Worried Before Going..

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Well, I am no expat, and can't even claim to be one, even after one year which it will be in December 2009. But me and my wife will stay in Cebu for a year, the longest time I've ever been away from Norway.She is a former philipina and we've been about 5-6 months in total in the RP as tourists. So we do know how to have a good time as tourists, but what about living there?I can't help worry about the new life we'll have. I worry about economics, even though I will have a regular salary while we're off. Not enough to live like a posh tourist, but still more than enough to live a decent life.Will we find a good place to stay? Will we regret after the first night because of noisy neighbours, cockroaches in the kitchen, blackouts or brownouts? Will the landlord trick us, take our deposit and change the locks? Will the internet work or will it break down in a critical moment, not able to do my work?Will we be victims of criminals, beaten up or kidnapped by rebels? Will I find tomatos tasting like back home, parmesan cheese and milk like home? Will a parasite in the meat or fish is the market make us sick, or will a dengue mosquito find the way to our balcony?Will we be able to accept the philippine culture without developing negative thoughts and starting to hate the way things work?It's about two month until we leave, and although I'm so glad we have this opportunity and look forward to a good and different year, I can't help having these thoughts in the back of my head. Somewhat I am glad I do. If I had no worries at all, thinking that I don't have to do much planning at all, these situations would hit us a lot harder.I've read several blogs about some other guys before they went, and they said excactly the same. The days before they went, they were quite shaky even though they'd made all preparations.I am really looking forward to this year, and believe me, I have my mind full of things we'll do to keep us happy. But these worries won't let go so I have to keep answering them all the time.By nature, I am no way a negative or worried person, I like to think of myself as realistic. It would probably be much easier for us to avoid all this and stay back home, but I know that if we don't try this now we'll regret it the rest of our lives.How about you other guys - did you have similar thoughts before you made the move?Panser

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panser, I can tell you from my personal experience that it will take some getting used to but if you have an open mind and if you are a happy person that you seem to be, then you will get used to it and then start to really enjoy it. Are there problem, of course there are but there are none as severe as most of your questions.The roaches, get some by gone and spray your place once a month and the only ones you will see are the dead ones. Make sure there are no large openings and you will not end up with mice or rats, but all of those and other bugs as well, are part of the Philippines and once you find a good place to live, then you will not have to deal with them hardly at all, if ever. The food, you will find things you can eat and settle right in on those. I love eggs and my wife makes them for me most mornings, I have chicken or pizza often but I also love the native food and I could live on that alone if I had to.Will you get all the things you love, probably not but you will just have to fall in love with some of the native foods.Since your wife is a Filipina, try to live in a place where she is comfortable with the language, but Mike S lives in Cebu and his lady does not speak Cebuano hardly at all, and they both love it there and seem to have no problems adjusting.Will you Internet go out, you bet and will your power go out, you can probably count on it at least once a month and some brief surges, but a UPS will solve your computer problem and put the modem and router if you are using one, on it as well and you will not get knocked off line during brownouts or blackouts. I do that and use a laptop and by the time I go to shut down, the power is back on most times.Now will it be noisy, that will depend on where you live. If you live in a high rise and if you are up high enough, then the noise is minimal. We only hear noise during festivals and celebrations, but if you live in a house, you are likely to have to deal with a lot of different noises. Will the landlord rip you off, my guess is not as long as you are paying your rent on time IMHO. Will you have to deal with crime, I seriously doubt it as long as you do the normal things to protect yourself that you probably do back home and possibly add a little extra caution.Personally, I would tell you to just take it easy and rest assured that life can be very good for you once you assimilate into the way of life there. :D

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panser ...... I moved here in April but I was extremely lucky as I bought the entire contents of a 1 bedroom apartment from an expat moving back to the US ...... Julie and I arrived on the same day here in Cebu City so I have always had someone here with me that can speak and be understood by the people here ...... a second BIG plus ...... not that the people can't or won't speak English ... it is just that sometimes you can be misunderstood ...... a third big plus is that Julie lived in the heart of Manila for 15 years and and speaks her mind and is not the least bit timid when it comes to seeing that we are not ripped off ....... A great big part of your being happy here is how well you can adapt to some of the smallest things .... like chickens and roosters crowing ...... horns blowing and fireworks at sometimes 3am ...... people move at a much slower pace and don't rush for any reason ....... (except maybe to eat SugarwareZ-011.gif ) ..... if you are the type that is impatient or always in a hurry it will be hard to adapt and like some people you may never ...... just imagine an entire society in retirement .... but then you have been here so it will be no surprise ...... Food is not generally a problem unless you can't stand local cooking ...... the grocery stores are stocked with many local brands and some you may have to experiment with ....... (not to sure what Norwegians like as far as types of food) .... most fresh fruits and vegetables are available in the the supermarkets as well as the open air markets .... also fish and meats can be bought in the wet markets ........ we buy our staples in the grocery stories and fruits ...... meats ... fish and veggies at the markets ........ also native foods cooked and sold in the thousands of roadside cafe type stands are fantastic ....... I have not gotten sick from them yet but then Julie usually picks them .... generally getting stuff earlier in the day instead of near closing time works the best ....... All in all if you can adapt you will have no trouble just be willing to bend like the Willow tree and not stay ridged and fixed like the Oak ....... you will do just fine ...... IMHO

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Thanks for all helpful input, guys! It's good to read you've found the good life. It's good to have these sources for a newbie like me.I really should not worry too much about these things, comparing to those philippine families living on 10K ph a month. When we travelled around before, we didnt make much of an effort planning so much. But after the arrival of forums like these, tripadvisor etc I have been more into the planning bit. And I love planning too, reading stories, what do do and don't, where to stay and not. So our holidays the last years around Europe, USA and RP, have been well planned and we've enjoyed them to the fullest. I have also more and more learned to adjust to the philippine style. If I have my book and a coffee or beer, which you usually can get anywhere you go, I'm happy. But I also need to have some work done now and then, so internet, phone lines etc must work properly.Well, I will just keep on planning but will try to have a plan B or C and prepare for not everything being as I thought they would.Panser

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Pan, if you must have Internet for you work and you are really worried about times when knocked out, you can also get a Globe G card for your laptop and when the home goes down, you just turn on that one or keep them both on all the time and you will be all set, unless they both go down that is. One of my neighbors has one of those cards and he says it never goes down, but maybe he is not online all the time. Anyway he raves about it, but it does cost a lot compared to home Internet.BTW, the last time I was in Cebu early February to May of this year, my PLDT dsl only went out a few times and only for minutes at a time. It was never down for long, that is after they fixed the problems I originally had with it. It did slow down often, but that is not as bad as going totally out.As a side note to all this, I do not know if you know this or not, but Mike S has to be one of the braves men who moved to the Philippines IMHO, he had never been to the Philippines and moved all his stuff over and decided he was going to make a go of it and that is what he has been doing. Pan, if he can do it, you will have no problem because at least you have been there before and know some of what to expect.Mike S has very big brass balls in my book. :D :D

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Mike S has very big brass balls in my book.
Just a few of his favorite things...(that he forgot to pack) :D
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Nawwwww ..... you just have to know yourself and have enough confidence in yourself to make good decisions ....... but my biggest asset is planning and research ........ Funny you should say that Billie ....... when I was growing up my Grandfather used to always tell me "you got more balls than a brass monkey" ....... geeeee ... wonder what he ♦meant by that ....... SugarwareZ-004.gif

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Hey Panser,I have some anxiety about moving there myself. I have plans for anytime after June 09 to arrive. Not real thrilled about an arrival in june, as I don't want to deal with the rainey season right off the bat, looking around. the only advantage to that is finding a house not under water during a heavy rain...That, at least is a sure way of knowing what areas flood. Other than that, I probably wil wait until aftere the holidays.I have lived in country 15 years, BUT, I havn't been back since late 93...So things have changed a lot. I know they have just from reading the forums. Granted most of the changes are improvements, but not all. Many of the things you mentioned like bugs, I h ave delt with and accepted I have to deal with them.Security, I always felt safer in the PI than I do in my present home town..Food, experiment and learn to enjoy local food. I was very lucky in that, I loved it right off the bat...Never had to worry about what to eat. If everything else failed, I could live on street bbq, fried rice and pancit canton. I have eaten from many many of the small local candalerias (sp), never once got sick. We shopped in all the local markets for our food supply, long before there were supermarkets available, never had a problem.My biggest worry, is bordom....i can stay busy, travel, and do things I like for a year or two. Then what??? Every time I h ave been there, I have ended up starting up a business mainly for something to do, or just the challange of doing it. Maybe it was to provide a service to other expats...I really don't want to do that this time. But, I must keep busy....this "retirement" thing is the most difficult thing for me to figure out. I've been working too long and not sure I will be able to stop and stay stopped.But the things you mentioned....The ability to adapt, not demand everything work like in the West...and you will do fine.Just enjoy....Jim

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  • 4 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

i not worry about movingi was in phils two times now, and i figure out my needsclean room, no insects, but my gf clean every day, so no problemaircon to be fresh, i had fan, but i buy aircon soon myselfshower, now we have shower, but only few drops of water comming out, but i can help myself, i save water all day, then i have for the nextbread and cheese, yes my favorite, but bread is sweet here, and cheese only in carton cubes: i bring breadmachine, and will eat the cheese they havethats all wishes i have, and made solutions for iti can live in philsno problem, but take every problem one by one, and make solutions oh, and for myself, i join a gymclub (fitness it called here), start an artthing in crazy art, with locals and kids, and, cook other food to share on partiesi will not be bored there, i'm sure

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Pan, if you must have Internet for you work and you are really worried about times when knocked out, you can also get a Globe G card for your laptop and when the home goes down, you just turn on that one or keep them both on all the time and you will be all set, unless they both go down that is. One of my neighbors has one of those cards and he says it never goes down, but maybe he is not online all the time. Anyway he raves about it, but it does cost a lot compared to home Internet.BTW, the last time I was in Cebu early February to May of this year, my PLDT dsl only went out a few times and only for minutes at a time. It was never down for long, that is after they fixed the problems I originally had with it. It did slow down often, but that is not as bad as going totally out.As a side note to all this, I do not know if you know this or not, but Mike S has to be one of the braves men who moved to the Philippines IMHO, he had never been to the Philippines and moved all his stuff over and decided he was going to make a go of it and that is what he has been doing. Pan, if he can do it, you will have no problem because at least you have been there before and know some of what to expect.Mike S has very big brass balls in my book. :thumbsup: :cheers:
I just wish they wouldn't clank together when he walks. :thumbsup: :( We use SMART Bro it seems to be pretty reliable. I don't do anything that requires a lot of speed so I can't say how fast it is. I had some computer issues there but it was with the computer itself not the internet connection. There are a fairly wide range of foreign products available sometimes you may have to look around to find it and some things just aren't available. The more imported stuff you use the more expensive it will be.
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