jeepney riding

Adjustments For An American Living In The Philippines {12}

Adjustments For An American Living In The Philippines

I’ve often been told it takes at least five years to fully adjust to life in the Philippines for a foreigner such as myself. If true, I’m about 23% of the way there. At times it seems I’m doing just fine, others not as well. But if I’m being honest, that was true before I moved here.

In regards to adjustment, “I have Good Days, Bad Days” as one of my guitar heroes, Coco Montoya, likes to say.

Package Counter {2}

Package Counter

One adjustment that took me very little time to accept is the prevalence of package counters throughout all the malls in the Philippines. It’s not that I’d never seen them before in the States, but they are not common there. Here they are in every mall, and large stores, too. Even some smaller stores have them.

I thought it was kind of odd the first few times I encountered them way back when I visited the first time. Seemed an inconvenience to have to leave your items at a counter and wait in line to drop them, and pick them up. I understand much better now.

Jeepney Tips {4}

Jeepney Tips

Jeepney riding is for not everyone. Unless one is doing it just for the experience it’s unlikely that most visitors will take the jeepney. During my vacation visits prior to moving here my most common mode of transportation was the taxi, with an occasional tricycle ride thrown in for those in between destinations that were too far to walk, but not worth the effort and cost of a taxi.

I would say, based off those that I’ve met, that most expats still don’t often take the jeepney even after moving to the Philippines. It’s more likely they’ll have an opportunity to do so once living here, but most I know buy a car and/or use taxis. I decided long ago that I would take the jeepney as my main transportation. I still get in a taxi now and then, but for the most part the jeepney gets me where I need to go. Part of that decision was financial, part because I did not want to drive anymore (at least for awhile), and part of it was to better assimilate myself to the area and culture.