Wednesday, October 3

Philippine Frustrations

This list is from an article in the local AWCP monthly publication, Inklings. I'm sure it's a lot funnier to me than it will be to anyone else, but I wanted to copy it here so I won't forget about these:

(My personal comments are in italics.)

Philippine Frustrations

* High cost on imported goods
* Bad phone and internet service
* Hot and humid weather (Very much like Texas!)
* Typhoons
* Clothes that are made for tiny sizes in the stores (No kidding!)
* Response of "yes, ma'am" when the answer is no, when the question is not understood, and when the question does not require a yes or no answer (This is completely frustrating!!)
* "For a while" when you are in a hurry (and sometimes even when you are not!) (When they say "for a while", they mean, "wait a minute" or "hold on while I check")
* Getting stared at (This has been VERY hard for me and the kids to get used to!)
* Being ignored because you are a female
* Traffic
* House help using the in-sink aerator to spin dry undergarments (only a one-time occurrence!)
* Drivers driving really slow in the middle of the road when looking for an address
* Being expected to dance and sing at Filipino parties (especially when you are unable to do either)
* Balikbayan boxes that come out before suitcases in the airport
* Being searched at the airport, mall, movies, hotels, grocery stores, etc.
* Dirty bathrooms with no toilet seats, toilet paper, soap or paper towels (I carry a package of tissues in my purse now for this very reason. I learned the hard way.)
* Squatter toilets
* Saving face
* Pollution
* Public transportation - buses, jeepneys, taxis
* Haircuts (This is so true! Sammy is now sporting a traditional Filipino "do". It's all they know.)
* Instant iced tea
* No queuing
* Nothing happens on time (Ask the TI engineers here about that!)
* High electricity prices
* No air conditioning (Here, they call it "air con")
* Communication problems (ALL the time!)
* Brown-outs
* No instant rice (I just ran into this problem tonight when I wanted to quickly fix rice to go along with our meatloaf: "Oh sure, ma'am. No problem. It'll only be 25 minutes.")
* No napkins with substance (This is something you have to experience - all Filipino napkins are half the size of ours in the States and are VERY thin!)
* No Mexican food (How are we going to live without Mexican food?!?!)
* Trying to buy things at department stores - one person to open the product and check for defects, another to ring it up, another to take money/credit card, another to stamp the receipt and one more to staple the receipt to the bag (Seriously... it's a ridiculously long process!)
* Grocery shopping - have to shop at several stores, things go in and out of stock with no inventory to replenish, expired items, strong smell
* Loud noise pollution in the malls
* People who text while they are trying to walk (SO annoying!)
* No sense of personal space in malls, on escalators, in line at the store, etc. (Once again, you must experience this to understand it. People line up RIGHT behind you. I mean, RIGHT behind you. If you turn your body sideways, you'll hit them. On escalators, people will stand next to you on the same step instead of behind you on the next step. I just don't get it. And, don't even get me started about waiting for your turn in a line. DRIVES ME CRAZY! If you are in a line at say, a pharmacy, you have to be aggressive and make your way to the counter if you want to be seen in a timely manner. People will shove their way ahead of you & walk right up to the counter, even though you've been patiently waiting your turn. It's the same at the ATM machines. In fact, I about threw a fit at an ATM machine this weekend. I gave up waiting for my turn because people kept pushing their way ahead of me. I left the line, went to the car & told Sammy he needed to do it. I get very irritated with impatient people!)
* "Out of stock" (not surprisingly, this was the most frequent frustration!) (If they do not know what an item is, if they do not want to look for it, if they don't understand what you are asking for, the automatic answer is "out of stock", even if it is not out of stock. Filipinos are very non-confrontational people, so this is a "safe" answer, according to them.)

My next post will be a list of Philippine Favorites. Like the article says, "Although we all have some days it may not feel like it, take note that the favorites far outweigh the frustrations."

Ummmm, sometimes...


Mandy Boyd said...

Hi There!

I got to your site via Carolyn McBryde's. I can soooo relate to the list and your comments. When I was over in Singapore and Hong Kong, it was the same way!

Have you experienced durian fruit yet? Nothing ruined my grocery shopping quicker than a whiff of that!

Great blog!

Mandy Boyd

Amberly said...

Oh my... yes, we have experienced the durian fruit! That is terrible! Here's a story about that fruit:
The other day, I volunteered to go with Sydney's class on a field trip to an outdoor market. They were working on using & identifying their 5 senses. So, we had to find the shiniest object (sight), the rattliest object (sound), the sweetest object (taste), the stinkiest object (scent) and the prickliest object (touch). However, one rule that her teacher gave us was to please NOT bring back any durian fruit at all! She said the first year they did this, they had so much durian fruit brought back to her classroom & it took weeks for the smell to finally go away.