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We’ve all met them, the bad guest, hell you or I could be one, and I would just hope, that’s not the case. In my whole barangay there were only two of us Kano. And the problem was guilt by association, whenever the other Kano causes an upheaval in the purok; I am the one who has to hear about it and try to quell the bad feelings.

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I tried to explain to him that living in someone else’s country, is like visiting their home. They may invite you in, sit you down and offer you hospitably, you have the right to accept what is offered, and enjoy sitting in their house. But, you have no right to re-arrange their furniture.

If you feel that you have the knowledge, to fix what you believe to be broken in their country, than I suggest you quickly return to your own country and repair it first, as you must have all the answers.

My problem solved itself, as he got so sick of butting his head against the wall (or a Navy term “Pissng up a rope”); and sold his house and went back to the states. His social experiment lasted only three years, and a lot of cash, as he sold his house (brand new) for one half of what it cost to build. I know he was not a bad guy; he just came here without a clue as to what to expect.

When I was in the Navy and stationed around the world, I noticed that a lot of people on the base seldom left it. I had a name for them “Perimeter Lizards’” those who would go up to the fence, and peer out. Then complain about the locals, and what a mess their country was. How could they know?

I fought to live off base with the locals, and would argue with the Base Commander, that since I was the Commissary Officer, I needed to view the local culture to better serve my customers; pure B.S. but they all approved my request.

Which left me with friends and memories that will last forever, thanks to my being part of their life and they part of mine

Living in the Philippines was my choice, as during my ten years as a Merchant Seaman, I lived nowhere. My only connection to anywhere was a storage locker in Florida where I kept all the things important to me. My Father called me the richest homeless man he ever met. When I was paid off a ship I’d just pick a place on earth and go on vacation for a couple of months.

On one of my vacations here in the Philippines I visited a retired friend here in Olongapo City, Luzon, and married his wife’s sister. One of my better plans, and I’ve not had that many. My point is I choose to live here, and have no reason to complain, as my wife won’t let me!

P.S. Not everything is Tongue-in-Cheek!

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Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson; has resided in the Philippines since 1993, living close to Subic Bay. I’m married to a wonderful girl named Maria (AKA Mayang).Who is from Gordon Heights in Olongapo where she grew up with her Mom & Dad and seven siblings Our two daughters are both grown up and have left the nest, the eldest married to a wonderful guy named Chris, and they have blessed us with our granddaughter Heather Colleen Our youngest daughter and her husband Cecil have blessed us with a grandson named. Jayden Logan. I’m a retired U.S. NAVY Senior Chief after 22 years of active duty. After retirement from the Navy I lived for 7 years in Puerto Rico as a Night Club owner. Then Hurricane Hugo told me to find a new line of work, I was hired by Military Sealift Command and went back to sea in Asia as a Merchant Seaman for 10 years. After 30 plus years at sea I buried my anchor on a mountain in the Philippines and am now residing in Dinalupihan (or DinBat for short), Roosevelt, Bataan where we built our home. And last but not least, anything I writes will be pure "Tongue in Cheek "If anybody is offended, I'll lose no sleep over it, but here's a quick Mea Culpa in advance!

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Paul
Paul
11 years ago

So you’re the rich Kano causing my cash guilt by association? 😆 You’re so right, Paul. Living here is like being part of a jigsaw puzzle – you gotta fit into the picture. If you hide behind a fence and never get to know those around you, you’re in for a very lonely and most likely a very lousy time. Have a couple of European gents that live down the road a piece who hardly get out and about. Both have their places up for sale, but remain here only because no one will meet their prices. How sad is… Read more »

David S
David S
11 years ago

Thanks for sharing your experiences Paul. Out of curiosity what’s it like to live in Dinalupihan? How large is the city? Do you live in town or on the outskirts? What do houses rent for? Is there a good selection available? Do they have indoor retail malls there? How many? Are there any athletic facilities, public swimming pools or golf course there? Are you near beaches our montainous areas? What type of transportation to and from your area is available (ferries, bus depots, airports, etc.) What are the roads connecting your city like? Are they well maintained? Is flooding or… Read more »

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
11 years ago

Good morning Paul;
Rich? No, just gainfully un-employed!
Talk to the Europeans and tell them to sell out, as my neighbor did, cut the price in half and run for the border, you get a free Taco too! Some people are just better off at home. When I owned my Bar’s in Puerto Rico, I heard customers grouse about the Island every day. I switch their rum to 151, and send them home early! I was a BAD boy!

Spencer
Spencer
11 years ago

I’ve always known of the “perimeter lizards” of which Paul speaks. They aren’t restricted to the military bases overseas, by any means. They exist everywhere overseas whether by the mistakes they made in moving overseas in the first place and then subjecting themselves to near-isolation, or, as those that have obligations to fulfill overseas and then also isolate themselves from the local culture. I remember many years ago in my Navy days when my very young (18) wife showed up in Taiwan: we totally immersed ourselves in the local economy “went native”, and enjoyed the next two years immensely. After… Read more »

chris
chris
11 years ago

OLA Senior Cheif Thompson, I’m currently still active in the army with 6 to go for my 20 years. I have been reading and asking Bob opinion and advice. I love to hate those Perimeter Lizards also. I’m currently overseas in Lisboa(Lisbon) Portugal and have seen most of Western Europe in my travels and I always try to find the good in another country because the culture is different does not always mean it sucks. Hell the same can be said about the good ole American culture if you are a city boy and move to country i.e. Those guys… Read more »

chris
chris
11 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Wow I’m going to have to proof read or do a spell check before I post again. I just saw how many type-o’s i made hahaha. Yeah I enjoy living in antoher country I went to Heidelberg High In Germany back from 91-95 and begin to get a grasp on there is more to the world then the U.S. I come from amilitary family also so moving has never been a problem for me what so ever. Yeah I remember when Europe use to still be cheap but since the conversion to Euro it has gone up a bit. I… Read more »

Paul-T
Paul-T
11 years ago
Reply to  chris

Yo Chris; The more things change the more they remain the same. Any party or get together at our house I get to sit and pop a top, the ladies take over and I’m out of the equation. It sounds to me as you’ve found Miss Right for your GF. Like you I’ve both seen and heard the horror stories about women here, and found that they are less than 3% of the population, and then I ask “Where in hell did the guy meet her?” Listen to Bob, as he is right about renting until you’re sure this is… Read more »

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