“I'd rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not.”
― Lucille Ball

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010

Christmas lights flashing around the bahay kubo
Of course I wish all people who read my blog a Merry Christmas, but this blog is also especially for my family, back in The Netherlands.

Unfortunately I cannot join the celebration with you as I am still waiting for my permanent visa. As long as the procedure is not completed I am not allowed to leave the country.

On the other hand it seems to be very cold now as well as a lot of snow in The Netherlands, and you know I don't like it.

I am just recovering from an illness with high fever (39 degrees), but feel much better already after I consulted a doctor yesterday and took my prescribed drugs (augmentin 1g, twice a day).

Luckily I agreed already earlier this week with my workers that we would take a short break, from 24 to 26 December, so I can take a rest and relax a bit. Yesterday 4 pm we had a small party for the workers with drinks and barbecue to celebrate Christmas and thank them for their hard working the last months.

What I learned since I am building our house is that if you live in another country, apart from adapting the social rules, food and way of living, you also have to follow the way of working (method) in that country. And it really was sometimes frustrating to see how they do things here different from the way we do it in The Netherlands, but they have reasons of course and that takes times to understand and admit.

One example:
We are used to a drain/sewage pipe of 10 cm were all wet waste is collected which is connected to the public draining system. Here we have separate drain and sewage pipes. The sewage pipe collects the real dirt from toilet and kitchen, the drain pipe collects all other water from sinks, showers etc. The drain pipe will dispose its water in the open air on the road, the sewage pipe will go to the septic tank, were it will be digested by bacteria, before it is disposed to our own soil and helps the plants grow.
So the message is that don't disturb the digesting process with water that doesn't have to be cleaned, especially in times of terrestrial rains and flooding the septic tank is not able to accept and release a lot of water.

My message to all readers (potential expats) of this blog is: "if you emigrate to another country, accept that there is a limitation on what methods and standards you can emigrate".

So this was my general message for 2010 to all of you expat house builders.

And now a special message to my mother in Dutch:
Ma het gaat goed met mij, heb er nog steeds geen spijt van hier te zijn en hoop dat je volgend jaar, als ons huis klaar is, zin hebt hier naartoe te komen en weer eens van de tropen te genieten. Prettige Kerstdagen en een heel goed Nieuw jaar en ik ben er zeker van dat we elkaar dan weer zullen zien.


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