Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Daily Report: Jungle Enigmas

Today was simply an awful day of work. I was thrown into an unfamiliar hospital's work to transcribe, and everybody there sounded like they had just gotten off the boat from Bangalore. I worked for 4 hours and transcribed 500 lines... about one-third speed.


The rooftop terrace is coming along.
We still need some bushes to fill out
the jungle feel, a wicker table and
chairs (next month, maybe), and we're
going to pile up some gravel and coral
to make flower beds around the plants.
Epril, Momma Nila, and Kirko went into Jasaan today for chores. Nila's mother in Leyte (the next island north from, on the east side of, Mindanao) is ill so we sent her some money. Epril then bought a bunch of plants for the rooftop terrace (3 small banana-like trees, 2 hanging ferns, 2 fern trees, and an ornamental arrangement for the table... $25). I still have a hard time grasping the concept of paying for plants. I'm surrounded by hills covered with miles upon miles of plants. Why pay when one has a shovel? Oh well. It's a mystery to me. Epril also stopped by the electronic store and looked at more ways for me to communicate from my jungle perch up here on the third floor down to the kitchen, and found everything to be in the $50 range (per unit). Since we are running low on money, we decided to put that purchase on hold. It only costs me 75 centavos (1.5 cents) to send a text message downstairs from my mobile phone. We can send 6,000 text messages for $100 (two units), so they can wait.

The couch should arrive tomorrow. Still no word on the due date of the bed and cabinets, though I believe they are just about finished.

I had Filipino pizza from a local restaurant for lunch today. Filipino pizza means start with pizza dough, and then put whatever is cheap on top. Today's pizza had mushrooms, slices of hotdog, pineapples, raisins, and two types of processed cheese. No sauce that I could taste. I can't say why, but it actually was good. It tastes like something you would make while stoned at 3 in the morning.

My cough is still going on; not as bad as it was years ago when it actually worried me though. I'm not sure if it is just a remnant from the ride on the polluted highway in the moving van at rush hour 6 days ago, or if there is more smoke from cooking fires and burning leaves in the air here in Jasaan. I had a bad cough before that lasted for some time after a rush-hour ride on that highway... so it's not the first time.

I played some video games tonight, had two pieces of fried chicken (Epril's family had fish — they really love their fish), and watched the Filipino news. The only two news subjects that matter to Filipinos were covered extensively tonight: Crime in Manila and any and all information regarding the goings-on of Manny Pacquiao.

Our neighbors have three yap-yap dogs who barked for 45 minutes straight tonight. When bedtime came around, I had Susan walk next door to tell the neighbors to fix the problem. They did. I don't mind dogs barking (or cocks crowing, kids screaming, drills buzzing, hammers banging, motorcycles droning, or any of the other sounds I can hear regularly outside my door). I just don't want to hear one single sound for 45-minutes straight when it's time to go to sleep.

3 comments:

C T Dunn said...

Jil,
Try, http://tinyurl.com/d6p6sk

That is 5 Star Sporting Goods. Second column, third from the bottom.

It has NOAA, ha, little use to you there, however, they have less expensive models from time to time. I did not search their site for others, just noticed this one in their weekly sales ad.

I could place in a balikbayan box and send to Nancy in Cagayan de Oro.

CT Dunn, Lubbock, Texas

PS - You could email me thru the Expats in Cagayan de Oro group. Same name, same bat email address.

Jungle Jil said...

CT,

Thanks a bunch for the offer. At $69, that is 3,400 pisos for the set, or 1,700 each. But if they were sent from America, they would run on 110 volt electricity, plus the shipping... I'm better off just getting them here.

Actually, I just stopped and looked online, and I found the same sets that are being sold here for 4,000 pisos being sold online for 400 pisos. Good God, sometimes shit in The Philippines is expensive.

Question though: Do you know how those Balikbayan Boxes work? Where do you get them? Do you need to be a Filipino in order to use them? Can you ship them from anywhere, or just certain shipping centers?

C T Dunn said...

Boxes are available at U-Haul and probably at the Filipino or Asian or Oriental market.

Weight doesn't matter if your agent is local. If you have to UPS to Los Angeles, then it is 70 lbs.

Anyone may send them, just pay the tariff. Check the web sites, manilaforwarder and manilaforwarders, (with the 's').

Small, medium and x-large boxes to Mindanao are $70-$100 from LA, more from Lubbock.

One needs to check around to see which company is reliable, seems, there has been some fraud recently.

Transit time is 10-12 weeks to Manila.

CT Dunn, Lubbock