Recently, my wife and I were returning from Dumaguete to our small town via ship. It’s a commute we do several times a week. The ship carries both passengers and vehicles. Typically, upon docking the entire front of the ship opens, lowering a big metal ramp connecting the ship to the pier. It’s the only exit off the ship for passengers and vehicles. On this particular day, the ramp didn’t lower at our destination. We waited awhile and started to grow a bit impatient, wondering if we would be stuck for minutes, hours, or worse. It was quickly obvious the problem was beyond the crew’s capability to fix it. A partial solution was presented to the passengers. A gap at the side of the metal ramp was big enough to fit humans, however, it was about 3 meters above the cement pier. A pitiful looking wooden ladder was placed against the ship, offering an inconvenient method of departure for those healthy enough to attempt it. Luckily, my wife and I were in good enough shape to slowly make it down safely. Less healthy passengers and all the vehicles were still trapped as we departed from the port. I don’t know what became of them. Perhaps they are doomed for all eternity.
My articles have regularly appeared here on Thursdays for the past 6 months. This will be my last for the foreseeable future. My wife and I are leaving the Philippines and returning to the Chicago area. Our future plans regarding the Philippines are unknown at this time, although we expect to be back at some point. It seems like a good time for us to take a break back in the USA. One of our two Cebu teen bands is soon dissolving since the kids are graduating high school and going off in different directions. Our Cebu home is in need of repair and minor remodeling, and it would be a major inconvenience to try and live in the house while the work is going on. My wife’s relatives will look after our interests during our absence.
One of the issues most expats have to face is time away from family and friends, and it’s an ongoing challenge to find a balance between 2 countries. Sometimes it seems like a no-win situation. When you are in country ‘A’ you miss country ‘B’ and vice versa.
When an expat returns to his home country, it doesn’t necessarily mean he has given up on his new adopted country. Similarly, my wife and I aren’t leaving the Philippines because of something beyond our ability to cope. The slow internet, brownouts, and other common complaints about the Philippines are not that big of an issue for us. For the most part, we have been content living in the Philippines.
Hopefully, you have enjoyed reading my articles as much as I enjoyed writing them. Thanks to all of you who took the time to comment and contribute your own thoughts. Also, thanks to Bob for allowing me to participate on this website.
That’s it for me. All of you current expats please take good care of the Philippines while I’m away. Oh, I almost forgot. Just one more thing. I was once again on that ship with the faulty ramp a couple days ago and it worked fine. You can stop worrying now.