Wednesday, July 26, 2006

boring, sort of introspective stuff (part 2)

Following on from yesterday

So, I’m not sure that I fit into the local culture (for obvious reasons) or the expat culture (for its transience and for more complex reasons).

The expat culture.

Note that everything here is generalised; for every point I make, there are invariably exceptions.

Where I live, in a town 60km south of Manila, almost all the expats I know are people who work at the same place as me, plus their families. Of the people I socialise with in this group, there are two main subgroups: those slightly older than me, who live in the staff housing complex and who have children, and those slightly younger than me, who are mostly students and live outside staff housing.

I have the right to live in staff housing, but I’ve stayed outside. My apartment is just off the main street and, as a MAN OF ACTION, this suits me well. Plus, my rent is about half that of the cheapest apartment in staff housing. (Remember: money saved in rent = money to spend on pointless material goods and fossil fuels! The world is going to hell people, consume while you still have the chance!)

I have good friends in staff housing, but the with-child versus childless lifestyle is just different. One of these days, who knows – I may have a child (or at least a HIGHLY ACCURATE robotic equivalent) and my lifestyle will necessarily change too. For example, I’ll have to take the kid’s nanny to the hardcore underground raves I frequent most nights.

Kids are not an impediment to friendship, but they are – completely understandably – the parents’ first priorities, so hanging out etc falls by the wayside a bit unless arranged well in advance.

Also, I’m not quite comfortable in staff housing. As much as I like most of the people I work with, I’m not willing to spend all day at work with them then trundle the same route home and live in the same row of houses every day. That’s not supposed to be snobbish – I just don’t want to do that. Having said that, most of the people in my apartment block are also from work – but the student lifestyle is still closer to mine than the parent one, and I don’t bump into senior staff with whom all I can do is make awkward small talk about some job I haven’t finished for them.

Time to go.

More later perhaps…


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn you SW! You made me feel like an old fart. That's it! No more mercy at the pool table. Your pants WILL drop. Let's see then how much student spirit you still have ...

10:09 pm  

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