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Almost 2 Months in Davao

Well it has been 8 weeks since I have arrived in Davao and I decided to write about how life has been here. I have posted stories about experiences but now a little recap.

Living here is defiantly different here. Foods, language, travel, driving and daily life.
The heat and humidity is similar to Florida but it feels worse here. We do have an aircon in the bedroom but only use it during the time we are asleep. During the day I am either in front of a fan or I sit outside if there is a nice breeze.

Since I had lived alone for many years, actually most of my life, I am used to doing everything myself. Here Elena and our nieces do everything. I am so lucky having such a loving and caring family.

When I wake, I go outside for a cigarette and Elena makes me a glass of juice. As I am sitting there, I hear the whistle of the teapot for the hot water to make my coffee. On one of my past trips I brought a French Press. That is a device to make coffee. It is a glass container similar to a beaker with a metal holder/stand. It has a cap with a plunger. The plunger has a screen on the end. You put in the amount of ground coffee and then add hot water. You let it steep for 4 minutes and then slowly press the plunger down. That forces the grounds to the bottom and you pour out your fresh brewed coffee.

Later is breakfast. Some days it is similar to US meals. Eggs, bacon or sausage and toast. Of course most also eat rice. Some days it is the leftovers from dinner the night before. I do not like a heavy breakfast so on those days I either eat oatmeal, or just coffee.

On Mondays or Tuesdays is marketing. We go to Agdao Public Market first to get our meats, chicken, fish and produce then after bringing it all home and after having lunch we go to the market at the mall to get the rest of our provisions.

The rest of my time I am either researching things about the Philippines to learn more about the country and life here, watching some American TV shows I have downloaded or meeting people to make contacts to utilize my talents and knowledge to help and to find ways of earning some money.

I am not the entrepreneurial type, I am a worker. I would like to do Architectural Drafting for people or firms here or outsource work from anywhere in the world. I have a solid knowledge of American architecture and codes, plus a comfortable level of AutoCAD Desktop I can work in any firm’s standards or style.

In the evenings we have dinner with the family and then watch some TV. My routine from the past fits with Elena’s even with sleep times. We are usually in bed by 9:30 and asleep by 10 each night.

The 3 nieces living with us are in College for Nursing. They are usually gone from the house by 6-7am and home by the evening unless they have duty in the hospital. Then they sometimes are on 11PM to 7AM duty.

Once home they do their studies and sleep. I do not know how they do it. Between school, duty and studying they do not have much free time and that is spend doing laundry and helping with the chores.

We also have a nephew with us who has recently received his license as a Midwife. He has applied to all the hospitals in the city but no offers as yet.

I do not know what we will do once he starts working since he is such a big help around the house. He is also a good cook.

Of all the family he is willing to speak in English in the house. Unfortunately at times he is the type of person to listen in to all conversations and comment on everything. I joke with him about it but most of all just listen.

The girls have an older brother who lives here in Davao. He is a Sales Representative for a distributer of Proctor and Gamble. Even though his English is the weakest since he has no need for English with work or friends but he will speak English here while visiting us. He even commented he was so proud when in daily life he can comfortably talk to someone in English. I am proud of him too.

I know my living here has added stress to all my family here with some of my rules in the house and wanting them to speak in English so I can feel part of their lives, but I love them all as if they are my own daughters and sons.

I have not only gotten a wonderful woman but a wonderful and loving family too.

2 Responses to “Almost 2 Months in Davao”

  1. Dave LaBarr says:

    Dear Bruce,

    I have read some of your advice and information on
    the Philippines and agree with you on almost everything.
    Your website is a valuable and worthwhile resource for anyone
    interested in marriage, investing, living here, food, etc.

    However,I cannot agree with you that they are rude in their driving
    habits. I find them to be very patient and excellent drivers as
    they wend their way through intersections and crossroads without
    stopsigns.

    I enjoyed our chat at the G Mall coffee / snack area on
    Thursday.

    All The Best,

    Dave L.

    • Bruce says:

      Dave,
      I enjoyed talking to you too, but I disagree on driving here. There are many instances of gridlock where everyone is squeezing in to get through an intersection either on the roads or in a paking lot intersection.
      I find few let you in when you use directionals, but will let you in if you put your hand out. Jeepneys are the worse, they change lanes without signal, make a 3rd lane between the 2.
      Then there is the constant honking saying “hey I am here, get out of my way.”
      Then there are some drivers that flash their headlights. Unfortunatly some mean, ok, go ahead and some mean I am not stopping.
      There is also all the motorcycles that weave back and forth, passing you on the right, left, on the shoulder.
      There are also drivers, especially taxis that if the 2 lanes are stopped, go inot on comming traffic to pass everyone.
      Every morning my wife watches the Davao news and gives me the amount of accidents and how many were from motorcycles.

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