Monday, July 30, 2007

Medical Care

I went to St Luke's Medical Center for a general physical. Apparently, check-ups are not that common here (or called something else) because everyone there was confused that I was at the doctor and nothing was seriously wrong.

Hospitals here are different than what I was used to in San Francisco. When I went to the doctor there, all the doctors were employed by the hospital (i.e., the doctor at Kaiser collects his/her paycheck from Kaiser). Here they are more like a mall in the sense that independent doctors appear to rent space from a hospital but are not necessarily affiliated with the hospital in any other way. There are however heads of departments and such so it must be more complex than I am making it sound but this is as much as I can figure out now.

The doctor had me go for blood tests, urinalysis, and chest x-ray (he is a cardiologist, hence his interest in the chest). Everything was soooo smooth and quick! I have spent longer in line waiting to pay at Kaiser than the whole three tests here. The staff (both administrative and medical) were incredibly nice. They even kept their sweet demeanor when I started to pass out during the blood test and then threw up in their garbage.

Cost is unbelievable. With no insurance here and to receive:
-EKG (I apparently have a premature heartbeat. No big deal, but random none the less)
-Blood (blood count and chemical testing)
-Chest X-Ray

I paid a total of PHP5,012 which in US is $111.38 (assuming a P45/$1) for awesome care the entire time. You can't beat that!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sky Cable

I am continuing my quest to have Sky Cable installed at our current address. Once again, they will send some people out to see if we have a post near enough our house to install it. I am not optimistic. I have resigned myself to a lifetime of watching shows on my computer (downloaded off the internet) or watching fuzzy TV. Most neighborhoods have normal television with a clear signal. It is only in my neighborhood where it is so bad and likely caused by the 20+ houses that I am sure have tapped into our signal. If we ever wanted to piss the neighborhood off, we could not pay our bill and they would all lose cable.

The utilities are a big plus of moving. I am looking forward to:

1) 24-Hour Water (the water in our neighborhood is currently shut off at 9PM each night)

2) Better cable service (Sky is in our new neighborhood)

3) Better internet service (there are only two providers in our neighborhood and one was unable to connect it)

4) Garbage that is collected on a regular basis. Other than garbage day, we never see anyone's garbage can. Plus there is no garbage on the street.

Creepy, Creepy, Creepy

We went by the new house site to check on the progress today. On the way out we stopped at the gate to talk to the guard. While there, I noticed a large picture of two young women with a notice stating they were not allowed to leave the village without written permission. When I asked the guard about it, he explained that these two women were household help and their employers did not want them leaving the village.

This is honestly one of the creepiest things I have seen. If you are that distrustful of your staff, why not fire them and hire new ones? I cannot imagine being trapped in a subdivision and only allowed to leave it with express written permission from my employer!

Monday, July 23, 2007

In Case you Missed it......

This video has been EVERYWHERE on the internet, but in case you missed it here is a little glance of the country I call home. I cannot figure out if this is the most genius thing I have ever seen or the oddest. Either way, I love it!! This is at a prison in Cebu.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

More Dog Problems II

I forgot. The other dog (chiwawa) is pregnant. She almost died the last time she had puppies which means we have to look into a C-section for her. For a dog. I can't figure out when it happened because we were still here during her heat and I didn't let her out of the house.

Arrived Back Safe

Well we made it home from San Francisco. I loved being in SF. Not the weather--that sucks but I miss the city. I miss the great shops, restaurants, bars, neighborhoods. I also miss running into people. While in San Francisco, I ran into old friends, colleagues, etc which never happens in Manila. I don't know if it is just because there are 10 times the amount of people here (10mil versus San Francisco's under 1mil) or if I just know less people here. I also of course was very excited about the grocery shopping. Philippines cannot hold a candle to San Francisco especially when it comes to "gourmet" groceries. I also miss organic (yes, I prefer to buy organic when available) fruits, vegetables, meat, and milk.

Our flight back was uneventful. Most noteworthy event was seeing Martin Yan. He looks just like he does on TV. While I was looking at him to make than assesment, he gave me a rather dirty look. I guess he doesn't like people to stare at him. Can't imagine why not....

It is nice to be back in Manila. The rain is not too bad at all (only a few days) and the heat is nothing compared to when we left. Our house is coming along fantastically (I will take pictures tomorrow) and looks less like a concrete jail and more like a house. The bricklayer has started as well so it is starting to get some depth. We need to buy the air conditioners this week. Since we are doing split type (meaning the compressor is on the outside) we have to buy them now to complete the rough in.

In other news, I got my dog neutered yesterday. Man is he sad! I am assuming he is in a little pain so he is barely moving and gives me these pitiful looks.

Today we will go to S&R to get some groceries. I hope they are still in business because every time we go, the parking lot is empty.