Being an Expat

 

Recently, I heard an American resident of Ukraine talk about the sympathy expressed by Ukrainians after 9/11. I’d also felt a lot of sympathy even from left-wing university students in South Korea, usually indifferent or hostile to the US. I used it as an opportunity to insert some National Public Radio coverage as listening materials. In Korea, the sympathy ended when the first US bomb hit Afghanistan. On the 9/11 anniversary, I posted on Facebook, and Michele responded that she’d been concerned about what effect the news would have on foreigners in the Middle East, where she was at the Read More

The Pull Back to Asia

If you met him in person, probably the first impression you’d have of Chris would be of a nice man full of youthful energy who laughs easily and often. Here you see his serious side and his attempt to put into words a feeling that is not easily expressed. 

We did this interview on Skype while he was at home in Tacoma, Washington and I was in the Philippines. Then I sent him the transcript for editing.  Thanks to Chris for the photos.

 Chris’s story

Contemplating this manuscript has been an absolutely terrifying experience, which is why I’ve balked at … Read More

Leaving The Volcano

The first time I was caught up in a natural disaster in the Philippines was in September 2009 in the flood known locally as Ondoy. At the time I was so unhappy with the domestic situation I found myself in that I was repeating over and over, “Is this going to be the rest of my life now?” Then one morning I woke up to a lot of rain, and soon the refrigerator was floating a meter high in the kitchen. I told my housemate to turn off the electricity, and not too long after that we were out of … Read More

From Metro Manila to Cavite Province, Part 2

Lately I’ve been getting questions from Americans about what it’s like retiring in the Philippines, also from Manila friends wanting to know about my experience out in the province. As an answer to assorted questions I’m going into my own experience in some detail.

Living in the subdivision hasn’t meant I’ve made friends here, although I did go to some homeowners’ meetings and a party, which I hadn’t done in Quezon City. People have been friendly in terms of greetings and introductions—more than in the old subdivisions, but so far it’s been neighborliness which hasn’t developed into friendships. There’s little … Read More

From Metro Manila to Cavite Province, Part 1

Lately I’ve been getting questions from Americans about what it’s like retiring in the Philippines. As an answer to assorted questions I’m going into my own experience in some detail.

In the early months of 2015, I’d wake up in the morning, leave my air-conditioned bedroom and swear at the heat. It was too hot, too crowded and polluted to walk my usual route from the gated subdivision in Quezon City to the University of the Philippines campus. So I’d have breakfast in front of the computer while listening to National Public Radio, and somehow I’d end up being there … Read More