The past week has been a frustrating one for Feyma and I. Sometimes it doesn’t take a major thing to bring frustration, just a build up of small stuff can cause you to drop into depression and be super-frustrated.
It all started toward the beginning of last week. One morning, our Globe DSL quite working. Over the past couple of months, I have written several times about problems with our DSL dropping out. Sometimes the service is down for an hour, sometimes for days. On average, if it goes out, it is usually out for at least a day. Well, when the DSL first quit working, I called the Globe Hotline. There was a recording that said that there was trouble with their network, and that customers may not be able to connect, but it was being fixed as quickly as possible. So, I just thought to myself that all I can do is wait for it to be fixed. I have a backup internet service to keep me online, but it is way slower than what I am used to, and I find it difficult to work on such a slow connection. It’s OK for stuff that “has to get done” but I’d rather wait for a faster internet connection if possible.
After 3 days with no service, my niece went to the Globe Center to complain. They told her that nothing was wrong on their end, and it must be something that we did to cause the problem. Well, we had done nothing, and in the past they always blame us for any problems, but somehow it just starts working if we wait and don’t do a thing. I know for sure that we caused no problems with the service, and I have told them this, but they insist that it is our fault. Well, thankfully, they sent out a technician team to our house to see what we had done to mess up the connection. After an hour of playing with my computer and the DSL modem, the techs determined that there were no problems on our end, which I had already told them for several months now. The techs went back to the central office here in Davao, and low and behold they found out that our service was not properly connected to their router! Imagine their surprise that the problem really was on their end! Well, they fixed that, and hopefully since they isolated a problem our service will now remain connected.
On the same day that the internet service quite working, the Cable TV quit working too. Since moving to our new neighborhood, we have what they call a “digibox” with digital cable service. The new service gives a much better picture and also a lot of new channels, which is great. However, the service keeps going out. Sometimes it tells us that we are not authorized to watch the channels that we paid for. Sometimes it just tells us that there is no cable signal and we should check if the cable is connected to the digibox. Sometimes it just doesn’t work and gives us no information. Well, when the Internet was out, and the Cable was out, Feyma just looked at each other and I said to her… “why is it that stuff just doesn’t work properly in the Philippines?” Neither she nor I could answer my question, of course.
After nearly a full day, the cable TV came back. After 3+ days the Internet was back. Earlier this afternoon (Sunday) I was going to write an article for LiP, to be published on Monday morning. Just as I was about to get up and go to my computer, the lights went out. Yep, brownout. Well, after about 2 1/2 hours of brownout, the power came back on. After about 2 seconds it went off again for another hour or so.
On Friday, just after my Internet was restored, Feyma and I got together with some friends who were visiting town. These friends have extensive experience in traveling in Thailand. We did not mention anything to them about our multiple “outages” of services during the week, but they just started talking to us about how much better things were in Thailand. They told us, “stuff works there,” and “stuff is cheaper in Thailand than in the Philippines”. They could not stop raving about how much better things were in Thailand compared to the Philippines. And, this is from a couple who is very pro-Philippines, and the lady is a Filipina who has lived in the Philippines all of her life. I was not surprised at the things they were saying, though, because I have heard it many times in the past. I meet a lot of expats who live in Thailand, and come here to do a Visa run, or come to check the Philippines as a possible next spot to live in . What I have heard from these people is that life is a lot better in Thailand. Less frustration with stuff not working. Few brownouts. The Internet works and is fast. Everything works! My argument with the folks we met with last week was that I felt like the biggest problem with living in Thailand would be the language. I felt it would be much more difficult to learn to speak Thai compared to Bisaya or Tagalog, because even their alphabet is completely different from ours!
I don’t have any plans to relocate to Thailand. But, I do wish that things actually worked in the Philippines. It is frustrating, and stressful when you don’t know when you will have the services that you have paid for. I can live with no TV, but if I paid for the cable, I want it to work. However, I cannot live without power or internet, because it is through the internet that I earn my livelihood. When will these kinds of problems be addressed in the Philippines? I’ve been here nearly 11 years now, and while many things have improved, some of this very basic stuff that people need to live a good life is still stuck in the dark ages (and darker when you don’t have electricity!).
Oh, and by the way… while writing this article my Globe DSL went out again. I wonder how many days it will be out this time?