Last year, we made the decision to move to France after a crazy exhausting year hopping back and forth (mainly for me) from the Philippines to the United States to France to Sierra Leone. Ten months ago, we finally did it and ended up in Strasbourg, a lucky coincidence because when I visited the city last year, I fell in love with everything about it. But before the fairytale of living in this amazingly beautiful historic city, there was the comedy that came with the move.
First off, moving countries, do not recommend it. Hate it. Never want to do it again (but probably will, at some point). I have never belonged to the Marie Kondo way of life. Everything I own brings me joy. I literally keep and still wear clothes I’ve had since high school (though not a hoarder!). But moving, I’ve discovered, really tells you a lot about yourself. And I’ve discovered that I am ruthless. As I was the unemployed one by the time we were winding down our stay in the US, I made Craigslist my bitch and cleaned out our apartment to the point that we looked like we had been thoroughly robbed two weeks before we left. It also brought me the realization that the couch was actually an camper van sofa (in hindsight, no wonder that couch was a horrible shade of brown and that it was too small to even fit me!). It also allowed me to meet amazing people who gave us brand new ideas about our old furniture, like the lovely man who wanted to buy our coffee table because he was going to make it into an iguana cage for his girlfriend, and promptly sent us the photo of this gem of an idea (not that we were asking to see this treasure).
(I am so obviously wide awake in the wee hours of morning, it's not even funny).
I recently met this awesome American friend of a cousin-in-law (I'll wait while you catch up to the reference), first visit to the Philippines and about to spend a guaranteed amazing time skipping around the beautiful islands of the Philippines (this ad paid for by the Department of Tourism). He immediately impressed us by commuting everywhere within the first 10 hours of being here in the Philippines and by commuting, I mean this dude took jeepneys and LRTs from Makati to Intramuros and Quiapo. Even I, a born and bred Filipino, would highly recommend a taxi. But nooo, he wanted the authentic experience + the additional excitement of saying "para po" to stop the jeepneys.
While weeding through the many tips to traveling to the Philippines (and if you ever visit this awesome country of mine, hit me. Happy to help!), we got to the caveat that 1) Filipinos love karaoke. Like insane love. 2) be prepared that a LOT of bars would have karaoke. 3) be prepared to be in a rural province with a karaoke singer wailing off in the background (and with all the space of fields and barrios, sound carries. That singer is far, far away from you) at 2am in the morning. 4) the very cute quirky PHP 5/song karaoke machine relic will be around. 5) you will sing. You will say no. But you will sing. Against your better judgment, the advice of your wise old grandmother and the bitterness of your soul.
There's only 2 ways to go around it! Number one is super easy = drink. Liquid courage. I love me some karaoke (hello, I am a proud Pinoy) but I cannot do this sober. I would rather walk hard into a wall then do this without a drink in me.
Abbi is a petite human, blogger, amateur photographer, permanent humanitarian, avid traveller, culture addict, giant bookworm and impossible foodie.