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Everything posted by earthdome

  1. Thank you for all the tips for riding the bus. My last trip I rode an aircon bus (Victory Liner) from Manila to Baguio and back and experienced many of the things your related. I kind of liked the Chicharron (fluffy pork rinds) with hot vinegar sauce to dip in. On the way back I didn't get a chance to eat breakfast before I left so I had some roadside food at the first bus stop on the way back. That night I was well... very loose you might say. It really cleaned me out. Though I felt fine otherwise.
  2. 0hhh... nothing beats a Turkey deep fried in peanut oil for Thanksgiving. But there are many fires around Thanksgiving in the US from accidents with the deep frier.
  3. While making preparations for my visit to the Philippines I called my credit card company to authorize foreign transactions during my visit. I ended up being helped by a Filipino in a call center for my credit card company in the Philippines! He was very friendly and encouraged me to bring my camera to take pictures of the beautiful Philippines.
  4. Yeah, giving wilted flowers would not be a good thing. I may wait until the following morning after I arrive when I go to the market with my gf to buy her and her mother flowers. I agree that those gifts which are not for the entire family should be given in private or when the entire family isn't together. Regarding localized gifts, I was thinking of some team T-Shirts from the University where I work.
  5. I just wanted to mention how much this forum has helped me learn about the Philippines and what to expect during my visit and when I move there to live full time. Thank you to all those who post regularly and keep a healthy perspective on life in the Philippines. All the good info on this forum will help reduce my culture shock immeasurably.
  6. Yeah... that is the big question. I am sure that after a few days I will be ready to leave with the gf to spend some quality time together away from the family.
  7. Haven't been asked the first one yet. That question will need a generic response which confirms that I can support myself but without disclosing any numbers. Perhaps something like, "I will have a pension when I retire that will support me and allow for me to travel a little bit and enjoy life." I have already had to answer the second one, a number of times. Along with the question how many girlfriends have you had? Which of course is a trick question for which there is no correct answer!
  8. For those suggesting chocolates... that was already on my list. I also would like to get some flowers but I wonder about the logistics. Do I buy them in Manila and carry on the bus with me. Can I buy them at the last roadside bus stop before arriving. Or should I go to the local market after I arrive to buy the flowers. I am also taking a few other select items from home... since I will be selling/giving/throwing away many things in the coming months as I prepare to move... no reason why I can't take some of the smaller items as gifts as long as I have room in my baggage. For example.. a small half size basketball for her 2 year old little brother and some programming books for her sibling taking IT classes. Already part of the plan... but thank you for making the suggestions.
  9. On my previous two visits one nights solid sleep seemed to do the trick. Regarding the bus trip, in part your comfort level depends on the bus line. Some are pretty nice with aircon, CR, wi-fi and movies. Of course the nicer the bus the more the fare. At almost 6 feet tall my legs can be a bit cramped on the bus... but in the other dimension I am a skinny guy. Filipina's I have met always want me to eat more and gain some fat.
  10. I have a hard time sleeping when flying. I will arrive at 9PM after 24 hours of traveling and already have a hotel room booked close to NAIA for that night. The next morning I get on the bus for the 6-8 hour bus ride to the province. So I will have almost a day to get over jet lag. I may try 'I am Bob's suggestion of taking some medication that induces drowsiness during the long flight over the pacific. When I was first making my travel plans my gf suggested that her family could rent a van and all drive to Manila to meet me at NAIA. Due to needing time to adjust from jet lag and the expense for renting the van I was able to convince her that it would be better to stay the night in hotel and take a bus the next day to meet them where they live.
  11. I have a hard time sleeping when flying. I will arrive at 9PM after 24 hours of traveling and already have a hotel room booked close to NAIA for that night. The next morning I get on the bus for the 6-8 hour bus ride to the province. So I will have almost a day to get over jet lag. I may try 'I am Bob's suggestion of taking some medication that induces drowsiness during the long flight over the pacific.
  12. Next week I will be visiting the philippines to meet my online girlfriend for the first time and meet her family. This will be my third visit to the Philippines in the last year but the first time to meet a girls family. It seems to be a good family, the father has a small business, the older children have all attended college. My girlfriend has an older sister who married a brit and currently lives in the UK so meeting the foreigner isn't new to them. They live in a provincial capital, a city of 100,000, and I will be staying in a hotel. She still lives at home with the family and the first evening will cook dinner for me and her family. Then spend time getting to know her parents better. After a few days, if all goes well, my girlfriend will accompany me to areas I want to check out for retirement. Any suggestions or advice to help this go smoothly?
  13. Echoing Curley computer to computer Skype and Yahoo calls are free .. but the quality sometimes sucks (but it is free). I have done Yahoo Messenger video calls using my android Galaxy SII smartphone connected via wi-fi at home. Of course this requires a good network connection on the other end in the Philippines. My girlfriends trust in me went up a great deal after I was able to give her a video tour of my home. She doesn't have network access at home right now so I call her once in a while using Skype to her cell phone which as I recall costs $0.17 USD/minute. Here is a link to Skype's rates for the Philippines from the US: http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/prices/payg-rates/#cc=PH
  14. I don't believe the official story, too many politicians and bureaucrats in CYA mode. I also don't believe everything in the truth movement, that rabbit hole can go pretty deep. Regardless of what the truth is about 9/11, if the terrorists wanted to take away american freedoms, they succeeded. The US government did it for them. The only long term solution to terrorism is to implement a non interventionist foreign policy. Here are some links documenting some of the meddling in the last century by the US in the middle east: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_intervention_in_the_Middle_East http://mises.org/Community/forums/t/24448.aspx http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article6308.htm
  15. The US Federal Reserve made QE3 (quantitative easing) official yesterday and open ended with no end date. Since the announcement the US Dollar is dropping even more. This morning the USD is trading at 41.25 pesos/usd. The tradeoff is that if you have investments in the US stock market it is seeing big gains since the announcement yesterday.
  16. Wow... maybe you could do a class on healthy cooking for expats in the Philippines! Or share you recipes for cooking using items from the local market.
  17. Right. The Dengue needs to run its course but you must treat the symptoms such as dehydration so your body can fight it off.
  18. I wish we were.... But as long as the exchange rate improves before I move over there I will be happy :) Maybe then I could start the Pinay branch of the Mises fan club. :tiphat: I will match your Mises and raise you a Rothbard! ;)
  19. Ahh... thanks for the correction. Milton Friedman was a mixed bag. The "Chicago School" of economics he championed is better than Keynesian economics yet Milton Friedman was the individual who pushed for income tax withholding during WWII. Yeah, I prefer the quote "We are all Austrians now."
  20. I believe that was President Nixon you are quoting. The president who tried to put in wage and price controls.
  21. Yeah, the weakening USD appears to be related to a growing consensus that the US Federal Reserve will do another round of quantitative easing (QE3) further deflating the currency. Looks like the almost 5 year old recession in the US is the new normal since politicians and banks seem intent on following the same old failed Keynesian policies that have put the US economy on the road to ruin for many decades. Perhaps the Canadian government has been a bit more responsible in their monetary/fiscal policy.
  22. The US Dollar is trading today around 41.5 pesos/usd. This is the lowest it has been since April of 2008. Just in time for my two week vacation to the RP later this month. :(
  23. Even if you can afford to self insure and are healthy I would recommend at minimum a health insurance policy with catastrophic or major medical that provides coverage just in case something big and expensive occurs.
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