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Cost of living in the Philippines and Southeast Asia

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.

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Postby Mr S » Mon Aug 18, 2014 3:21 pm

In2dadark wrote:
Winston wrote:Mr S is right that there are many annoyances here though. For example, one that I experienced today was constantly being given vague directions. Most Filipinos do this for some reason. They give vague directions and are not articulate, specific, or thorough at all. And they do not have the common sense to realize that giving vague directions will get someone lost and not to his/her destination. It baffles me, as a perfectionist who is big on accuracy. And it's not because of the language barrier either. They do this to their own kind as well, I've been told. It makes no sense, but is a perpetual annoyance. Most of the time after I ask for directions and get a vague response, or a sentence that doesn't even make any sense, I have to follow up with, "Where exactly? Can you be more specific?" that I start to lose my temper.

But anyway, one of my expat friends told me this, whenever I complain about inefficiency here:

"Look, you should appreciate that things are inefficient here. That's what keeps things cheap for you and me. If they were efficient, then everything would be expensive here like it is in Japan, and we couldn't afford all this."


Great info.. But that last part doesn't make sense. Efficiency brings the cost of every thing down. Lack of efficiency gives (more) value to those who are most efficient.


The quote is really saying that things are so F'ed up here that it enables foreigners to live here easily in comparison to organized countries where visa rules and other related things makes it more difficult to remain long term at a relatively inexpensive rate in comparison to Western countries or comparible 1st world countries who are more organized and keep track of foreigners and their wherabouts and actions. You can pretty much live a normal life like you would in your home country as long as you can adapt to typical third world issues and afford the price to remain here, there are no major obstacles here like in other countries that are put up on purpose to obstruct Foreigners ability to live with little inconvenience. It's an easy place to live as long as you don't let all the BS get to you.
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher, 121-180 A.D.
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Re: Cost of living in the Philippines and Southeast Asia

Postby provocateur » Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:44 am

When asking for directions in the Philippines, keep in mind that the person you are talking to is at least bilingual (likely trilingual: Tagalog, Cebuano, English) and probably has not had been educated beyond high school. They may read and hear English on a daily basis, but don’t use it to the degree to where the specifics needed in giving directions would be perfect.

In the past, I studied Spanish and French and put a lot of oomph into it—I wanted to do well. I am sure if I had to give directions in those languages now I would do horribly and would lack the specificity needed for giving directions.

I have to admit though, it’s easy to forget that English is a second language for most Filipinos.
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Re: Cost of living in the Philippines and Southeast Asia

Postby MrMan » Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:09 am

I don't know if the inability to give directions is a language issue. I lived in Indonesia for many years. Indonesians do not seem to be able to give decent directions in their own language. I kid you not, if you ask someone on the street how to get somewhere, they point and say 'that way' and don't mention the two or three turns along the way. Or they say, "Follow minibus 12." If you follow the bus stopping at the stops when the pull over, it freaks the bus drivers out.

I think somewhere along the way we are acculturated to give directions by hearing others do the same. In Jakarta, there are miles of streets with no discernable landmarks. No McDonald's, just grey buildings built next to each other without any memorable signs in front of them, usually no signs.

The people on the side of the road in little stands when I was there couldn't afford to have cars and maybe they got around riding the bus.

I sure hope if I go back that there is a decent GPS system to get around.
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Re:

Postby Jester » Sun Apr 05, 2015 12:44 am

Mr S wrote:
In2dadark wrote:
Winston wrote:
But anyway, one of my expat friends told me this, whenever I complain about inefficiency here:

"Look, you should appreciate that things are inefficient here. That's what keeps things cheap for you and me. If they were efficient, then everything would be expensive here like it is in Japan, and we couldn't afford all this."


Great info.. But that last part doesn't make sense. Efficiency brings the cost of every thing down. Lack of efficiency gives (more) value to those who are most efficient.


The quote is really saying that things are so F'ed up here that it enables foreigners to live here easily in comparison to organized countries where visa rules and other related things makes it more difficult to remain long term at a relatively inexpensive rate in comparison to Western countries or comparible 1st world countries who are more organized and keep track of foreigners and their wherabouts and actions. You can pretty much live a normal life like you would in your home country as long as you can adapt to typical third world issues and afford the price to remain here, there are no major obstacles here like in other countries that are put up on purpose to obstruct Foreigners ability to live with little inconvenience. It's an easy place to live as long as you don't let all the BS get to you.


Good info, thanks Mr. S!!
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