Shopping for towels? It sure seems like a very esoteric topic for LiP, but don’t worry, it will have relevance, just read on.
You see, when we moved to the Philippines in May of 2000, we brought plenty of towels with us, in addition to all of our personal/household items. As a matter of fact, we had two freight containers full of stuff – a 40′ container and a 20′ container, so, as you can tell, we had a lot of stuff.
After about 5 or 6 years living here, though, you get to where there is stiff that you need. Things like towels and other household items wear out. Clothes go out of style, don’t fit you any more, or are worn out and need to be replaced. Just about anything in life needs replacing from time to time.
Towels are just an example of what I want to talk about today. You see, with a lot of items that are for everyday use, like towels, it is extremely difficult to find quality items in the Philippines. Let’s talk towels, OK?
When we got to the point where we needed to purchase some new towels for household use, we found that there just were no decent qualty towels available! It sounds like such a simple item, but when we would buy a towel or two to try out, we didn’t like them. You see, we never could find any towels that would absorb water! They all just kind of smeared the water around, but didn’t soak it up! Soaking up water is kind of a prerequisite for a good towel, don’t you think?
As we looked at other kinds of products, we always found that decent quality products just weren’t available here. It was funny, because the Philippines produces things like clothing, towels and other textile type goods. If you are in the USA or other first world countries, such products from the Philippines were generally top quality stuff, not cheapy stuff. But, if you bought them here in the Philippines, they simply were terrible quality. Why?
Well, the more we checked into this, we found that for goods produced in the Philippines, the good ones are exclusively sent overseas for export products to make money for the Philippines! You live here and want to buy the good quality stuff yourself? Too bad, bucko!
When it came to towels, though, we found a solution! Feyma and I, one day, saw a US surplus goods store, and we were kind of intrigued, and decided to go in and check the place out. All the stuff they sold was used stuff from the USA – clothing, shoes, all kinds of odds and ends. As we shopped around, we found a stack of towels! These were big beach sized towels, and they looked very nice. Seemed brand new almost. P150 each! Cheap! We bought a bunch of them. Took them home and tried them out, and they were great, so we went back and bought all of them that they had! That was a couple years ago, and we are still using those towels, and loving them.
Towels are a pretty simple thing, but it just points out that when you live somewhere like the Philippines, finding decent quality goods is not always easy to do! Sometimes you must resort to unsual methods of obtaining stuff, like buying it in a surplus store. And, when you find something that you need, and it is of decent quality… you need to stock up, becuase it might be years before you find anything like that again!