To Go Or Not To Go: A Dilemma
Well, here I am in Cyprus. 10.30 am, Sunday morning. I am semi-domesticated, so I have a load of washing in the machine, the Hoover lined up for action, and I sit on the balcony with a 180 degree view of the sea. A bacon sarnie, fresh coffee, and I contemplate.
I have been an ex-pat for more than three years. Until about a year ago thinking about little more than whether to go for a walk by the sea (usually before sunrise, in the summer here it is often 40+) or whether to find a place for a cheap ‘English’ breakfast and fresh-squeezed orange juice – and just as an aside, now is the time for fruit here – you can literally walk along the streets and pick a fresh orange or lemon from a tree growing on the sidewalk).
But one (I mean me) can tire of the ex-pat life. I have spent more time than I ever wanted to in bars. I have talked to drunks (and I never enjoyed it when I was paid to do it, so why should I do it for free now?). I have met many losers, fantasists and assholes and to be honest, why would I want to spend time with them here, just because we’re the same nationality, when I would have given them a wide berth back home? Assholes are assholes and it doesn’t matter where in the world they are.
So I decided to do something about it. I met a guy (to be honest about the only one I’ve met here in three years) with whom I shared some common values and work ethics and we run a very strictly 50/50 business doing property maintenance, decorating, plumbing, electrics, and that sort of stuff. 50/50 as in the sense that when we pull the ‘Flying Shed’ into the petrol station and put €30-worth of diesel in we pay half each. 50/50 as in when we do a plumbing job we go to the merchant’s and pay half each for the fittings – and we take half each from the payments for the jobs we do.
Oh, we have some fun! I have been up a 40 foot ladder changing an electric immersion heater (we always use a tester here because electrics can be erratic to say the least) with mountains behind me and the blue Med sea in front of me. I got soaked, of course (it’s company policy) but it was worth a few bob (as we Brits used to say) and most importantly, it was fun!
And the fun part IS important. That and a bit of routine. I have some ex-pat friends here and the ones I bother to talk to have all worked out that a routine, a reason to get up in the morning, is crucial. I know some couples that do nothing here but wake up, mix the first G&T then lay by the pool. Believe me, that does not make for a long and satisfying life! Sooner or later they are dissatisfied, moaning about the increase in price of a bottle of gin, and looking to move on. (Except of course, they can’t, because property prices here have collapsed).
So I have a routine now. Up by 6am, out to work, make a little bit of money (hopefully) and by about 4pm in a bar, a few pints after work (usually well deserved, and don’t they taste better!) and home. Much less late night beers I don’t really want, spending money I could use better, talking to people I wish I could have avoided.
So to today’s dilemma. No work, a lazy day. In my ‘local’ they will have a Filipina karaoke. All very relaxed, I know most of the girls there (and the guys). If I really, really wanted to I could ‘pick up’ one of the girls for a long-time, real GFE. And at least she would use the Hoover. I could even find a girl who wanted ‘part time’. (An important note here: ‘part time’ means cleaning, ‘short time’ and ‘long time’ means, well you know what that means). But last time I had a Filipina girl for part-time, it was a nightmare and led to her father in PI ‘buying the pig’. (Yes, I do feel guilty for ‘popping the cherry’, no I won’t feel guilty for evermore because you wanted it and insisted on it and you enjoyed it – and subsequent encounters as much as I did).
And, of course, if I do go out and end up with a Flip friend, my Thai ‘girlfriend’ (or not, as the case may be) will no doubt hear all about in the due course of time. There is absolutely no love lost here between Thais and Flips (I have said it before and I’ll say it again, but Flips say that Thai girls will do anything for money, Thais say that Flips will do anything for papers).
So I sit here on the balcony and contemplate – with a cold one. No, I won’t marry again and I don’t want any more kids, thank you. (But my Thai ‘girlfriend’? Actually, yes I would and take on her son too).
Will I go out this afternoon? Probably. Will I meet a beautiful and willing Filipina? Probably. Will I succumb? Ah, there’s the question, my friends …
Yep, we all need some structure in our lives… And what you say about spending time abroad with people you would never spend time with at home is oh so true!