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hk blues

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Everything posted by hk blues

  1. I can't take credit for reading the instructions Tom - the red/blue labels were on the unit itself! I only resorted to looking at the instructions to see if the gaskets were in fact for what I assumed but that was after the event!
  2. Yep...I can see pros and cons with either option but I suppose we all prefer what we know. Still, I think for the majority of daily life opening in makes sense but that's what I'm used to.
  3. You can bring as much as you want into the Philippines but must declare everything over, I think, 10,000 dollars. That said, I have transferred £10,000 from my UK banks here on 5 or 6 occasions over the past 4 years with no questions asked - all done with just a phone call or online request to my UK bank. Whilst the rules don't specifically say so, I'd imagine they are mostly concerned with large amounts of hard cash coming in due to money laundering.
  4. We had a popular local brand first - so popular I've forgotten its name already - but it didn't cope well with the varying pressure and eventually it had 2 options - off and scalding! We changed to a German brand available in Ace - Stiebel Eletron. Really not that expensive and no complaints thus far - very good design and touches that you'd expect from German products i.e. the screw fittings at the back came with 2 gaskets, presumably to stop moisture seeping behind the unit and into the electrics through the screw holes. Saying that, there was nothing in the instructions about them so I made an educated guess as to their purpose! As an aside, when I was switching the 2 units, I just couldn't get the new one to heat the water. All was working but just cold water. After much head scratching and a few expletives, I realised that the inlets on the new unit were reversed! Mind you, the big red and blue stickers should have been a clue but I somehow missed them!
  5. We had a popular local brand first - so popular I've forgotten its name already - but it didn't cope well with the varying pressure and eventually it had 2 options - off and scalding! We changed to a German brand available in Ace - Stiebel Eletron. Really not that expensive and no complaints thus far - very good design and touches that you'd expect from German products i.e. the screw fittings at the back came with 2 gaskets, presumably to stop moisture seeping behind the unit and into the electrics through the screw holes. Saying that, there was nothing in the instructions about them so I made an educated guess as to their purpose! As an aside, when I was switching the 2 units, I just couldn't get the new one to heat the water. All was working but just cold water. After much head scratching and a few expletives, I realised that the inlets on the new unit were reversed! Mind you, the big red and blue stickers should have been a clue but I somehow missed them!
  6. Every single door in our place opens into the room except 1 CR but that's because it's under a staircase and cannot open into the CR. I may be wrong but the only reason I can see for inward opening doors is that it's less likely to cause an accident. I take Viking's point that people can be on either side of the door, but it makes sense to have the entry safer than the exit somehow.
  7. The ones I've seen commonly used here are not what I'd call waterproof...I'm not even sure they're water resistant! Basically, a standard plastic outlet with a hinged cover - as simple as that. Nothing to stop the water getting under the plate or through the cover. We have 2 but both are under roof cover so no issue. Back in the UK we had a fully enclosed unit with heavy duty plastic - not suitable for equipment permanently plugged though.
  8. That is pretty much what I've been trying to say, it's not the paradise it may seem for everyone. For some, yes but it very much depends on what's driving the desire.
  9. No offence intended, but you say your options would be better here than in the USA - why would you imagine that to be the case - because you are financially sorted? Already this sets off alarm bells to me. As for house size and quality - you'd be surprised at the number of wealthy Filipinos who live in palatial luxury here. Please don't assume this is a 3rd world backwater - in some areas it is but in orhers its up there with anywhere. And those are the places we are most likely to be gravitating towards more than the squatter areas. That said, if you are really looking to dial down your life and meet a simple woman and live a simple life then absolutely this place can work for you. Your reasons are sound enough, absolutely. Just give some thought as to how you'll pass your days - once the honeymoon period wears off you are faced with the reality of living in a place where there isn't that much to do unless you're dipping into your wallet. - same as everywhere else in that respect. Again, hope you make the decision thst works for you and good luck!
  10. We had a bizzare one in Vista Mall. We bought a dinner set and an office chair. The chair was to he delivered and we were taking the set with us. This caused chaos as we tried to leave - the guard could nor grasp such a simple thing. Without a word of a lie, there were about 8 people involved in the chaos, each adding a new level of idiocy. Even the Manager was struggling to bring sanity to the situation. It really struck home to me how dumb some things are here and how little people actually think about what is actually happening rather than what the rule book says. Comically, the Manager suggested we leave the dinner set to be delivered with the chair - speechless!
  11. Good to hear that your investment paid off big time Snowy. But, very rarely will somebody see an investment in property pay for itself in only 4 years. I managed to do that in Hong Kong but that's a very special market compared to here. Still, your story shows that now and again investing in something here can pay off.
  12. It's all part of the lack of trust everybody has for everybody else here. This is one of the few things about the Filipono character I don't like - the instinctive belief that everyone is out to deceive you. Now, I know plenty are but how sad to live thinking everybody is.
  13. Yep...we used to get the meal deal which was very reasonably priced and very edible but I'm looking for more most times. But, for many locals they simply don't have the option to trade up and places like Greenwich fill that need well so I don't like to criticise too much.
  14. To be fair, you're comparing a premium pizza joint with an economy one. I go to Greenwich very occasionally and it never disappoints - totally average!
  15. I find customer service great as long as everything runs according to the script. However, the slightest deviation from said script tends to leave me frustrated. I've shared several experiences of this before, but they are the exception. It's a churlish complaint but I find being followed around the store irritating, especially when you just know the person will be unable to answer your query 50% of the time - the other 50% being the stock answer - not available! Ace hardware is bad for this - a hardware store with next to no hardware!
  16. I'm just intrigued as to why here rather than somewhere else. Certainly, you can live cheaply here but I wonder how many guys your age think it's cheap. For most if us we're living a simple life because we're of a certain age but if I were 20 years younger I'd not be happy sitting at the Sari Sari store sipping a beer - I'd be in the westernised bars and paying accordingly. I'd just caution you that like for like it's really not significantly cheaper. Certainly no winters - long, hot and humid summer instead! The weather is a plus but not as much as you may think. The women - well, there are good and bad ones, like everywhere else but there are a fair few examples of gold diggers who can spot a target a mile off. I'm not being deliberately negative, it's a great place to retire to and enjoy a slower pace of life IF that's all you're looking for, but it doesn't sound to me that it is.
  17. Apologies not necessary Tom - information is always valuable!
  18. He is Tom - that's why he is calling in an electrician!
  19. I'd be approaching it from the perspective of why here? For most of us who are here, we didn't necessarily choose the place rather our partners are from here. Next, what is the motivation to come here at all - if it's just because it seems easier to date and living costs are cheaper, I'd say don't be so sure about that - and the two can be directly related - plenty of high maintenance women here who have expensive tastes, especially of the rich, young foreigner is paying. As some have already mentioned, if you want to live a relatively comfortable life here the costs rack up quickly! As for your budget, assuming no further financial crises, you would be OK IF you keep a close eye on your budget. But, you have a lot of life ahead of you and wonder if the place has enough to keep you happy and busy. If it were me, I wouldn't be doing it at this moment.
  20. Whilst not in Beijing - my most positive experience was in Guangszhou, China. Myself, and a number of others, were on the point of missing our train back to Hong Kong due to long lines at immigration. Recognising this, they ushered us onto the train and then stamped our passports on the train! Back to Beijing, I remember the little feedback buttons at immigration - happy face and sad face! Thing is, the buttons were in advance of the immigration point rather than after - feedback in advance if you like! Of course, i hit the smiley face just to be on the safe side! Yes, we have meandered off topic, Tom, and perhaps have exhausted this side of the topic!
  21. I think that's the relevant point Tom - most of us would say our "own' immigration officials are more pleasant than perhaps foreigners would say! Let's be honest here - their job is to pick out illegal immigrants amongst other things thus it's quite logical that foreign passport holders feel a greater degree of negativity - I've heard the way UK immigration officials talk to foreigners entering the UK!
  22. I'm interested to know how the outlets/sockets are out but not the lights - you'd imagine a loose wire between the meter and box would impact all the electrics rather than the outlets only. Also, I wonder if it's all outlets or only those in one section/area? Anyway, no doubt Jim will update us when he gets to the bottom of it. It's useful to know such things for future reference so always happy to hear about others trials and tribulations.
  23. Given the state of some of the buildings here, I'm not surprised they panic. The last time we had a minor one in my area (3.5 or so) everyone was outside in the street whilst I continued to finish my lesson which only had a minute or so to go! It was my first experience of a quake and was a little uncomfortable with the sensation. I'd hate to experience a serious one, I'll admit!
  24. I take it you've never had to pass through US Immigration, Tom... Edit to Add - after posting the above I typed in "unfriendliest immigration officers"...and guess what the first hit was? Yep!
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