I know that talking about common sense in the PI is a tough topic as I would consider that it something that does just not exist. During the last seven years I am living in this wonderful country I am daily confronted with that problem. I need to say “thank you” to one of my friends at Asia Divers in Puerto Galera who gave me a very wise advice:
“Rhoody, never ask more than 1 “Why-question” per day and you’ll be happy here”.
I try to stick to that advice and as I usually stand up at 6:00 am my one “Why-question” is used latest at 6:30. Those include things like:
Why can’t she replace the empty toilet-paper roll (same problem since over 4 years)?
Why are ALL lights on (I know it’s my money, what pays the electric bill)?
Why does the radio run on max-volume (and not only ours, all the neighbor ones)?
Why are people shouting into a microphone and think they can sing?
Why can you drive your bike completely drunk, but pay penalty when wearing slippers?
Why me, why now why here?
The answer to the last question is simple… Because I love it here !!! I love the challenge of each single day, I love the diving here, I love the life-style.
All this why-questions are teaching me things for my life every day. One of that is that many things we “long-noses” think are important are NOT. At least not for the people here… As long there is some rice on the plate and some “load” on the phone they are happy. The whole day (and night) can be “wasted” with “falling in line”.
When visiting Dumaguete it is fun to go foe example to BPI-Bank and just watch the scenario for withdrawing money. There are three rows of chairs (maybe 15 in a row). So if the first person gets served at one of the counters, the 44 remaining people on the chairs stand up and move exactly one seat further. It is like a snake moving slowly towards the counter. Or should I say like Lemmings? Don’t ask “Why they don’t use a number system…” It is like it is, like it always has been, like it will be in the future..
If you wanna life here AND enjoy your life, just accept it, even better, become a part of it. If not you might end up like quite some expats here, sitting in their “Expat-Circle” and complaining the whole day “Why” things are not like back home…