Wednesday, February 20, 2008

It is Really ALMOST Done!!

We are literally weeks away from the completion of our new house. I am getting really excited now. The landscapers have started as well so the outside looks less like a garbage dump and more like a garden (well at least a plantless garden. The dirt does add a little ambiance).

The banister is put in now on the staircase. I realize the photo looks fuzzy--something about the light I guess because this is as good as I could get it.

This is the grill that leads to the service area (it will be painted black). The service area is a phenomena here that consists of an area where washing would be and leads to maids quarters and the dirty kitchen. This is where the washing machine, sinks, and generator (shall we ever buy one) will be.

The dirty kitchen is another phenomena that exists here (pictured above). It is essentially a second kitchen but is the kitchen where most of the actual cooking and washing up is done. I am not quite sure why it is necessary, but we do have one. It looks to me like a regular kitchen. I am not sure why it is phrased as a "dirty" kitchen but I assume it is because it is the only one that gets dirty??

Above is part of our "regular" kitchen. This is the chimney that I previously tried to describe. The oven hood is hidden away. I love it! Also it is worth noting that there is no oven in our regular kitchen, just a range. A lot of homes here have no oven and just use the rain. At my in-laws where we currently reside, we have no oven, only a glorified toaster oven. It is so small that when I tried to bake a birthday cake, I ended up making cup cakes as that is all that would fit.

This is a photo of the one bathtub in our new home. Everybody I talked to who had the over sized jacuzzi tubs said they either never used them or used them on an annual basis. I never take baths--always showers. We put one bathtub in the room that we refer to as the kids room (for when they are too big for the sink but too little for the shower). Yes, I realize we have no kids and yes, I further realize that with the staircase and pool of death, our house is not exactly baby friendly but better to be prepared.

The above mentioned pool of death. It will not be completed until most of the landscaping is done but there is a rather nice cesspool in the deep end. The swimming pool we subcontracted and it turned into the biggest clusterfuck you can imagine. I am trying to reserve judgment until it is completed but I am not too optimistic about a positive completion but we shall see.

This is the back of the house with the upstairs railings installed. I am not quite sure why there is a plastic tube hanging down but it is awesome all the same.


Jonnifer said...

Check out your huge fancy house! It's... huge! If you have a dirty kitchen what do you do in the regular one? Are you guys going to have someone cooking every meal for you? I hope they know how to make hot dogs. Also, why does the dirty kitchen look better than the regular kitchen?

But the house is gorgeous. I love the detailing on the door and the side of the house. Sorry about the pool, I'm sure it will be fab.

Katie McGuire said...

Wow, this looks great. I really love the hut by the pool! What a nice palace you'll be in. You must be stoked at the reality of getting your own, new place.

I can't wait to visit and see the real thing. (BTW, I am still trying to earn the "most likely to visit Kika in the PI" designation. :) ).

Did you already hire staff for the house?

JD said...

ok...I have now finished reading all of your posts from 2006 to now....and....I'm lost.

I first thought you were a dude but the article on tampon shopping tossed that one aside. I also thought you were a business owner but I cannot find a single reference to you actually having anything but a craptastic load of spare time...which is still cool.

I did see one pic of a dark skinned girl and a ghost pale gringo in the furniture section, but it wasnt clear if thats you....but later posts make me wonder about it.

You have been living with the in-laws, who are pinoy. You never mention your significant other unless this chick Ado is it. I got the impression that she was a helper/relative. Somehow, there are unknown people fighting with knives in your relatives house but everyone seems OK about it just a day later?

Your initial descriptions of Manila are pretty much the same as mine...much disdain and frustration at the ass-backwards way that stuff gets done you're not raised locally. Yes, I saw all the SF references.

Thats not a small house and for it to take that long with all those day laborers, whew, thats not cheap and obviously you're planning on being here for a while. Neither yourself nor your sister posted any pics of yourselves so I'm not sure on the lineage but both list Cali references...I'm gonna assume thats where you're from.

All that typing and the real question is what brings you to the PI? What do you actually do that had you move here permanently? Most migration is out and definitely away from Filipino families once married.

hehe, no insult intended, I was just going thru some expat blogs and grabbed yours to read in full over the night.

Feel free to counterstalk me, I usually put this in the name/url section but I guess they changed the way it works now:

BTW..I really like your comments about different things to do in manila, I would never have known and it gives me a good reason to get back over to that part of civilization.

Christine said...

Whoa mama! Looks nice! Love it! BTW, hope you know that I WILL be the first relative to visit! Katie will not beat me to the punch...

Christine said...

PS I love JD's comments! Hehe... what great commentary... What the hell do you do with all your spare time?

kikas_head said...

Jon-The dirty kitchen is where all the kitchen stuff happens--in fact we only put a range in the main kitchen because it would look odd otherwise. The main kitchen is way cool! The blue is a little odd but I love it.

Kat-Chris will be here in June. She wins. But the good news is I found a whole shelf of fake "meat" products at Unimart so I can feed Chris some protein. I will take a photo the next time I am there because the cans look like they are from the 70s.

I am trying to avoid hiring staff for the house because I am still not used to the idea and it freaks me out a little. I was completely capable of cleaning/cooking in the states. The one person I do want to hire is a weekly person to do laundry because washing/folding/ironing sucks. We will likely end up with a maid though as well as a driver/boy.

JD-Wow!! Am I that vague? Man, I suck! Yes, I am a female. Ado is my girlfriend of close to 10 years. I still bring tampons here in my balikbayan box. We are from San Francisco (she spent her childhood here). Yeah, I do not work because I am in the Philippines and it is not allowed which sucks (although of course I understand why that is the law). It always seems nice not to work until you actually do not work and then it sucks a little.

The people in the furniture section are friends from college that I met up with in SG last year.

We moved here to spend time with family as my in-laws are in their 70s (versus my parents in their 50s).

The knife thing was very, very odd and I think I was the most disturbed. Both the guys are still in the neighborhood and nothing else ever happened. It is worth noting that we currently live in Tondo so perhaps life is a little than the rest of the city.

Chris-I found Pellegrino at S&R and will buy out their stock for you before you arrive.

Theo said...

that ahouse looks awesome! I waanna visit!!

Anonymous said...

love your house ! love your style ! please show pics when everything is completed !

Blackdove said...

What is that structure INSIDE the pool? A hut? The pool's already small. Why build a structure inside it? I suppose it's okay if there won't be plenty of swimming in it.

kikas_head said...

Theo-come on out! Forget LA, Manila is the place to be. Plus the clubs here for guys are supposed to be awesome! You will get eaten alive (in a good way).

The hut in the pool was actually our idea. It is a hut. The final plan is to put up Moroccan style lanterns (already purchased) in as well as cheesecloth like curtains. The pool is around 40 sq mtr so it is a good size for the lot we have. Neither of us are hardcore swimmers and luckily in QC there are a billion sports clubs to join should either of us get inspired (although the cost is staggering). We saw a similar thing at a resort in Antipolo and really liked hanging out in it.