A few weeks ago, I was out walking. When I’m walking, I tend to do a lot of thinking, and come up with some of my best ideas at that time. On this particular day, I was thinking about a request from a reader. Remember couple weeks ago I wrote an article about Penny, a white female who is thinking of possibly living in the Philippines, but was concerned about safety? This particular day, while I was walking, that’s the subject I was thinking about, and planning to write the article. However, my thoughts strayed on that day. The subject that kept coming back to my mind was, why do I live here?
If you think about that, it’s not really an easy question to answer. Even though I knew that I enjoyed living here, if I wanted to give specific reasons why I like it here, that was something I had to think about. I mean, there are a number of reasons why a lot of people would not like it, and there were reasons that I did not like. However, even though there were things I did not like, overall, I love living here. Why?
Well, one of the things that I thought of that I didn’t like was that I’m different. I’m always different. No matter where you go, you are often the only foreigner there. The only time that this is really not true, is when you go in a group with other foreigners. And, I don’t just mean the you look different, you’re just different in almost every way. As a foreigner, you will find the you think differently than the local people, do things differently, react to situations differently, you are just different. Like I said, at first I was thinking this was something I didn’t like about living here. However, as I thought about it more, I realized that I’ve always been different, no matter where I lived. I never totally fit in any place that I went, because I was different! There’s nothing wrong with that either, and as I thought this over, I decided that this was actually something that was okay about living here. I accept being different, and have no real problems with it. A friend and I once talked about this, and we came to the conclusion that if we weren’t different, we probably wouldn’t live here. The normal person back in the states doesn’t move to the Philippines, it takes somebody who’s a little bit different to do that.
So, while this subject was already on my mind, last week I was having lunch with John Grant. He has lived here for a couple of years now, and I have lived here for 8 years. He asked me a question which I found intriguing. He asked, “in the time you’ve lived here, what is the worst thing that ever happened to you, and what is the best?” Wow, now that was something to think about. It was not something that I could immediately answer, rather something that required some deep thought. After a while, I gave him a few answers, off the top of my head. However, now, I have given it more thought, and I want to answer it here in my column.
So, I’m going to write two more columns about this. Tomorrow, I’m going to talk about the worst things that have happened to me since living in the Philippines. These worst things are things that I do not believe would’ve happened to me if I did not live here. The following day, I will write a column about the best things that happened to me since living here. So, if you’re thinking of moving here, these two columns are some things you might want to consider for yourself.
Let me give you a little clue. Tomorrow, take a look at the number one worst thing that has happened to me since living here. The next day, take a look at the number one best thing that has happened to me since living here. You may find that there’s an interesting connection.
See you tomorrow?