Sunday, May 18, 2008

Daily Report: Comfortable & Uncomfortable Living

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.


star said...

pretty girls? there are not many of those in phils.

you have been to s america. why didny u take a latin girl

Jungle Jil said...


Point 1: As for there being "not many" pretty girls in The Philippines, anybody reading this knows better than to believe that kind of thing. There are pretty girls everywhere in the world.

Point 2: I didn't "take a latin girl" because finding somebody to love isn't like talking a walk down Restaurant Row in D.C. and just walking in to a popular joint and picking out some ethnic dish. I moved to Thailand in order to live in a different culture, and along the way I met Epril, and now I'm here in The Philippines. That's where life lead me.

I can recommend people come here to meet girls without hesitation, because there are nice girls here who want to meet foreign men. But I'm not recommending them because they are Filipina — as compared to Latin or Caucasian or Chinese or whatever — but because they are pretty and because their desire to meet foreign men makes dating and courting much more straightforward and hassle-free than in other countries... especially America.

I'm sure that there are nice latin girls who want to meet foreigners too. Heck: Probably anyplace an educated, responsible and single American fellow goes in this big world, he'll find pretty girls interested in him and the opportunities and security he (and his citizenship) offers... but I'm here in the Philippines and hence that's the place I write about.

DAGO said...

So Jil, are you starting to miss Pattaya? Im back in the states right now and am missing it a lot.

Jungle Jil said...


I miss a lot of things about Pattaya... mostly my friends and the things we did together.

But, I enjoy my home life much more here. I enjoy my house and my view and my office more here.

g said...

hi jil, my name is glenn. i am from north carolina. i read your blog often and really like it. i meet a girl at cherry blossoms and flew to the phils in jan 2007 for 25 days.i was in manila for 4 days and cebu and bohol the rest of the time. i agree that their are many pretty girls in the phils but the worst part of being there was the food.i know you have a cook ,and my question is that do you find it more different than being in the usa?

Jungle Jil said...


I'm not sure what you are asking me in regards to any differences or similarities between the USA and The Philippines. What specifically were you thinking about? Differences in the food? Susan finds recipes in a cookbook that Epril and I bought for her, and the food she cooks is fine... probably the same as anything that you could cook back in the USA.

I hope that answers your question.

Nancy said...

Hey Jil, maybe you can find a masters swim team! Though if billiards seems like a bit too much effort, taking up swimming again might be *really* over the top.

Jungle Jil said...


Yes... I'm now more of a float-about kind of person. Water aerobics is possible... but, unlike everyplace I was in Thailand, there are no pools nearby in which I can swim... and not even any distant pools I would be willing to travel to for regular exercise.

I was thinking about getting a treadmill up on the balcony though.

M said...

I continue to enjoy reading your blog...

Thanks you for your respectful and insightful comments about people in the community where you live, especially about women.

Too many blogs I read (written by farangs) concerning Thailand are negative about the people and culture.

Keep up the good job...

mataho in bkk

Jungle Jil said...


It's easy to become negative about a foreign place after you've lived there a time and been exposed to some of its less-appealing aspects. I enjoyed Pattaya, but the crime there was horrendous. I am enjoying Cagayan, but the polution here is the worst I've ever seen.

Also, as you learn more about a foreign people, you do start to discover traits amongst them that are not so good.

So far, it seems that most of my experience with Filipino people and most of what I've read on the internet news sites for The Philippines is generally positive... but when the bad stuff comes up, I'll talk about that too.