Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Things we have learned so far...

We have only been in the Philippines for four days now, but we have already learned many interesting things, and wanted to share them with you.

1. Taking at least two cold showers a day is a necessity in dealing with the heat
2. The fruit that we have in Canada is tasteless, boring and expensive compared to the wonderful varieties that we can get here.
3. The laws for driving are a little different than we are used to:
  • there are no speed limits, you simply go as fast as the person in front of you is going
  • pedestrians have no right of way at all, and it's up to them to avoid being hit
  • the first person to get their vehicle into a space has the right of way
  • cutting someone off is just part of every day driving
  • if you are in an accident or you decide to check your oil or the tire pressure, you simply stop where you are and take your time dealing with it; you do not pull your car over to the side of the road
  • you can drive into oncoming traffic in order to get around someone, as long as you are faster than the vehicles coming towards you
  • seatbelts are in the car to look nice, not to actually be worn (except by foreigners in the first couple of days)
  • kids can sit anyplace they want including on the driver's lap
4. The ants are just a part of daily life and are not really a big deal unless you get bitten by them.  They are extremely tiny and you simply brush them away.
5. Buying things in large quantities does not save you any money and everything is available to buy in single use packets including toothpaste. 
6. The neighborhood corner stores are called sari-sari stores and carry everything from vegetables and charcoal to single serve bags of soft drinks.
7. The real estate market is slightly different than what we are used to - the "for rent" signs on houses may not actually mean the person is wanting to rent out their house, it could simply be there because the owner didn't feel like taking it down, or perhaps it looks nice and they've decided to leave it there.  You often have to go through multiple people to be able to view the house and then it may still take some time before you are actually able to rent it.  There are no guarantees.

There are many more things we are learning and will continue to learn; some of which will be funny and others simply frustrating.  I also did discover that I am afraid of frogs.  The kids were out frog hunting yesterday morning and when Daniel brought his frog over to show me, it jumped out of his hand toward me and I freaked out and nearly fell off the bench I was sitting on.  Any time him or the other kids would show me one and it was facing me, I would almost begin to cry and make them take it far away from me. I should probably get over that one quickly as frogs are quite common and both kids love them.



Christine Watson said...

Steve, Kerri, where is the school located in Davao City? my nightshift partner is from there and is willing to ask friends if they know of places to rent. She's also heading there next week. FB me if you want.

Annabelle Lee said...

I'm so encouraged by your family's faith in the provision and leadership of Abba. I cant wait to be there myself...only 4 more weeks!

Vero said...

I like this article so much!!!You're describing very well life...Oh yes fruits there are just delicious...So funny to read about driving!!Remembering it...!