisible. At some point in my trip I have to take a ferry. This is a big boat and full, and I think I'm the only caucasian on it. Soon I become aware of a group of kids, smiling and peering at me from behind things. I go out for a breath of air and they follow me. A little girl about 5yrs old approaches me. She is so full of energy she can't stand still. She has big eyes full of laughter and mischief, and a huge smile to match. "Hello" she says. "Hello" I answer. Encouraged, her smile grew even wider. "Whats your name?" I tell her. "How old are you?" I tell her. An older girl about 12yrs bends down to whisper in her ear. The little one bounces up. "Do you have a wife?" "No" I say. More whispering. "Do you have a ladyfriend?" "No" I say. "What about you? Would you like to marry me?" Her face turns instantly to thunder. "NO !" she exclaims, and storms off. My mirth was off the scale.......Those Filippino kids. Next time I go to the Philippines I'll wear baggy boardshorts, baggy singlet and thongs, and that's probably all Ill take. Maybe 7 kilos in a backpack. In fact It's packed already :thumbsup:
  2. 1 point
    What do you think ? Great title eh. Yep, it's a crowd puller all right. Ok, well you have to remember that I only spent two weeks in the Philippines and a couple of days it rained, so I can't tell you much about the place per se. So what you're getting is a teeny weeny glimpse through my eyes. I didn't know much about the Phils but I did want to go and have a look. I thought it might be nice to keep a base here in Australia when I retire, but spend lots of time somewhere in South East Asia where the living is, well I don't know .............different. I bought a bag I could roller or backpack and loaded it with about 12 kilos of gear, mostly shorts and short sleeved shirts. (remember that, I'm coming back to it later) I took a small backpack to carry on, with hardly anything in it. I have a light pair of zip-off cargo pants, which I think are great for travelling. Ok, the Philippines (finally) Leaving the airport building in Cebu was like walking into an oven. Very hot and very humid. There was a friendly guy there all ready to usher me into a waiting taxi. I guess he was there in case I couldn't signal the driver myself or lift my 12 kilo bag into the boot ....mmm.......thoughtful. Shortly (I mean very shortly) before I left for my 2 weeks in the Phils, I discovered I had an aquaintance from 25 years before who was living there already. I contacted him and he said he would meet me at a hotel he recommended in Cebu. That night he took me out to a few (what he called) girlie bars ......mmm......interesting. Those girls aren't shy. We returned to the hotel a little the worse for wear.... but alone. We left for his place the following day. This was a surprise because I thought he would be on his way, leaving me to scout the place myself. He has a large 2 storey house on a very large block in a rural area. There were enough people around, including his wife of 20 years, to populate a small hamlet. My aquaintance was now a friend, and a more laid-back, generous, easy going guy you could never wish to meet. Now I have to come clean here and tell you that I had been talking to a lady I met on an internet dating site. She was over 35yrs, had lived for a while in Europe and seemed very sensible. She was as wary of encouraging me, as I was of her, which I took to be a good sign. I left my new friends place to meet her in the town/city where she lived, and booked in to a hotel she recommended. This was a posh place which was charging me 2500p a night and seemed to have more liveried flunkeys than guests. Very nice but not really my thang. (I guess I'm not a caviar and canapes type. More a meat pie and chips kind of bloke.) We met and she showed me some of the sights over the next couple of days. She rented a car and driver a couple of times to take us to some popular sightseeing places. It was comfortable and relaxing and cost about 3000p for about 4 hours. (I lost track of time) I learned (but not soon enough) that, while I am wary because I am careful, she is wary because she is paranoid, and I have to consider everything I say to her in case there's something she could interpret as insulting, offensive or that might indicate that I would take advantage of her in some dastardly way given half the chance. She spends a few hours a day with me, arriving about 1pm and leaving about 7pm. A couple of days she cancells due to bad weather or headache. I move out of the posh place and find another 5 minutes walk away lacking the formality but being very, very friendly and having every thing I need for 1000p a night. My lady friend is not happy because I didn't go with her recommendation and she thinks I moved because I couldn't afford the posh place, not that she said as much, but by now I feel I'm getting to know how she thinks. (later she confirmed that she thought I was watching my budget) Funny really because I took heaps of cash (way too much) and would have been happy to spend it all on enjoying ourselves. In truth there wasn't much to spend it on. A few meals in nice places, taxis, cinema, massage and manicure. She did help me check out a couple of places, the like of which I might be expected to live sometime in the future. One was an apartment (I would call it a townhouse) It was at the end of a terrace of 4. Brand new, 2 storey, 2 bathroom, secure car parking but no yard to speak of. 10000p per month with 1 yrs lease. I could live there. Next was a three bedroom house, single storey, 2 bathrooms, small yard, about 15 yrs old. 12000p per month no lease required. I could live there too. I've lived alone in Australia for a good few years now and this place is not without risks. There are reports of home invasions frequently. Wherever I lived I would have to make as secure as possible but gated communities just don't appeal to me. Next day my female friend phoned me to say she had a headache and couldn't come. That's it !!!! I checked out and returned to Fred's place. ( you remember my new friend Fred?) I left from the bus station in an 8 seater bus. The 12 of us weren't too uncomfortable. He told me which village to get off and said I should ask the motorbike taxis on the street corner to bring me. " One of them will know where I live" Sure one did. I converted my roller bag to a backpack and we set off. Really I should have lowered the straps on the backpack so that it rested on whatever was behind me. As it was, its weight nearly pulled me off the bike a couple of times as we swerved to miss pot holes on the rutted road, but I managed to stay on and we were soon within the welcome sight of Fred's gate. To be continued......
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