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Living in the Philippines has its perks.
For instance, things are cheap. This is probably the most wonderful aspect of being British, having a paycheck in pounds sterling, and living in this fantastically hot, dirt cheap country.
I can go to McDonalds and order a Big Mac Meal for less than a quid. That’s one pound sterling - £ - for everyone else who doesn’t know, about $1.80 for those who insist I be more American.
Actually I’ve been American, in a sense, having to listen to kids shout “Hey Joe!” at me almost everywhere I go (“Joe” being derived from GI Joe; every kid here immediately thinks a white man is an American GI. “I’m fucking retired SAS thank you very much”, I’d love to say sometimes, “be grateful I didn’t storm your insolent dad’s house and rip off his nuts and feed them to his chickens.” Not that I realy mind being called Joe but it used to get on my nerves, y’know?)
Back to laughing my head off at how pleasantly economical the Philippines can be for me: I buy a pack of Marlboros for 25 pence (50 cents), a crate of San Miguel beer (24, 355ml bottles) for £3.50 ($6.50), go to a superb, upper class, THX cinema for just 80 pence ($1.40) and get an immaculate, top-of-the-class blowjob for £8.00 ($14.00).
Can you beat that?
There’s this restaurant I go to that serves a magnificent grilled chicken, java rice, a sweet and sour side dish, and a milky fruit salad dessert (served in a freshly opened coconut half). This, along with a couple of beers, costs me around £1.50 ($3.00).
I believe most Americans would say, “Fuckin’ A!”?
And clothes? Shit, I can fill my whole wardrobe with designer gear for just £150. Petrol (gas) is 20 pence per liter (40 cents). Text messages cost less than 1 pence.
There are other dirt cheap things too of course but the aforementioned stuff is just about all that a bloke needs right? So on to other stuff.
I hate the cold. Hence me relocating to a tropical country. England is great if you’re into heritage and football and page three girls. But it’s bloody cold there. I am not willing to live in a fridge freezer for the rest of my life.
The English summer is a myth. Here in the Philippines you get to bask in the sun all day (at the risk of skin cancer of course, just don’t be an idle idiot and overdo it) and even when it rains it’s an experience like no other. I can actually take a shower in the rain and enjoy it!
Unlike in England where the summer is a joke (like in a year we get one week of sunshine. One fucking week) and the rain…well, lets just say rain is as common as unfulfilled promises are to Blair (or lies are to Bush, if you like).
Not only is rain frequent, it’s a real pisser-offer. English showers are biting and exasperating, especially when you’re on your way to work, particularly during autumn (fall why do you Americans call it that anyway?) where you have to “wrap up” in layers and layers of clothing, carry a brolly (umbrella) and pay radiator bills all the time (We don’t use house heaters during the one week of summer though. Yahoo).
Meanwhile in the Philippines, to “wrap up” means to conclude something, like finish showering in the heavy but warm rain that pelts down in a blissful blur, often for hours on end but nobody cares because the very experience of watching (and showering in) monsoon rain is priceless. Except if you live on a cliff that’s prone to landslide.
Anyways, once I was sitting in a hut beside the road (mountains to my right, the ocean to my left, rice fields everywhere) and I could see an ominous dark cloud coming towards me. The 12nn heat was sweltering but gradually it got cooler as the cloud drew nearer.
Then I heard it.
A distant noise, like the sound of TV static, was slowly making its way toward me. I sat up in my little bamboo hut and observed the heavy cloud nearly overhead. Then like a lorry (truck) speeding around the distant blind curve, the rain came sweeping across the road, like a massive white curtain suspended from heaven, dragging itself along the highway. It whizzed past me and I watched the blistering tarmac yield smoke as the rain curtain mercilessly ate road.
Can you get that in England?
Sure I miss the football, the fish and chips, the page three tits. But who says you can’t get that here anyway?
In many ways it’s even better.
I regularly catch the Premier League on ESPN (my satellite TV costs me just £7 a month). Who wants fish and chips when I get to regularly eat an abundance of striking dishes like Chicken Adobo, Pork Sisig, and the famously spicy Bicol Express? And the fruits… mangoes with bagoong, papaya doused with calamansi juice, grapefruit, watermelons, jackfruit…all good for the health and a double blessing that they’re cheap.
And tits? Who wants Jordan (equal to American’s Anna Nicole Smith I guess) when all I have to do is go to a beach/bar/shopping mall here?
I love England. But it’s time to move on. Besides, in this era of global terrorism, London might be struck by weapons of mass destruction soon, right Blair? I’m out of there.
The Philippines, despite the red tape and the hazards of stepping in cow shit, is an awesome country. The rest of South East Asia can eat shit. Filipinos are the warmest, most accommodating and friendliest in the world. The food, as I mentioned, is most satisfying. I live next to the beach, I don’t have to pay gas bills (got my own tanks), water bills (got two wells), mortgage bills (I own the fucking place) and best of all, the weather is superb.
I’ve got it made.
Now I’m going to light a cheap cigarette, have a swig of one of many hundreds of beer I have in stock, change into flashy clothes that are expensive elsewhere, and speed off to my fave restaurant for a dirt cheap meal of magnificent quality.
For this, you can call me Joe anytime.
Daniel Brian Abbey can help you with currency conversions. And the current content editor of this site has never once said Fuckin' A and he is an American.