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manofthecoldland last won the day on October 12

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About manofthecoldland

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  1. My understanding is that USA Medicare only covers you in-country. I file with my secondary when I have a medical bill incurred in the PI if the amount is worth the trouble. FYI
  2. Been flying yearly between N.Amer and MNL for the last 16 years, usually with either KE or China Air. The best price usually is with one of those although ANA seems to have given me a better deal last year. I bought a round trip KE last Nov, with a return leg 6 months after arrival. In Dec or Jan I received a notice of itinerary change from my ticket source, re my KE return flt. in late April. Said my return leg from Inchon to Seattle flt number was no longer operational and gave me a replacement KE flt. number and arr/dep. times. My new schedule required me to depart Inchon for Seattle one hour BEFORE I ARRiVED on my flight from MNL. Unsurprisingly (to me at least), all attempts to contact KE to alert them to this absurd scheduling error ,failed. Phone numbers, emails, etc.... even with my VIP, were of no avail in my attempt to contact one of their living, breathing service reps..... if they exist. So I figured, since its their F.Up, they can sort it when I show up at the MNL airport. Which they did. I rejected their first solution, which was to have me wait in the MNL airport for 10 hours, and then have another 10 hour layover in Inchon. I already had a good booking for my MNL to Inchon leg, so I told them to put me up in Seoul/INCH.... which they did. They bused me to the Grand Hyatt, gave me vouchers for dinner, breakfast and lunch the next day, and put me up in the nicest hotel room I ever stayed in during my life. Bathrobe and slippers provided along with the ceiling rain shower, soak tub, computerized bum service toilet etc. Coffee, tea maker etc, without any out of pocket costs. So in this instance.... I have no complaints about KE. They gave me the best mini-vacation I ever had. Nice gardens, pools, etc at this first rate place. The assistant director of the rest chatted me up for 1 hours since he had worked at Hyattt in Guam, where his son was born (making him eligible for US citizenship. ) So I made a new friend to boot. This screw up worked out for me in spades, but the contact element with a KE service rep. was a total failure.
  3. Supernatural belief systems and organized religions seem to be part of the human experience in both prehistoric and historic societies. Not much luck in changing that even though the Soviets and Maoists tried. I think we're stuck with them, whether they produce good, bad, or sometimes horrific results. I met a man 43 years ago, while we were building the Trans Alaskan oil pipeline. We worked together at -40^ temps that winter in the heart of the Brooks Range, north of the Yukon River valley. Being young men, we had our parent's birth assigned faith. Life experience and continuous intellectual growth led us away from religious rigidity, but not many countries have religious plurality or alternative ethical systems available even when legal. I mention this life-long friend, because at this stage of our lives, he tells me of a little game he plays when missionary minded proselytizers come a-knocking. He tells them, "Thank you very much, but I already have my own religion. I'm a Lincolnist". They always say, "What's that? I never heard of that religion before." He then quotes Abraham Lincoln. "When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. And that's my religion."
  4. Its pretty much a baseless fear. With modern nerve deadeners, there's less feeling than getting an innoculation or when you have blood drawn. I've had needles stuck in both eyes for wet macular degeneration cures, and over 100 micro laser welds to heal a small tear (a bit more irritating than the painless needle inserts into my eyeballs) and drove the seven miles home each time.... carefully. Since your eyes are a primary survival mechanism, your body gives the healing a top priority. I've had bug bites here that bothered me far longer than my eye repair normalization. Took a nap when I got home and when I awoke, it was like I had never been to the opthomologist . Sure better than living with impaired vision and not being able to make out all the pretty faces and figures waltzing by, that your sharp eyed mates are calling attention to while sitting at the mall coffee shop or restos.
  5. Same here. When I mentioned this to the wife, she said her co-madre does the same here at the house, boiling them in water, but I have seen others just go to work with their kit... I think. Not really sure, Maybe they use alcohol first. The women are probably well aware of the dangers of un-sterilized equipment since they value their health and pretty nails.
  6. Whether high beams or no lights, the underlying assumption may well be that its not their problem. Its YOUR problem to deal with it if you want to drive at night. The fact that it endangers them as well, is apparently not so obvious to them as one would think, judging by its common practice. If you can't adapt to it and are involved in an accident, I don't know if, and doubt, it would be an acceptable defense (that you were blinded or didn't see them running black). That's just one of the many reasons I prefer not to drive here, despite the sometimes inconvenience of not doing so. Many expats, depending on where they live, have no choice but to drive at times, and many of those don't drive at night, unless absolutely necessary. IMHO Of course I could be very wrong on this, since I don't drive here.
  7. Interesting thread here. Food for thought. I probably should google barbering and nail salon hygiene. Barbers might use clippers and shears on the hair, but they do use razors, which might get through your natural barriers to infection. Same for manicure/pedicure tools. I do recall a news article a few years back about some urban USA nail salons, where, despite health regulations, the owners weren't following proper procedures (like changing the sterilizing solutions frequently enough or not all. There were multiple infections with the clients and a crack-down ensued. They hired low cost labor, who might have had to bear the cost for their station's antiseptics or something. The investigative journalistic follow up revealed wide spread non-compliance with health dept. standards, especially in the Asian owned salons. Most people prefer not to 'borrow' other people's brushes and combs. Head lice used to be the major concern before everyone had access to daily showers. I recall seeing as a child, my barber's combs in a glass with blue solution, so I know that even long ago, it was a concern they paid heed to. I like Rubberchicken and GeoffH's advice about offering the use of your own alcohol or even tools to make sure there is no bacteria carry-over. After shaving you sideburns, ear top and neck, the barbers usually use an alcohol based rub for cleanup.... and the cowboys in the movies always spring for the added lavender scent before they head to the cat house. I think I'll pass on this concern and advice to the wife, since she always has women come over for home manicure/pedicures. They bring their own kit, but I never pay attention. I like to do my own because as you age, your nails thicken and I have to almost use a farrier's hoof rasp to keep them down to normal size and shape. I'm getting tired of rasping and filing, so maybe I'll invest in a moto-tool. Heh-heh.
  8. FYI You might be able get a Vitamin E (Tocopherol) blood panel test here, if you're curious. I don't think it would cost too much. All the things they tested on my pre-colonoscopy blood panel (e.g., potassium, sodium, creatine, serum, etc. were in the P 200-300 @ cost range. The only expensive test (that wasn't recommended but I requested it when I spotted it on the list.... with the consent of my doctor) was the P 1,240 one for carcinogens. The total was P 2,700 for the requested pre-procedure panel. A yearly physical never hurts, but my government health insurance provider gives us free blood panels every year, that I keep track of on a hand drawn comparative spread sheet so I can spot anything outside the normal range variations for a heads-up alert. I think I might have been running a vitamin E deficiency because a bought some E supplement capsules, but I normally rely on the fresh vegetable types that are loaded with the stuff. Never hurts to know what's going on in your blood. Especially here where the tests don't cost you an arm and a leg.
  9. Well KId, ..... If a good and valued friend came to you with this situation and ask your advice.... what would you advise ? We're living in a place where a sawbuck well get you a professional opinion and medical advice. I paid P300 for the office visit in January that led to my colonoscopy. Try pitching that offer at a walk-in med. clinic in our country and they'd either collar you and show you the door, laugh in your face, or call the psycho squad for a pick-up. That said (in good humor), I doubt its the money factor that's the hitch. Don't sell yourself short. Jack P. makes a very good point. If you're reluctant to do it for self, do it for your woman and forum mates. Had an old friend of many years who was adverse to doctors. At 82 with a paunch, and proud of his physical strength developed as a furniture mover, he developed a hernia. When his intestine would pop through the muscle gap, he would stoically suffer and push it back in and tighten his belly band. Despite us telling him to get his hernia treated he proudly tolerated it. One night at coffee he disappeared into the CR for a very long time. When we checked on him, we decided to haul him to the hospital to get his gut packed back in properly. They fixed him up and gave him a referral... which he didn't bother to follow up on. despite having 100% medical insurance coverage. Three weeks later he was found dead in his little cabin. A life-long bachelor, who had no one to over ride his self-imposed, non-sensical strictures. He left an estate of 2.5 MILLION DOLLARS .... to everyone's amazement. Now I know none of us are in that sort of boat, but if a man insists on not tending to his medical needs that come with age, no one else will. Your forum friends value you, so be good to yourself. No sense in checking out prematurely if it can be easily avoided. Sorry if I over-stepped here, but one of the reasons for forums is to help one another, and I don't think you would have bothered to mention your personal situation if it weren't a small thorn in the back of your mind. IMO
  10. First thing you might want to do is check the expiration date on the back label. Although it usually holds potency over time in some climates, I'm not sure about chemical life span efficacy in the tropics. If you bought it locally where there is very low stock turnover, it might be weaker than normal. My recent purchases this year were dated : 02/04/22 (DDMMYY) and work effectively. "OFF ! Overtime", which is supposedly good for 8 hours. But since my local mosqie stealth squadron runs a 24/7 operation, I usually wear long pants and sleeves with enough fabric depth to prevent penetration. They usually get through the tropical weight fabrics I sometimes wear. With heavier fabric, and if no A/C, you need to be in the wind or under a fan. Even with a fan, they will come at you in any sheltered leeward chinks they can find in your chemical or physical armor, so keep your Vicks on hand. One of the newer forum members I meet up with, tells me that he can't find any spray form applicators either. Only lotion, so far.
  11. FYI There's a variety of synonyms for dippers and ladles, etc. in Tagalog. I'm sure that Illongo and Cebuano regions have various local words, as you would expect. I usually stick to the Tag, or Pilipino words since TV broadcasts use them a lot, and I'm too lazy to learn the local variations because it just gets too confusing to remember all the variations. I really should focus on the local dialect more, but people understand the Tagalog words as well usually, even if they don't have any idea about the English version. If I lived here year round, I would make the effort to learn many more of the local words and phrases , but most locals know the Tagalog versions, (so my wife confirms to me), so I pretty much stick to that. If you can memorize and use a dozen of the local words/phrases, you're probably doing better than 90% of the ex-pats, I would guess. You will often see signs, "Load Ditto" or "Load Dirri" in the same area where you live. Tagalog and local variations for "Load Here".
  12. I can totally understand that and empathize.... The dry season came late last year, with cool temps prevailing. I always just stoically accepted whatever water temp came out of the spigot or shower head. The wife would add a kettle of hot water to the timba for her evening shower. This year, after enjoying the hotel water heaters on a couple of brief excursions, I relented and told her that we should get an on-demand hot water shower heater like all the other well-to-do folks have. She was so happy ! Then I got slapped with the off-budget whammies of an unplanned colonoscopy and a bamboo bridge rebuild job that emptied my pockets. She had the model and workman all lined out.... but, good woman that she is, now realizes that it will have to wait a bit, since she chose the new bridge over the new heater and table (she also had the lumber costs and neighbor carpenter lined up on that as well ). They say that luxuries have a way of becoming necessities. Haven't reached that point yet, but its coming. Once you go hot, cold showers are a NOT.
  13. I, like most of us, have to come to grips with this strange paradox, every time I go past my gate. I used to wonder how people who are so neat and clean in their personal appearance, and spend so much time swinging soft and hard brooms both in and right outside their little homes and compounds, blithely turn a blind eye to the public commons trashing. I guess they just compartmentalize. Private is my responsibility and public is the barangay's... or whoever else is getting some public funding to deal with the problem. Unfortunately, the public funds don't always end up where they are supposed to go. So I've just learned to over ride my home culture viewpoint, and adopt theirs when living here. If it doesn't bother them, I'm not going to let it bother me. Change will have to come from within, over time, if it occurs. My crusading days are long over.
  14. Each man has his preferences and learned traditions, but I have come to prefer using the timba & tabo. If you can bend at the waist and raise your arm over your head comfortably, you get instant and flexible amount control, water use efficiency, and minimum cost. You can hedge against temporary water and electrical outages if you keep a larger, full timba in the CR to shower and flush with at will, despite temporary shortages. Not to mention the extra bit of exercise and stretching benefit. Most of the time I don't even mess with the removable shower head, but it is good for those anti-gravity shots if you want or need them. The comforts and ease that modern living brings are wonderful, but dependent on having all systems at go.... which at most of us know.... is not a given here. Have to adhere to the old Boy Scout motto if you want to maintain sanity and peace of mind despite the too oft system failures, so stay flexible.
  15. Quoting Rex Harrison's song from My Fair Lady, "Why can't the English learn to speak?" Of course, in his market song he does utter an aside..... 'The Americans haven't spoken English in years." (picture a laughing emoji here.... * because for some reason my screen is no longer giving me the emoji options that we all like to use.)
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