Last Updated on July 30, 2020 by Ellen
Sometimes, things suck.
Let me say right off the bat: do not read this if you are in a good mood.
Yes, I’m ‘stuck’ in ‘paradise’ – a relatively rural area of mainland Malay on Panay Island in the Philippines, with my spouse and his mom. We are safe, and ultimately, I’m grateful for all we have and where we are.
Still, sometimes things suck.
Today, I feel like bitching.
Sometimes, things suck
Water, power, data
I woke up today and the water was out again. That sucks. We keep a large bucket in the bathroom filled with water for flushing when needed, and for hand washing.
Also, the power was out again. Double whammy of suckiness. There is a generator here at the Hangout Beach Resort, but I was the only one up before 5:00 a.m.
At least my phone and laptop were (nearly) half-charged, and I could use the data on my local SIM card. But it was s-u-p-e-r …….s-l-o-w. Triple suck.
Couldn’t make coffee in the machine without power. Quad suck! And I’d only been awake a couple of minutes.
At least the gas stove heated water (we use drinking water jugs) for instant coffee.
The water and the power outages are things that happen in developing nations. Sometimes, these things happen often. Whenever it happens, it sucks.
Once back in Mexico, I went for days without power. And one time we stayed with a Mayan family that didn’t have running water. So I know what it’s like to live this way – and I can handle it.
The water was back on soon enough. The power came on a few hours later. Not like how things are for some Filipinos – Ati and others. Now water, no power, ever. That really sucks.
Mosquitoes and hot flashes
I’m covered in mosquito bites. This is nothing new – mosquitoes love me and I contracted Chikungunya in 2015 in Mexico. At least I can’t get it again.
As the spouse Tedly rationalizes, if I’m getting 10 bites a day (sometimes more), that’s 300 bites a month. That’s 300 chances for some nasty virus – other than the coronavirus. That literally sucks.
When the power is out, I cannot sit in front of the fan. Fan breezes ground mosquitoes. I love fans — especially since I cannot run the air conditioner nearly as much as I’d like because that’s way too expensive. Doesn’t that suck?
And so, I must cover my skin to avoid bites without a fan. The mosquitoes can bite me through my thinner, cooler clothing. That sucks!
I can use lotion Deet, because the spray is not available here. I hate that gunk. Recently, I bought citronella spray. I smell like a goddamned candle. Sometimes all options suck.
It’s hot. I’m always sweating even when it’s cool out because I suffer from hot flashes that sometimes are intense. (I’m on tamoxifen post-double mastectomy – and that sucks.)
So, without a fan, or air conditioning, I’m sweating off chemicals, or sweating under clothing. That sucks.
There are more mosquitoes now because we are in the rainy season. I get bit morning, noon, night.
I met a Buddhist monk in Cambodia who told me he looks at mosquitoes as creatures that he feeds with his blood. It gave him a sense of universal connectivity. I get that. But I still say mosquitoes and their dreadful diseases suck.
Yea, rainy season sucks.
At least people who rely on rainwater collection for an easier lifestyle will benefit. And at least the rice is growing in the fields; victory gardens are blooming.
But it sucks for me to encased in a plastic poncho when I have a hot flash. Or to struggle with an umbrella on the side of the road when I’m trying to quickly close it to get into a trike (motorbike with a taxi side car).
At least I found a new umbrella $2.80. At least I had $2.80 to ease my rainy season suffering.
Hungry people, starving dogs
As long as I live, I will never forget the hungry Ati men on the beach who ate raw fish out of the community fishing net because they were that hungry. That sucked.
Today we learned drinking water for the new chickens at the Ati henhouse still needs adjustment. That sucked.
A few children on my beach walks told me they were hungry. I see local adults who look thinner, nearly gaunt. This really sucks.
As the pandemic worsens, I now see starving stray dogs all around Malay. Philippine people love dogs. Many families have beloved pets. But when it comes to feeding children or dogs, there is no choice.
That sucks so hard it hurts my heart.
As I witness the changes from the pandemic here in this small corner of the Philippines, I also am watching Americans allowing America to implode. That sucks ass.
The world’s former leading nation is long gone. That psychopath narcissist and his minions have doomed us all. It’s only going to get worse from here.
That is a sucky feeling.
But if you are a supporter, you lay blame on the opposing party, or minorities, or “shit hole” countries, or China. If you are a supporter, you cannot see reality. You’re living in a fantasy world, where you simply cannot fathom the universal connectivity of it ALL.
And that fucking sucks.
My end point
I do not want to accept Americans’ selfishness that has caused the downfall of an empire, leading the rest of the world into catastrophe. But I must. Seismic changes in our new realities aren’t over yet. Not even close.
The water and power outages, slow internet connections, mosquitoes, hot flashes, rainy season, and more, become minor inconveniences when I accept them, step back and see: things could suck worse.
Thanks for reading, “Sometimes, things suck.”
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