Throwaway phone

To get the attention of real estate people and landlords you need to give them a way to contact you. Renting a house here is mostly done by simply driving around looking for signs and calling sms/txt’ing numbers on those signs. A bunch of classifieds on a bunch of sites exist. But it’s chaotic at best.

I don’t want to ‘waste’ my real phone number on those people. Some can be a real pain in the ass. So I got myself a throwaway phone.

cherry-mobile-phone

We sell houses!

Me & JC: Hello, are these houses built already?
Representatives: [Hands out flyers] The houses are for sale starting at [several million pesos].
Me & JC: Also for rentals.
Representatives: You can buy…
Me & JC: But we’re not looking to buy, are they also available as rentals?
Representatives: We are building phase 1 and 2 [points at white and green areas on a map], and in 2 years the mall gets built [another highlighted bit on the map]…
Me & JC: Yes but…
Representatives: …along the main road there will be commercial zones [points to orange highlighted areas on the map].
Me & JC: Ok, but we need 2 houses, next week, to rent. Not, to, buy.
Representatives: Ah, ok. So you can buy this one [points at a picture of a house in the brochure] for [a bunch of millions].
Me & JC: But we want to rent. Not buy!
Representatives: Ahhhhh, you want to just rent a house and not buy it? No, we don’t have…
Me & JC: Ok. so, bye.
Representatives: But we have a model house you can live in.
Me & JC: It’s for rent? And do we have to entertain guests or something?
Representatives: No, it’s done, no guests. [stare of desperation] You buy it.
Me & JC: Bye… :-/

Their english seemed fine. So; Blinded by commissions are we? I don’t even care…
They should just listen to their potential customers.

house-green

Cost of moving – Final pack and luggage

A while ago I wrote about my expenses up to that point. A whole bunch of things have changed and added since then and things got a bit more expensive.

I ended up getting rid of all my ‘old’ clothes and buy everything new. I kinda looked like a bum in a bunch of my current clothes. I’ve also assembled a toolkit and basic medkit. And added some other useful things. Also a few of the previously bought gear had a different price than I originally thought.

gatgets-n-gear

Re-hash

A quick re-hash of the items up till May. A few items are struck through with a new price. These are corrected amounts to what they should be.

Tickets and hotel

  • KLM Flight tickets: €2596
  • Hotel Reservation Manila: €80 €69
  • Resort Reservation: €1720

Total: €4385 EUR (~$4905 USD)

Gear

  • Backpack: €270 €329
  • Travel locks: €15
  • Backpack cover: €25 €73
  • Laptop bag: €88
  • Camera pouch: €9
  • Luggage pouches: €15
  • Extra padded laptopsleeve: €49

Total: €578 EUR (~$646 USD)

Gadgets and tools

  • Macbook Pro: €2880
  • HD Video Camera: €350
  • Misc. Camera Accessories: €45 €68
  • Universal power plugs: €5 €9
  • Memory card: €32
  • Backup Harddisk: €339
  • Mini Shiv: €4

Total: €3678 EUR (~$4115 USD)

Everything I’ve added and replaced

And then the new stuff. This is just like in the previous post, without receipts. So probably not 100% accurate.

travelbag

Legal nonsense

  • Visa fees: €54

Total: €54 EUR (~$60 USD)

Gear

  • Toiletries + pouch: €25
  • Basic Medkit: €20
  • Luggage pouches: €15
  • Bug repellant: €25

Total: €55 EUR (~$61 USD)

Gadgets and tools

  • Bluetooth speaker: €42
  • Fold-up multitool: €139
  • Various pliers: €22
  • Various small tools: €25
  • Memory card: €12

Total: €240 EUR (~$268 USD)

Clothes

main-compartment2
Why so many clothes? I’m bringing a weeks worth of clothing. Simply because I don’t like wearing the same clothes over and over and over again. Also I don’t want to do washing every 2 days. This gives me some leeway.

  • 9 Shirts: €480
  • 8 Pants + Shorts: €300
  • 2 pairs of slippers: €45
  • Thin jacket: €99
  • 2 Boonies: €19

Total: €943 EUR (~$1054 USD)

Total cost

All the new clothing puts the total expenses significantly higher. Some of the new gadgets and tools added more weight. But that’s ok. They sure come in handy when things need repairing or whatever.

Hotels, tickets and visa: €4439 EUR (~$4961 USD).
Gear: €633 EUR (~$708 USD).
Gadgets & Tools: €3918 EUR (~$4380 USD).
Clothes: €943 EUR (~$1054 USD).

That puts the grand total at €9933 EUR (~$11103 USD), just shy of €10000 EUR.

Not a bad deal for endless pineapple and white beaches.

None of this really matters!

Or not too much anyway… Your life is not mine. You may decide to just grab a daypack, one set of clothes, your passport and wing it. Making things so much cheaper. Perhaps you’ll never even move to the Philippines, or any country, for a longer period of time.

I’ve seen people go around the world with 2 sets of clothes and a pair of slippers. Others drag several suitcases full of crap around. I opted for a single backpack and laptop bag with stuff I actually need and use at some point.

To make any useful comparison there are simply too many variables. Most importantly our different preferences. My list of stuff may give you a indication of what to bring and what kind of cost to expect. Maybe you’ll think it’s a really smart getup and copy most of it. But in the end everyone’s luggage will be different in many ways.

3 weeks!

3weeks

3 weeks left in this familiar bed.
That’s 3 weeks of wearing old clothes.
3 weeks to go to every restaurant that’s good for one last time.
Endure 3 more weeks of crying kid next door.
Only 3 weeks to stuff my face with “kroketten”.
3 weeks until I close the door of this house for good.
3 long weeks of waiting.
3 weeks until I’m “homeless”.

3 weeks, until the rest of my life begins!

Offset the weirdness!

With final preparations pretty much complete, the waiting game starts 🙁 36-ish days until I can finally leave this country for the Philippines. To offset the weirdness and to smooth the sudden realisation that having possessions is at an all time low, I figured I need something to put on a nightstand or whatever. Something colourful and fun.

So I bought myself a little something:
arrival-gift

The idea is that I have something that’s mine, that doesn’t belong in a bag and looks best outside a bag. My first “thingy” for my new living space. You’ll see what it is in October 🙂

Trying to cancel my internet service

logo_kpnWhile that may seem trivial, it’s easier to just die. Earlier this week I sent in my cancellation thing. To not renew my internet service for another year with KPN internet.
This is one of the biggest internet and phone providers in the country. Their site was fairly easy. A big form about which service to cancel, some stuff about me and why I want to cancel my service. As a reason for cancelling the service I entered “Emigration”. Seemed easy.

A few days later the most obnoxious customer service employee in the world called me demanding proof of me leaving the country. Asking me all kinds of personal stuff completely irrelevant to the issue at hand. When I countered her demands questioning why she needed all that information the simply said “this doesn’t work, just send in the requested information”. I told her to just process my form and do as I wanted as a customer. But she insisted that this wouldn’t work and demanded the additional information. At this point I’ve had enough and simply hung up the phone telling her that this whole conversation was bullshit.

Later that day I called back to rectify the situation. I got a more pleasant person on the phone. She explained to me that in order to cancel a internet contract they would need proof of me leaving the country. When I asked her why this was, she said “because otherwise we can’t terminate the contract and we’ll try to up sell you into a new contract.” One of her questions was where I was going and why – I told her that this non-sensical bullshit procedure was why I am leaving Europe. She got a bit less friendly then.

Anyway, this suggests that the only way to get rid of them is to either die, or move to a non-service area of theirs. One problem with that, they provide their stuff in pretty much the whole country. My argument that if I wanted to cancel and use another internet provider stood no ground. Nor did the notion that if I “just wanted to stop using internet”. Their policy is to sell me a new contract.

Today another guy called to follow up on the obnoxious persons call and try again – Unaware that I already called back. Better prepared this time I again asked why I couldn’t just cancel my service. Why was there all this hassle and difficulty. It’s just internet after-all, nothing essential.
He explained to me that in order to keep their customers they will do everything they can to stop them from leaving. Including (presumably invasive) sales tactics and endless hindering and feet dragging. Supposedly until the user gives in and signs up for their service again.

Which made me think, if a service provider is that desperate to keep their customers from leaving. Perhaps they should improve their service… They’re not that great after-all. Idiots.