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Our first 10 days...

Discussion in 'Expat Section' started by Larry_H, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. Larry_H

    Larry_H DI Member

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    For those interested because they are considering making Duma their home or perhaps those that have been here for awhile and just want to laugh their bottom off reading about our adventures while settling here....this thread will be a diary/chronicle of our first ten days here as we navigate the environment in the pursuit of creating a home for ourselves...

    Day 1 (July 13)

    Arrived via Cebu Pacific at 4:30pm...very simple and easy process to get a taxi and get to our temporary home at the OK Pensionne House. Taxi 150 PHP, OK Pensionne House Deluxe Room w/ A/C and hot water 660 PHP (room is about 30-35 sq.meters, clean, quiet, comfortable)

    After a short rest and refreshing up, we headed for Robinson Mall to get the few items we needed but couldn't bring with us...water heater, coffee cups, etc.

    Day 2 (July 14)

    Went to the LTO to get a D/L (mine had expired)...that pretty much killed the day....9:00AM - 2:30PM. I have the Balikbayan 1 year visa, so they had no problem issuing the D/L without my having an ACR card.....a trip to the copy shop to copy PP and old D/L, a medical check that consisted of a blood pressure check (both of these just one block from the main LTO) Then a drug test at the Sacred Heart Diagnostic Center (second floor across from the back of the capitol bldg)...Copies 4 PHP, Medical check 100 PHP, Drug Test 250 PHP.....back to the LTO....since my old D/L was expired, I had to take the written exam and then take a practical driving exam....written exam 168 PHP...practical driving exam 250 PHP...then wait.....and wait...and wait....and wait...and wait...and then wait some more....Finally! issued a Philippine D/L for both car and motorcycle.....after I paid another 518 PHP.....

    ok...now it's about 2:30...too late to get involved in much else...so...a walk...a beer at the Mooon Cafe, and then back to the OK Pensionne House to just relax for the evening...

    Finding the weather still a bit stifling, so each day is a 1 plan day...do one thing and thats all...no hurry really...we are retired and enjoying it.

    We did spend some time walking about town a bit...in certain areas the tricycle taxis are a bit overwhelming, but all in all; so far, we find it pretty clean and are enjoying being here.

    We do find that we will probably have a lot of free time each day, so if anyone wants to meet up, shoot me a PM so we can get in contact....tomorrow, rent a bik and start looking around for an apartment/house...

    Oh! We just decided to go to Garica's and see whats happening there.....
     
  2. Broadside

    Broadside DI Forum Patron

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    Welcome Larry_H. Hope you settle in comfortably. You should find it an interesting 10 days as the scales gradually fall from your eyes. Congratulations on making it to day 2 before you got screwed. The drug test (250p) is not necessary and was officially stopped a few months ago, but the LTO staff won't want to lose their percentage from the referral. The "driving test" (another 250p) is a farce and a tidy little scam, and the fact that your old licence had expired is irrelevant. There is no-one here qualified or competent enough to test. As I recall, this scam operates from the side of the main building where an LTO official sits under a canopy. Next to him is a friend/partner/relative who just happens to have a car available for test hire at a rental of 250p. The test consists of reversing onto the road, then driving around the block by making four right turns, never getting out of 2nd gear, and ending up where you started after just 2 or 3 minutes. BIR receipt given for the car rental ? Of course not.
    So you're 500p down at the moment, but it's an interesting diary to keep. Keep us informed.
     
  3. baltoed

    baltoed DI Forum Adept

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    Welcome Larry,,,
    I will keep this post to my experience in the LTO extension office in the back of the R. Mall only yesterday. If I am to believe the letter blownup to poster size and mounted in a few places inside the office the drug test was reinstated in the fall of last year after only 3 months of it being officially stopped. They also post the number of active number of drug abuses found..almost triple for the first 3 months of this year compared to monthly abuses found for the whole of 2013 also posted.

    The tests marked on the paper I turned in said I was tested for drugs ( yes ) eye sight ( yes)..upper extremities ( visual?) lower extremities ( visual?) and hearing..hmm maybe that was speaking when spoken too?.

    Including the 100p for an address change and a late fee for expired RP license my total was 468peso, I was there for about 4 hours. That was caused by the fact that I had just pee'd prior to going in and didnt know I was gonna be pee tested knowing I didnt want to *have to go* when sitting there waiting waiting waiting....drat the luck. drank about 6 glasses of water and waited dang near a hour-thirty to be able to give them the min. of half the vial full.
     
  4. OP
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    Larry_H

    Larry_H DI Member

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    Sorry for the delay, but a one legged man in a bottom kicking contest has had more free time that I have had lately'

    Day 3 (July 15) Have you ever woke up knowing the best thing you could do that day would just stay in the d*mn bed? Of course, from other experiences trying to find, land, home, or apartment in other places in the Phils, that is exactly the feeling you have knowing you have to do this poo again.

    So, we drag our tired asses out of the bed, two cups of coffee and we're on our way to Valencia so we can be hung up on, ignored, read about signs that have nothing to with reality, be told about a cousin of a friend of a cousin of his grandmother on his dog's side of the family has a beautiful place for only 7 PHP a month etc, etc.

    We get to Valencia about 8AM...looked at two places pretty quickly, one too small, and one too dirty and then met a foreigner coming out of the second place we looked at that knew of a nice place just up the street. He was gracious enough to take us there and introduce us to the owner.

    Large compound, very secluded, fairly quiet, 80 sq. meter, 2 bdrm, pool, jacuzzi, covered parking, full time maintenance people on the grounds 24/7. This place checked off every box except on one markled "Free". We came to terms with owner and we had a home by 10AM. First and last only, no security deposit, no lease. All the tenants had been here at least 4 years, some more than 7 years. The owner's driver took us to the OK Pensionne House to collect our bags and bring them up the mountain, then took us to get gas and water service.

    We headed back to Duma and went to Centrum Appliance and got a refrig and cooktop. That was delivered immediately.

    Ok...well, somedays turn out just fine no matter what you are expecting!
     
  5. PatO

    PatO DI Forum Luminary Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer Veteran Marines

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    kudos to you and whoever the foreigner is who helped you out. Be patient and things will normalise soon. Good luck and welcome.
     
  6. OP
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    Larry_H

    Larry_H DI Member

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    Day 4 (July 16) / Day 5 (July 16) / Day 7 (july 18)

    Shopping, shopping, shopping....our new apartment is sparsely semi-furnished...as in two beds (both queen size), a bamboo sala set and an end table doing the job of a coffee table and one armoire that is more suitable for garden tools than clothing.

    So, Unitop, LP, Centrum, EverMall, Citi Building Supplies all were very happy to see us!

    Most stores delivered. some for free, some with a small charge, and those that didn't deliver, we either loaded our stuff on the trucks from the stores that did deliver or we hired a tricycle cab to haul it for us.

    So now, we have a fully functioning kitchen my wife loves to cook, bake, whatever and she now has everything she needs to prepare any type of meal, the bedroom is mostly comfortable (a few things to still get, but nothing important) Haven't started on the living room yet, still thinking about how we want it furnished decorated.

    While we aren't "DONE", we are done to the point where we can live day to day and have all the comforts we want/need.

    We're using Globe Tattoo Wi-fi for our internet and it is fast and so far...reliable. still staying with SMART for our mobile phone service. PhilProducts will be here tomorrow to install the TV cable where we want it. Don't get a choice on that service as it is provided by the owner.
     
  7. shadow

    shadow DI Forum Luminary

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    Welcome to Valencia, I am only a few hundred meters from you. We have another prominent poster who has lived at V's for quite a while. Up for a beer one eve?

    Larry
     
  8. OP
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    Larry_H

    Larry_H DI Member

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    I think I might as well end this diary at the 7 days mark rather than continue it to 10 days as we really have covered all the major steps in relocating here and we are now living comfortably and can settle in.

    I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the expat Valencians over the past few days and have appreciated their help and advice and a really big THANK YOU to the foreigner that brought us here to show us this apartment.

    I won't mention names because I don't have their permission to name them publicly, but if they are on DI, they know who they are and they know that we appreciate their help.

    While staying at the OK Pensionne House, we did wander down to Garcia's a couple of times and met the owner and a few expats there...We will be there on Sunday afternoon/evening as we hear there is quite a number of folks that show up at that time...Hope to meet many more of you there and over time....cheers!

    We will be traveling to my wife's home town next week, but when we get back...we start a whole new adventure...finding a 400+ CC bike....oh boy! Wont that be fun! If anyone has or knows of a cruiser style bike of that size in either the Honda or Kawasaki flavor, please PM me with the info.
     
  9. Rye83

    Rye83 with pastrami Secured Account Highly Rated Poster SC Connoisseur Veteran Army

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    But he really likes to keep to himself. :wink:
     
  10. shadow

    shadow DI Forum Luminary

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    I'm sure Valencia is much better off that way!

    :wink:

    Larry
     
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