Cold Showers and Other Missing Creature Comforts

In the Philippines, most homes don’t have hot water at the tap.  Now one should consider that the average temperature is some where near 80F or warmer.  There are some exceptions to that.  In the mountains, the average temperature may be more than five degrees cooler, depending on where and Compassthe elevation.

You can buy and install a small water heater attached to you shower for around $150 to $300.  To a large extent that depends on where you are located.  Some places will install it for free.  The cost of the unit is from P6000 to P12,000 in most places.  The cost of installation is going to very.  So far the only price I’ve obtained for installation was over priced.  So I’m still getting use to cold showers.

You can get a full hot water tank but I don’t know where from.  That is a rare thing here.

Here’s another one that you might have some trouble getting use too.  You can’t flush toilet paper.    In almost all cases, the plumbing is not built for it.  The use of septic tanks is very common.   I don’t know much about plumbing.  I just know what the Filipino tell me.  These little things take some getting use to and some people cant do it.  I think most women would have a very hard time with some of these things.

Like baths, very few places have bath tubs.   Usually only showers are available.  Some people would love to have that!  Sometimes people even wash in the ocean or under a hose.

You wont be able to obtain all your favorite products.  Your favorite food, can be hard to find.  I’ve found cheese hard to come by.  Good cheese that is.  I’m picky when it comes to cheese, I love cheese and I miss cheese.   I can’t find low calorie fat free milk, at least not so far.  I use to drink a lot of Nesquick, no sugar added.  I can’t find that here.   I have not been able to buy caffeine free coke any place! Many Westerners complain about the beef here though I have not even tried that.  I can generally live without that but I tell you, a hamburger would be nice.  I use to cook them on my George Foreman grill, oh yea, those are hard to find those here too.  They do have them but usually under different brands.

Most beds here use foam rubber as a mattress.  I bought a bed that is similar to American type beds but it is far less comfortable, probably wont last as long but the price is much less at around $400.

Own a hummer?   It wont fit on many of the side streets.  Its too wide to get it down the street.  I wouldn’t have that problem where I am now.  I rented one apartment though where I couldn’t have got it to the drive way.  I couldn’t have got it very close at all!  I have seen only one Hummer since I’ve been here, almost a year now.

Oh and air conditioning (aircon)  is not common here.  None of the small shops in the provinces have it.  They will have aircon in the malls but in some malls they will be a lot warmer than you are use too.  I sure was doing some major sweating when I first got here.  Its not so bad now.  We don’t use the term A/C here.  If you use it with a Filipino, they wont understand.

Even the way Filipino refer to different types of plastic will be different than the American is use too.  The way they pronounce margarine is different from the American pronunciation, adding to the language problem.

Take nothing for granted.  Nearly everything is going to change.  Some changes you will love, other changes you will not love so much.  If you’re an old grump set in your ways, lacking of the adventurous spirit, you should consider living here rather than moving here.  Not everyone is adventurous, not a bad thing, just the way some people are.  It would be a bad thing for me to not be adventurous.  I love learning and that’s just another form of learning.  I am probably an old grump though. 🙂

Once again, I am not trying to discourage anyone from a move to the Philippines.  I’m trying to get you prepared.  The disadvantages are not important if you stop to think about it.  I had to re-evaluate after arriving here.  I decided it was the place for me.  I figured if all these millions of people can handle it, so can I.

Many of the things that seemed so strange to me, like the way people drive , are no longer an issue for me.  The abnormal has become far more normal.  I even tolerate higher temperatures better than I use too.  You should visit during December or January so that the temperatures will likely be milder and give you a chance to get use to it.   For me,  the perfect solution was moving to the Philippines.

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Filed under: Cost of living in the PhilippinesLiving In The Philippines

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