Friday, 26 October 2007

Difficult decision

It's been a very hectic week.
Not because we were too busy with work, oh no, we never do such thing.

We took long walks in the countryside. The fun is not in the walking but in coming home in our heavy boots and smearing out carpet with mud and dead leaves.

The not-so-all-terrain-buggy (with Lewis in it) collapsed while I manoeuvred
it onto a wooden bridge.

My father-in-law ended up dragging the 6-kilo damaged buggy and a 15-kilo toddler.

We spent the rest of the week trying to figure out whether to try to fix or simply throw it away and buy a new one.

We still haven't decided yet.

That's how hectic the week is. Uggh! Difficult, isn't it?

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Let's visit Surigao, Philippines

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

What’s the matter with these Filipinos? I of II

Here in NE Derbyshire, a Filipino community was organised last year. It was a brave thing to do for a number of them who thought it best to join together and be one bayanihan group.

For a Filipino like me who is married to an Englishman, this certainly was a good idea. My social exposure is limited to my British family, neighbourhood and work. To be able to meet up with other Filipinos and talk about the angst (and the nice things of course) of British life was a welcome thing.

And so for £36 a year (roughly 3,600 pesos), I get to attend Filipino parties, eat Filipino food, and speak Filipino/Tagalog. Sounds lovely, except that my Tagalog is as good as a Chinese trying hard to speak Russian.


So when the repetitive consonant-vowel pairings impede my speech, I shift to English, not because I pretend that I can speak it well but because I realised that I could be understood better. The only thing is, most Filipinos do the same, speaking in English like it’s been their first language. It’s fine with me but I get uneasy somehow when the accent becomes a very thick northern England (like those insulated people who have never been out of Derbyshire because of fear that once they leave the borders of the Peak District, they’ll turn into Londoners, or worse, Americans (exclamation point here. My keyboard lost the number one).


Because of my membership in the community, I became familiar with a lot of Filipinos in the area. So when I see a face that I don’t recognise, I automatically ask if they join the community, blah blah blah. For those who decided not to be members, their reason is either the ‘hmmm, I just couldn’t be bothered’ variety or simply ‘umm…’ accompanied by a crinkling of the nose. I assure you this is my funniest moment with Filipinos here and much as I would like to sympathise with them, I just couldn’t.

The thing is, as they like to say, they just want to avoid the type who talk behind your back, the chismosa types, the materialistic ogres who like to compare cars, houses and washing machines, as well as the nurses who think they’re better than the rest (the rest are the non-nurses of course, possibly like me, who is here not because of a skill but because of a husband).

So what’s wrong with these Filipinos, huh? Why can’t they just be together without the upsets? Why can’t they be together without the arrogance and superiority? Why can’t they just simply be, like bloody ordinary migrants?

I hope this community doesn’t become elitist. I also hope that they could address this issue of Filipinos being isolated by other Filipinos.

Monday, 1 October 2007

My 'Michael Palin' birthdays

My 'Michael Palin' birthdays, originally uploaded by Soyy.

For my birthday this year, I got this book from my husband: the latest book of Michael Palin about his travels around Eastern Europe (now on series at BBC 1 every Sunday at 9.00 pm).

Zak decorated the chocolate birthday cake with alphabet-candles: HAPPY BIDYTHRA. Close enough to be understood.My mother-in-law then gave me a card AND a pair of sexy black knickers. Why, oh why, on earth?

For my birthday last year, she handed me the heaviest book of Michael Palin (note to self: write a letter to Mr Palin re collection of his books)- his diaries- plus a fashion tome of Trinny & Susannah (What Not to Wear) and a big chocolate cake littered with white candles.

I just realised that the cake I got for my birthday yesterday was exactly the same kind as last year's!

Then my mother-in-law mentioned that another present is coming along and she doesn't know when it would be ready. I told her I hoped it wouldn't be a house. Houses are not birthday presents; they're for weddings. La-la. I know though what it is. K, my dear husband and her loyal son told me that it's a year's subscription of National Geographic magazine.


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