The Story of Mrs. Old Bill
Well, the title gives away the ending, doesn’t it? Or rather not the ending but a beginning, another step on this weird and wonderful journey we call ‘life’.
Submissions must be stand-alone, so a recap. ‘J’ is a lovely Filippina lady ten years younger than me. She has lived here for about six years. She was working until very recently as a supervisor in an egg-packing factory, 78 hours a week for (I just found out) €500 a month. I should be very angry about this, but the fact is that her employer regards her as his daughter and he works the same hours and more. He is a very nice guy. Often, we go to his beach bar, we eat good food, we drink beer, we don’t pay. He brings us food, he drives us around, he introduces us to local friends – and most importantly he knows the people who work in Immigration.
‘J’ and I were married last week. It was not a romantic wedding, although to be fair to the mayor when he realised that we had wedding rings we wanted to swap and it was not just a ‘papers’ job he did his best and we spoke of lasting love etc.
We didn’t take any witnesses with us (‘J’s friends need to be careful of going anywhere near officialdom) but we did a deal so that we witnessed the previous couple's wedding and they witnessed ours. Our marriage certificate shows that a British man married a Filippina woman in a Greek Cypriot Town Hall, witnessed by a Syrian man and a Latvian lady. Crazy? Maybe, but I invested €12 in buying a shirt and tie for my wedding – and it is legal anywhere in the world.
Now I have entered the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ world of immigration, etc.
Life should be simple. I am very much in love with Mrs Old Bill and most evenings we take a walk by the sea and watch the sun set over the Med. Then we go home to our modest apartment and – well, we are happy together.
We don’t want much, we don’t ask for much. We just want to be happy together. For me, I’ve done my share of P4P and one-night stands. They just do not compare with making love with a woman who loves you as much as you love her.
We will, no doubt, have problems. Filippinas (and Mrs O-B is not exempt from this) have a behaviour syndrome known as ‘tampo’ which is best described as a mixture of ‘no talk to you’ and sulking. I have promised Mrs O-B that tampo will be dealt with by ‘spanky spanky’, which (as readers of Stick will know) brings its own benefits.
The bottom line (forgive the pun) is that I love this lady very much. She is a ‘lady’, a ‘good girl’, and all of those things that we talk about here. Does it make a difference that she is Filippina rather than Thai or British? I don’t know, except that of course her background and her upbringing made her what she is. I trust her completely, no doubts whatsoever.
We start our new life together. The other day we went to the capital and dealt with the Immigration Service. No problems. Then we went to the Philippine Consulate – some problems but we can overcome them. And just to add realism to this submission – outside the consulate the car I borrowed to go there decided to go stupid and the gearbox linkage failed.
My sweet and dear Filippina wife kept smiling (I did not) throughout the breakdown recovery (many miles in very hot sun). She was happy that we had the official stamps on a couple of bits of paper.
I am learning also. ‘Jai yen’ and ‘mai pen rai’ apply here as much as anywhere – although I don’t use those expressions because Mrs O-B knows of ex TGF but doesn’t want to be reminded of her unnecessarily.
Onwards and upwards. I am certain that I have made the right choice.