Monday, December 22, 2014

Living in a Developed Country: Random Things That I Enjoy and Find Amusing

  • Saleslady that leaves you alone when you shop, even when you are just window-shopping

Saleslady: Can I help you?
Me: No, thank you. I'm just looking around
Saleslady: Sure thing. Let me know if you need my assistance...(then walks away leaving you alone)

Note: Despite this, I'm missing the "check in your grocery/shopping bag thingy before entering a mall" in 'pinas. Walang ginito here.

  • 98 percent of the stores here, including online shops, have an amazing return policy

I mean, you can return merchandise without any questions and accusations being thrown at you, as long as it's within 30-90 days after purchase? Amazing!

  • Toilet  paper in every restroom you go to? Amazing!

  • State-of-the-art library
I know I have been bragging about the library all the time, but it continues to amaze me lang, is all. For someone who is from a country which is kind of digitally backwards, mamamangha ka talaga, swear!

I've seen movies old and new, read books old and new as well, watched countless documentaries, free wi-fi. I can even use the computer there for free! I also can read and borrow e-books: just need to borrow it at my library's website, download and voila, instant reading without having the need to go to the actual library! Plus the e-book just automatically disappear in your e-reader, so you don't have to go to the library to physically return a book. How awesome is that?!

Library is a place which saves me tons on entertainment costs. For a frugal person, that is sweeeet!
Tip to watch NEW movies: when I see a commercials that a certain movie is already being released on DVD, I just go ahead and click "HOLD" on my library's website. Chances are a lot of people are putting it on hold too and before you know it, that new DVD is all ready in your hands! That is how I have been skipping movie theater.
  • Little library along the trail


Not only that I am being spoiled and rotten by the main library, may "little library" pa everywhere!

You can borrow a book, return it if you like. It's not as grand as the main library but hey, somewhere where you can get books for free, it's good, right? (I have been putting books to be donated and diligently returning anything that I borrowed. I don't want to be hoarding books coz I really want to be a full-fledged minimalist.)
  • Trail ( Walking, Running, Biking) and a Bike Friendly Community

Four Mile Run is part of an acres upon acres of park


Bicycle Friendly Community

  • No fear of being robbed/mugged
Isn't it amazing to be able to walk around with an earphone plugged in an iPod and listen to podcasts without having to worry that somebody will come up and take it away from you?
  • Escalator rule: Stand on right, walk on left
I never knew this rule existed until I came here. Walang ganitong "escalator rule" sa pinas, right? But I plan on keeping this rule for life. 
  • Trail rule
Just like the Escalator Rule, you walk/run on the right, pass on the left. If you are biking on the trail and you see a runner,few seconds before you pass him/her,  you alert him/her by uttering "bike on your left" or "passing on your left" or simply saying "on your left" if you don't have bike bell. Be sure that they'll hear you, though. If you are the runner and you hear the 'on your left' signal, you answer by raising your left arm mid-way to signal them forward.
  • Fast food eat-in rule: Clean up after yourself 

In pinas, whenever you eat out, you just leave everything to the cleaner, who goes around regularly, to clean your table .Here, you eat, clean your table and throw the trash yourself. Just like the escalator rule, this amazes me! I plan on keeping this rule for life as well.

  • Water fountain everywhere!
 For a frugal person like me, being able to refill your water bottle anywhere is some serious saving money technique!
  • Water is free, IF you ask for it
Every time I eat in a fast food restaurant, I'd skip  the soda and ask for a cup of water. Save me money and calories,too.
  • Fast internet connectivity plus free wi-fi hotspot almost anywhere, even inside the bus
  • Wearing beanies, sweatshirts and all things for cold weather

For someone who is from a hot and humid country, 'diba those make us excited?! We think we look cool and cute in it. hehe!

I would also miss wearing my North Face fleece and Nort Face down jacket and my Uggs- those 3 were given to me one Christmas at a time from my boss.

  • Seeing squirrels, deer and geese everywhere. Even occasional turtles!
  • Fall (weather)- my favorite weather

  • Goodwill
Where you find branded second-hand and, most of the time, unused-complete-with-tag stuffs. Land of the excess talaga

  • TV shows/Channels I Enjoy: 
- Investigation Discovery Channel
- Link TV
- Gotham on Fox
- Constantine on NBC
- SYFY channel
- Z-Nation
- Mysteries at the Museum 
- Dead files
- Travel Channel
- This is Life with Lisa Ling
- Comedy Channel


This 'other side of the fence' sure looks good and enticing, but this would never be a home to me. I'm just thankful that I know HOW it feels like and WHAT it looks like on the other side of the fence. Few years is more than enough for me. Now, I'm ready to hop back on the other side of the fence where I truly belong.


  1. Hello Miss Maria, Happy holidays. I've read every blog of yours yesterday. And this present post. I am truly inspired. I used to dream of going the other side of the fence and make fortune and then return home for good. But I guess, I don't have the real guts leaving my family behind. Lalo na ngayon that I have a little girl whom I miss a lot kapag kailangan kong umalis for work. And I admire you for that because nakaya mo and now you are going home for good. Buti na lang I stumbled at your blog, and I can use some of your frugal tips and and the determination you showed na kakayanin rin namin. I just started with my journey to financial literacy. Hoping to learn more this coming year. :)

    1. Hey HappyMe,

      I always think that working abroad is a great sacrifice. My sis-in-law wanted to work abroad, but I told her that if she can find a way to bring her daughters with her then she can go but if not, sa pinas nalang. Yes, you can have all the money in the world but if your family is in shambles, it's not worth it. Diba, ang daming mga anak ng mga OFW na nag da-drugs or got pregnant or what have you? We all need the guidance of our parents, I guess. Well, it's not for me to say. I am single with no children I left back home.

      Anyway, thanks for dropping by :)

  2. How's the North Face jacket? Is it warm and not bulky? I bought a TNA coat which is warm but a bit expensive (for me). It's worth every penny since I can turn off the heater in the car when it gets too hot already because of the coat. As soon as fall starts, I wear my winter coat and a light sweater or long sleeves when I'm commuting (lakwatsa/photowalk).


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