I found a new place to live. The apartment building in San Isidro was not so much fun, surrounded by karaoke and parties and with a caretaker that only took care of herself and not the building it felt like I was an intruder on the property every time I entered the gate.
So here I am in a small cottage near the sea, with a beautiful garden all around me. In the distance the faint hint of a karaoke machine, but no longer on my doorstep. Much better. I was the soul renter for over 1 week, now I have a new neighbour who rented the cottage next to me for a short while.
How are you dear, what is a women like you doing in the Philippines?
He did not introduce himself, neither did I. I kind of stay to myself and mind my own business. Travellers come and go, so do other travellers, no need to get all acquainted and share thoughts on worldpolitics together. But this morning he greeted me, still wearing his checkered pyjama pants, asking me ‘what a women like me’ is doing in the Philippines?
I never know how to respond to that question. (Off topic: I hate the ‘my dear’ part, it is so patronizing!! )
The question has been asked before. To me it is kind of judgemental: ‘a woman like me…” what am I like than? What does he mean? A woman my age? A single woman, a blond? A plus size?
It was at the tip of my tongue to ask: what do you mean: like me? Compared to whom?
But I guess it is just a way of putting things, and maybe his way of putting things.
I have no clue. and I did not know what to answer. What is a women like me doing in the Philippines? And why should I explain to him? He comes here like 3 weeks max? How to explain the complexity of me leaving the Netherlands, and the complexity of staying in this country?
And why do I define it as complex? Is it complex?
I guess women ‘like me’ stay at home forever, grow old painting aquarel or visit bingo nights. And progressive women ‘like me’ play djembe once a week with other women who all seem to be coach or studying psychology.
Women ‘like me’ do not travel through the Philippines on a motorcycle
Women ‘like me’ wear aprons and bake cookies for grandchildren, and do not travel on a motorcycle through a third world country I guess.
We dream of a tropical escape and live by it once a year if we can afford, and book a hotel, preferably all inclusive, and enjoy 2 weeks of sunshine and maybe casual sex.
Only to return home.
I have no home, I have no grandchildren, I live my dream and that is some days a pure nightmare. For example: when a guy asks you what you are doing here and you have no words to answer. LOL!
I told him I travel the philippines on a motorcycle. He was surprised that the black and red bike near the gate was mine. “You are some woman” he said. I took that as a compliment. For I had no clue how to keep the conversation going. Lucky for me he didn’t either and turned to his Filipina for comfort. And I turned to my cottage.
I guess my life is not ordinary, and I guess that is what he implied
Once a guy told me straight to my face: why don’t you go home? You only put ideas in the head of all exes out there which I pay a fortune to, what you can do, they can do and God forbid they come here.
Why should God forbid that? Why is this country ‘for white men only’? and why are there so little white women living here an affordable life and maybe find new love?
In this society where women still claim equal rights and sex scandals pop up every day with stories about massive abuse by men, we still have not found our true liberation have we? Mixed up in the pleasure of a guy letting you go first or opening a door for you and being financially independent, we still search for our identity and our true position in society. More so since the world becomes more gender neutral and social media seems to influence our very existence beyond imagination.
I live a dream life, I wrote that before. But even a dream life sometimes is a nightmare. Do not think my grass is greener. It is cheaper, sunnier and there is more sand between my toes than ever. But my grass is only green when I water it: meaning: do what I need to do to keep myself happy.
And that is exactly why there are so little women here, somehow most of us still do not do what makes us happy. We still do what is ‘expected of us’ and if not we are so busy proofing ourselves to be mens equal that we forget there is a real life out there. That there is a you, a woman……..a dream.