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Post your trip reports, travel experiences, and updates abroad. Or your expat story if you already live overseas. Note: To post photos and images, insert the image URL between the tags [img]and[/img] after uploading them to a third party site.
Iâ€™m a 34 years old guy from Israel. I have a job, a car, my own place and I donâ€™t look so bad, but getting dates was always a problem, I have tried online dating and involving friends and family but nothing worked. In dating sites I was sending hundreds of messages but was getting no response.
When talking to people about my situation most of them told me what Winston wrote: that I should try to improve myself, maybe take some personal coaching to work on my problems or going out more doing social activities. I donâ€™t think I have personality problems to work on so I went out going dancing, I became a very good dancer and I could take any girl for a dance and make her feel great without even speaking to her a word. This really boosted my confidence but didnâ€™t get me dates because the girls werenâ€™t interested in anything else other than dancing.
I have friends in similar situations, they look good, are very friendly and intelligent but canâ€™t seem to find dates, so as time passed by I just gave up on trying to get dates.
One of my friends introduced me to this site and I have felt a lot of the things Winston wrote are true. Especially I liked the part that if a company canâ€™t sell to local customers why not sell to customers abroad? No one can ask that company to insist selling to the locals if they donâ€™t want to buy and no one can blame the company for selling to customers abroad, on the contrary it seems like a good business plan to export goods.
So after thinking about it and after reading Will N. Dowdâ€™s post I have decided to check things myself and I have planned to go to Davao in the Philippines for the months of January - February 2013.
I have signed up to a Philippinas dating site and started looking for girls from Davao and sending messages. I got response for about a quarter of the messages I sent and was getting a lot of attention from many Philippinas every time I was logged in. When I was chatting with webcam all of the girls told me I was handsome right away without me asking them and all of them gave me their phone number if I asked for it. I was hoping that it will be a reflection of the dating life there like the experience in the dating sites in my country reflected my dating life there. So after 3 months I had planned to meet about 10 girls i had a short video chat with. I wasnâ€™t really thrilled to meet them but it was like a backup plan if I couldnâ€™t find anything better when Iâ€™m there.
So I flew to Davao City in the Philippines, the city has on one side the very rich people riding cars and buying luxury clothes and on the other side poor people who work all day and have little money. The city is not maintained well, roads are neglected and when it rains the suburbs are flooded. I rented an apartment for the duration of my stay in the city center, I work from home so I was working during the day and exploring the city at night.
I was getting a lot of stares in the street, long stares with people turning their heads, made me feel strange but I guess I was special there.
It turned out that most of the girls I chatted with were quite far away from the city itself, Davao is a big region and Davao city is just a small part of it so many girls had trouble seeing me because they lived far away and had no money for the ride or they had busy schedule of studying and working but I did manage to meet few girls who were living relatively close to the city and were not so busy.
The dates were good, the girls were very friendly and excited about me and surprisingly I never felt they are trying to take advantage of me or trying to be overly nice just to impress me, I felt they were interested in knowing me and seeing if there is a connection between us. It didnâ€™t matter if I took girls to some cheap food places using local transportation or to expensive restaurants using a taxi, it didnâ€™t seem to impress them too much, they just wanted to see me no matter what we do or where we go.
I didnâ€™t like the girls I have met very much so I searched for ways to find other girls there. Despite being always stared at I had never been approached by any girl. Everyone I talked to said that getting a girl is very easy, especially if you have money. I have asked people I have met there if they have anyone to introduce to me, they were all very surprised I said I was single but it seems not many people have single girls to introduce.
People are very friendly but i was shy talking to girls walking in the street or sitting with a friend so I resorted to using the internet again. I have signed to another dating site and was getting a lot of attention again. I did end up meeting a 23 years old girl that I stayed with for the rest of my time there. She treated me very good, it was very different from the stuck up arrogant girls Iâ€™m used to back home.
When my visit ended I returned home and we are still in touch, she is very much in love and wants me to return live with her for good but I have plans to visit other countries and explore what they have to offer before I decide if to return.
As I was getting involved with this girl I was getting to hear how her life is, and it is not easy, the Philippine people are poor so when someone needs help all the family is involved, and each time help is needed it is like an emergency because these people can barely survive so they canâ€™t really save money and if an unexpected pay is needed it is a big problem. I have helped her family few times and each time it was very appreciated and they really wanted to pay me back but they just canâ€™t. I was getting messages for help from her cousins whom she told about me and took her phone to get my number and were texting me asking for help. I heard that many of her cousin girls are jealous of her and she tried to guard me from meeting her cousins all the timeâ€¦
My experience with people was very good, people are friendly and everyone I talked to was excited to talk and greeted me with a smile, people were always calling me sir all the time and saying â€˜Hello sirâ€™ and â€˜Thank you sirâ€™ so it seemed nice but from the stories of my gf there it seems every person including officials there is corrupted, immature and not so smart, from taxi drivers offering girls dirty suggestions to drunken officials roaming the streets.
The preferred communication system there is texting, people rarely call since this is too expensive. A strange behavior I saw is that the girls have a tendency to text â€œeat your breakfastâ€ or â€œlunch timeâ€ all the time, it seems to be a way for them to show care.
The average monthly salary of some people I talked to:
jeepney drivers who work 14 hours shifts 6 days a week (14/6): 8,000p ($195)
Taxi drivers 17/5: 12,000p ($293)
security guards 12/5: 8,000p ($195)
Cost of living
Here is the cost of some of the things there:
Rent of 1 bedroom furnished condo 25m with gym, pool and security guards: 20,000p ($488)
Water: 270p/Month ($6.5)
Electricity (Aircon on all the time): 1500p/Month ($36)
internet installation: 1500p ($36)
internet monthly fee (1.5M): 1500p ($36)
Cable tv installation: 500p ($12)
Cable tv monthly fee: 870p ($21)
A Taxi 15 minutes drive from the airport: 500p ($12)
A Taxi 15 minutes drive in town: 80p ($1.95)
A Jeepney 15 minutes drive: 8p ($0.19)
Fried chicken meals: 70p-120p ($1.7-2.9)
Laundry (delivered from and to the apartment): 40p/Kg ($0.9)
Condoms and pills for monthly use are available in every pharmacy, they donâ€™t however have the pill for the day after, and if you find yourself in a situation that you need it you just canâ€™t find it anywhere, you need to go to a doctor that will prescribe a certain pill that supposed to have the same effect, but make sure you go to a doctor that will do this since the church is against it and so are certain doctors. This is also why they donâ€™t have this pill. Also abortions are against the law and are done only if it saves the womanâ€™s life.
I didnâ€™t have problems of mosquitoes in my apartment but going outside you can get stinged sometimes but its not so bad. I did have a lot of ants in my apartment though, just makes you keep it cleanerâ€¦
I used Sky cables, the connection was slow, sometimes no connection at all, and from around 4PM was very slow to non-existent.
I had good experience there, I think that the big corruption problem in the country that is making everything so cheap there and also causing all the poverty problems creates a place where your money is worth more but if you intend to stay there for long make sure you have good health and live in a secure place because needing hospitals or any government run establishments can cost you a lot.
Sorry but Iâ€™m not going to upload pictures.
I want to thank Winston so much for creating this site and giving me the courage to explore.