These words are from a Jimmy Buffet song. If you are not a parrot head I’d be wasting your time explaining it. Like that song “Cheeseburgers in Paradise” I have been to the bar where the song was written, not one of the three hundred bars that claim their bar is the one. The burger was just okay, but where you are while eating it is phenomenal. Over the years Mr. Buffet has inspired me in many of the aspects of my life and living in the Tropics. Ask Bob Martin he’s a Parrot Head too! (Note from MindanaoBob… indeed I am! I have been a Parrothead since the mid-70’s)
There is also a book by Herman Wouk (no not The Cain Mutiny) but a little known book called “Don’t Stop the Carnival” The protagonist Norman leaves New York City and buys a hotel on a Tropical Caribbean Island. Then a very funny adventure begins. The very last line in the book sums up whether you will be able to settle in the tropics or not.
In my quarter of a century here, I’ve seen people come and go, like any place on earth it is not for everyone, and there is no shame in just going home if you discover it is just not for you. You get major props just for the attempt. 90% have never moved out of earshot of where they were born. Hey and they are just as right as those of us born with a wander lust, wondering what is beyond that next hill.
Your sense of humor will be the deciding factor, and you can’t count the times I’ve said that. Hell even I can’t remember the amount.
If you start to doubt the wisdom of moving here, I recommend finding a quiet time of the day, open a file in word and jot down the things that drove you crazy that day, while shopping, driving, dealing with a bureaucrat, or a neighbor or someone from your own home country.(They’re the worst LOL) If you write it down, reread it and mull it over, try to identify the humor that is hidden in that situation caused by them or maybe you. Now rewrite it again pointing the funny stuff out. Now submit it to Bob Martin and share the laugh with the folks at LiP. Even if you don’t send it in, you’ll feel better, I promise you.
Then the next time you’ll see it gets easier, until you see the humor on the spot and don’t have to write it down, albeit I still recommend that you do.
I’ve heard people say they think they are not funny, but they are wrong. We all are…Well, there is that one guy we all know………….. You are sitting with friends, having a cocktail or a canned or bottled beverage. Someone will tell a story that will cause you to smile; it will remind you of a similar funny thing. The difference is will you share your story, which you know is funny, or keep it to yourself because you’ve convinced yourself you have no sense of humor?
I can go sit on my wall and observe life in my Purok and see the funniest things, no doubt the Filipino’s walking by, can do the same thing watching me.
If like our friend Norman (From the book) you return home, think of the stories you’ll have to tell your family and friends.
But I remember the most important part of living here, no one from the Philippine Archipelagos ever tried to convince me to move here, It’s my own damn fault, and I’m happy about that.