Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Daily Report: With Lunch Sandwiched In

Epril got me out of bed in the usual fashion. Now she's playing The Chipmunks singing "Funkytown" in my ear.

Work went okay in the morning... although with the low amount of work, I notice that more and more people are working late in the evening to scrape by. Even at midnight back in America, there were 10 or 15 people plugging away.

I've been talking to people I work with, and there are, of course, other transcription companies out there, and their compensation is equal to or better than the company I'm working for now. (However, I have seniority, maximum vacation, maximum annual bonus, and my 20% "stat" overnight bonus to offset that.) The plan is that if at the beginning of 2009 things haven't improved in terms of work running out (say... mid-February), I'll move to a different company. The only problem is that such a move will require at least a couple of weeks back in America. (At least I hope it is only a couple of weeks. Any more than that, and I will lose my $15,000 overseas tax credit for 2009.)

Epril and I had a lunch date with Andy and Cynthia, Chris and Rhea, and Harry and Bebs at Country Steakhouse. Epril and I had their hamburger for 170 pisos ($3.40) which was really quite good — definitely the best hamburger in Cagayan De Oro — although I'll have to remember to tell them to skip the mayonnaise next time.

In the afternoon, upon getting back from lunch, work was very low, and I had to go into accounts I'm not actually scheduled to work in to snag jobs.

I've been watching "Fearless Planet" by the Discovery Channel on BluRay. It's pretty good, but not as good as the stuff the BBC puts out. Still though: I wish all of this excellent educational programming were around when I was a kid... I'd have learned so much more. (The best we had back then was the occasional "Wild Kingdom" with that white-haired fellow, and "Cosmos" which I did soak up like a sponge.)

The piso finally crossed back over to 50 per dollar today. Hallelujah and keep going. The Thai baht is up to 35 to the dollar, which is not nearly as substantial an improvement. The PI has to be looking better and better for those of you partying in Thailand, I imagine: A beer at a bar here costs $1 or less, and a beer at a bar in Thailand costs $3 and up. (You mongering types know the mongering prices too. I assume that's probably better as well.) Actually, with the crime, the visa regulations, the quality of the girls on stage, and the general sense of antagonism coming from the locals in Pattaya, I'm surprised there are still mongers left in Pattaya at all. If only Angeles City had a beach, eh?

Well, in the interest of encouraging tourism, here are the prices of things in Cagayan de Oro:

Cost of a cheap hotel room: 800 P ($16 / 560 baht).
Cost of a good hotel room: 1,300 P ($26 / 910 baht).
Cost of a good hotel suite: 3,000 P ($60 / 2,100 baht).
Dinner & drinks for 2 at town's best rest.: 1,200 P ($24 / 840 baht).
Beer, happy hour, Spooks Gogo bar: 25 P (50 cents / 17.5 baht).
Beer, regular, Spooks Gogo bar: 50 P ($1 / 35 baht).
Beer, Pulse Disco: 40 P (80 cents / 28 baht).
Mixed drink, Pulse Disco: 80 P ($1.60 / 56 baht).
Taxi, 8 km trip: 100 P ($2 / 70 baht).
Jeepney, across town: 8 P (16 cents / 5.6 baht).
Jeepney, 30 miles out of town: 30 P (60 cents / 21 baht).
Rent: Studio apartment: 5K P/month ($100 / 3,500 baht).
Rent: House, 100 sq. m.: 10K P ($200 / 7,000 baht).
Rent: House, 150 sq. m.: 15K P ($300 / 10,500 baht).
Rent: House, 200 sq. m.: 20K to 30K P ($400-$600 / 14K-21K).
Movie, SM mall: 50 P ($1 / 35 baht).


fontok69 said...

Thanks for the rundown on cost of living (for a visitor)in PI. It's good to have this first hand info. Thailand is still expensive even with the strengthening dollar. Especially places targeting farang.

Do you know where the best place to go scuba diving is in the PI? I'd like to make a trip to the PI soon.

Also, many congratulations to you and your wife. It was fun to follow your wedding on the blog. I didn't show the pictures to my Thai GF, though! ;)

mataho on koh lanta

Jungle Jil said...

Hi Mataho,

Sorry, but I don't know the first thing about scuba locations in The Philippines. I'm sure you can find that info online, or maybe one of my other readers will put up their suggestion.

Just remember that those prices are for Cagayan De Oro, not Angeles City.

Thanks for the congratulations. We're totally happy.

Issarat said...

I saw burger Bob yesterday and he said that he had a great time at your wedding.
Thanks for the cost list on this post; I know I ask you all the time PI vs Thai questions; and it really is helpful.
Tourism is expected to be down 50% from last here in Pattya; and by the attitudes of the tourists and some of the locals, you prediction on Pattaya may come true also.
Speaking of predictions; have you ever considered a part time job as a wizard? You have been quite right over the past year..

Jungle Jil said...

To the rest of my readers, I paid Issarat to say that wizard stuff. You too can get paid good money for leaving fulsome saccharine comments about how great I am on my blog. Inquire at the front desk for details after the show.