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

A Vision List

When I met Geri in Seoul in 2006, she struck me as being always cheerful and positive, but also definitely intelligent. After I left Korea in 2007 we kept in touch via Facebook and sometimes saw each other when I made my annual trip to Seoul. This interview took place over Skype, when Geri was in Seoul and I was in Manila. Thanks to Geri for the wonderful photographs.  

Geri’s story

I was raised in Idaho around Mormons and Methodist farmers—good, hardworking, solid German stock. Before me no one in the family had gone to college or traveled, except for … Read More

Following the Plan through Southeast Asia, Part 2

This is a 2014 interview with a man who went to Southeast Asia looking for something. In the first part he’s on the road in India, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand. Here he returns to the Philippines. Thanks to Joe for the photo.

Joe’s story

In 2003, having just completed my round-the-world trip, I was newly back in the UK. I decided that rather than go back to work perhaps I should go back to the Philippines as I’d promised my girlfriend. She and I had been sending daily texts, but suddenly the contact just died. … Read More

Almost a Japanese Housewife

The following interview with a friend of mine took place in May, 2012. Ruth kindly provided the photos.

Ruth’s story

An Australian journalist, Sarah Turnbull, wrote a fascinating book called Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris after she’d a married Frenchman and was navigating her way through the cultural minefield that is France. I could call myself “almost Japanese,” and recently I’ve become a housewife. It took nine years to get here.

When was younger I wanted to be a psychologist, and I had fantasies of living an exotic international lifestyle in Italy or England. But a … Read More

“Mafan” or Chinese Hassles

Brian’s and Alice’s stories

In 1986, when Brian, his wife Alice and I were teaching at Xiamen University, he told me about a special lecture he gave as a part of his contract with the university. Later Alice shared a story about getting gifts shipped back home. Both stories are good illustrations of the how bizarre everyday life in China can be. The Bo Xue classroom building was a few blocks from The Number 2 Guesthouse where most of the foreigners were living.

Brian:  I was giving a special lecture on Saturday afternoon, and I was told that it would … Read More