Saturday, December 03, 2005

I tend to compare ...

Ever since we arrived here in Pinas, a bigger part of me pushes me to compare our life here with that in Japan. Which one I like better? I don’t exactly know. Both have pros and cons. Here are some:

CAR. Here, car is a necessity as we are immobile without one; in Japan, car is a luxury for everything is reachable by train, bus or on foot. Here, walking is seen as an extreme sacrifice, but there, it is a good exercise.

Hey, good news came in just now: our good couple-friend is willing to lend us their car before they sell it. Isn’t that great? :)

READY HELP. Here, my hubby and I are not alone in taking care of the baby as well as doing house chores. Help is always abundant coming from family members who volunteer to stay here temporarily to help us. My mother-in-law, for instance, has been here days before we arrived just to make sure that our house is clean and in order. I don’t have this kind of comfort in Japan. There, no matter how hard it is, we have to make do of what we have and what we can do with so little time to do chores squeezing in between baby care routine. There are many times when I eat lunch at 4 or 5pm, or go out of the toilet half-way finished. Here, I even lavished on sleeping.

PAYING BILLS. In Japan, almost everything is automatic, including paying bills, which is mostly auto debit from your bank account. Here, you have to go to the bank or bills payment center to have your bills paid. There are a few that offer auto debit, but doing so poses more risks than goodness and comfort on your part. So, I’d rather do it manually notwithstanding the hassles that go with it.

EDUCATED OR NOT? In Japan, despite the fact that I have a university degree, I feel like I am a no-read-no-write person due to my lack of Japanese language skills. This is actually the biggest hindrance to living joyfully in Tokyo. I have to use trial and error method most of the time, be it in doing groceries, cooking Jap foods, buying other stuffs and other parts of my daily routine. Here, no one or nothing beats the easiness in shopping or going anywhere else because I know how to ask, and I could understand the probable answer.

BEST BUY. One big thing I like in Japan is that they sell only quality goods. It may be a little expensive compared to the price range here, but I am quite sure that my money is not wasted in buying something good. Here, no matter how rotten the onion is, it is still sold at the same price as when it is still fresh. Oh, and when it says SALE in Tokyo, it means SALE coz you really get discounts. Unlike here, SALE means just going back to the original price after marking up a few days before the SALE period.

JOB OPPORTUNITY. Everyone knows that seldom would you land in a good job here, no matter how many diplomas you’ve got. In Japan, as long as you have the qualifications that most Japs don’t have, you are in demand. English language skills, for instance, is a great plus. I, for one, landed easily as an English language teacher in an English conversation school, aside from doing private lessons with students who prefer to do direct transactions with the teachers. But that was last year. Now that I have a baby to take care of, I don’t have much time to work.

HOUSE. Our house here, modesty aside, is a little big – up and down, 4 rooms, family hall, 2 T&B, receiving and dining area, garage, dirty kitchen, and a surrounding garden – all fitted in a 200sq.m. lot. In Japan, we stay at a 2DK (2 rooms – one Jap and one Western style; dining and kitchen; and T&B) all squeezed into a 4x4 space. Imagine this: you open the door, and you’ll see the kitchen to your right and the T&B to the left. A few steps forward and you’ll be at one of the rooms, Jap style on the left, Western on the other side. You open the sliding door from the room, and you’ll see a very small veranda used only for hanging clothes that never see the sunlight. One advantage of small space is that it’s easy to clean; the disadvantage being less room to move around especially when you have visitors. Add to this the delight we get when that part of the world is shaken by the frightening movement down the earth.

INTERNET. Ahh, this is the thing I like best in Tokyo. There, we have 24/7 internet connection -- and it's fast! I maybe physically at home taking care of my baby, but I am also equally busy talking to family back home as well as friends around the world. Not to mention that I get to update my blogs most of the time. Unlike here that I have to go to a cafe to check my mails, just like today. And I have to hurry to go back home coz my baby might already be fuzzy at this time.

Whatever the case, I will always treasure the time we spent and will spend in these two areas. Who knows, there will be 3rd or 4th or nth ones. For now, we just have to make the best out of both worlds.

PS: Here refers to Pinas, as I am here now at the time of this post; There refers to Tokyo :)


  • At 12/08/2005 06:28:00 PM, Blogger TM tots said…

    Ate, know what there will always be good and bad points you'll see about residing in Pinas. You'll only feel bad if you continue with that thing.

    And if my memory serves me right, you were the one who told me that even if other countries will offer you the luxury in life, Philippines will still be that one place you'll go home to.

    Pinas may look really awful for others but who cares... Philippines will always be beautiful to me.


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