Saturday, October 2, 2010

Good Lord Byron

There is a rather amusing thread weaving over at the Expats In Cagayan De Oro Yahoo Group concerning the ongoing picaresque story of one Byron White.

Byron came onto that Yahoo Group several months ago and (although I don't remember the exact details) basically told everyone that he was going to chuck away his life in America, sell everything, buy a plane ticket to The Philippines (where I suspect he had never been), move in with some girl (whom it is certain he had never met in person), and get a job (being a "preacher" and opening a taco stand were both mentioned) to support himself.

He then started to ask the most expat-entry-level questions of the group that it made its members first suspect that the whole thing was an Andy-Kaufman-style prank, and then later made them suspect that Byron wasn't fully put together, and finally made them just suspect that the man had the world's worst judgment.

Nonetheless, the Yahoo Group did their best to offer Byron advice... mostly admonishments of "look before leaping", "think long and hard", "don't count your chickens", and other such pragmatic maxims. But ill-prepared, ignorant, unemployed... yet hidebound and selfsure, Byron was cutting and running to The Philippines, and nothing was going to stop him.

I didn't hear any more about Byron after that, and thought that he had actually put some thought into things and deferred his plans. But Byron apparently did exactly what he promised, came to Cagayan De Oro, and proceeded to come a cropper in the span of a single month in what has to be the most spectacular self-inflicted expatriate train wreck in history. And, now in his farewell self-immolation (and yard sale) on the Yahoo Group, he is lobbing sad little fireballs at the expatriate community in Cagayan De Oro ("a retirement home for Americans"), their get-togethers ("a retirement home at lunch time"), and the expatriates in general ("living in their own isolated worlds"), essentially blaming their relaxed-and-retired status as the reason he was unable to connect with any "businessmen" in order to get his foot in the door to gainful employment. The expatriates are lobbing back with much-more-accurate insults to Byron's judgment, intelligence, and attitude.

Oh well, it's all amusing and it's all good and it's all worthwhile (as long as you aren't Byron)... and the Yahoo Group's archives will remain as an educational bildungsroman of Cagayan De Oro's most famous scapegrace: Good Lord Byron and his Fabulous Misadventure in The Philippines.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Jil
I started off as an avid reader of your blogs, n I still do and I have read every one of them. My goodness Jil, you are obviously a very intelligent man. No,I am not just a passing cruiser, I live part time here RP n for my needs I purchase a house on a 34 year lease on one of the Base's up in Luzon. My main residence is Phuket for many years, quite apart from my home country. Jil, you wear your heart on your sleeve, I have no doubt many people skulk your blog (including me). I am sure I am not on my own to extend to you n Epril n your extended family (both sides)all the best Wishes n best Karma you are so deserving.
I doff my cap to you.
Thank you.

Jungle Jil said...

Thanks for saying that.

By the way, there was another comment earlier on this post that I had to reject: Sorry, but the person that you discussed does, as far as I am concerned, not exist and as such is never mentioned on this blog.