Life has been rather uneventful here lately. I go to bed at about 11:00, wake up at about 8:00. I surf the internet for a few hours while I have my coffee (I've moved to instant now... but still a little dash of Bailey's Irish Cream) and eggs and bacon. I do a little work, then break for the afternoon and have a bit of lunch, then do a little more work, then break for dinner, and then I watch some television before climbing back into bed.
I think that the major difference between this life and the life I had in Pattaya is that in Pattaya, I had certain things scheduled during my week to look forward to... things that I wouldn't let work or laziness or other commitments interfere with. It provided a kind of structure to my week: Wednesday lunch with Stan, Friday night dinners, Aikido lessons with Geordan, Sunday at TQ2.
I don't have those things yet here in Cagayan. I've been to all of the expatriate happenings here and they are enjoyable, but they aren't yet the kind of things I would drop everything to go and participate in. I was enjoying playing billiards for a while, but lately that too seems like too much effort to go do, when sitting at home and watching a movie or reading a book is a second choice.
I think I'm developing a kidney stone. My mother had one when she was about my age. Right now, it's just a tiny little pressure down in my right lower abdomen, which has been there for about 2 days. I recognize it, because about 10% of all emergency room visits that I transcribe are people coming in with the same thing I feel... only a hundred times worse. Hopefully I have a month or two to visit a doctor and get a diagnosis, and ponder my options. Maybe it's nothing. That would be nice.
I'm also really excited: My Playstation 3 with its built-in Blue Ray disc player is on its way from America with 20 movies and 2 video games. Ever since I first saw an example of HDTV at Sony World in New York City back in 1996, I've been waiting for my own high-def system... 12 years. Now, I only have 17 more days before I'll be enjoying 1080 lines of resolution on a 60-inch screen. It's entirely possible that I could find my whole home theater experience so intense that I just plotz. Maid Susan can mop up.
In stark contrast to my modern technology fetish: It was out to Jasaan yesterday, where I met Michael Bird, an aviation mechanic from Alaska, who is marrying Epril's cousin, Emelyn. He's a really nice and genuine fellow. I don't know whether to say he is a hippie or a naturalist or a nativist, but as opposed to most foreigners who have come to live here, Bird (as he likes to be called) has bought a plot of land out behind Epril's house, built a bamboo hut with a stone slab for a hearth fire, and is going to harvest rice from his own personal paddy, and eat coconuts and bananas and jackfruit from the trees in his front yard for the rest of his days.
I'm beginning to realize that there is something in the water in Kimaya, the little "suburb" of Jasaan where Epril's family lives. It's what brings so may foreigners to this easy-to-miss village 45 minutes outside Cagayan De Oro. It causes the female birth rate to soar (note Epril and her 4 sisters and no brothers), and the birth rate of really pretty girls in particular to soar. In addition, everybody in the neighborhood is genuine, caring, and forthright; all the families are honest and hard-working.
There are a lot of interesting and
pretty birds flying around my house.
This is a flaming sunbird, although it's
coloring is a little odd and it took
myself and my bird-watching friend
a while to figure out what it was.All of the foreign guys who come to The Philippines to find a nice lady, and instead wind up finding a nightmare: They never went looking in Kimaya. Just ask the 8 or 10 foreign guys who have already built big beachfront or mountainside houses in the area in which to shelter their beloved and her family, and the dozen or foreign guys who have taken girls from Kimaya back to Kano-land with them: Ask them what they think of Kimaya.