Thursday, March 31, 2016

Substantialreads: Goth Girls

Three potential terror tales by women, of all creatures! I'm seeing a pattern here. It wasn't intentional, but I can't abandon it now or I'll look pathetic. Hopefully there won't be much in the way of work come December.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Is it worth it?: Rubbish internet in the Philippines

I noticed it's been just over a year since my last comprehensive and reliable analysis of the cost of living in the Philippines that I didn't bother comparing to anywhere else, so here's another aspect of daily life I have almost enough experience with to write about authoritatively: Wi-Fi (or as it's known colloquially around these parts, "f*** off, dino!")

For some background, the Philippines apparently has one of the slowest and most expensive internet offerings in the Asia-Pacific region. That list doesn't include some territories such as Cambodia, Myanmar and East Timor (the other Catholic country in Southeast Asia that the Philippines is always forgetting about), but when you're trying to gain points by scraping those barrels, you know you're in trouble. That's like when they celebrated escaping the bottom 10 list of the most corrupt nations in the whole world. There were probably fiestas.

I make my living online, but that doesn't mean I know much about how it works. Still, travelling all over Asia (the cheap bit anyway) and connecting to Wi-Fi in my hotel rooms or stealthily checking emails several times a day around the corner from various cafes I strategically ate at on consecutive days to accumulate passwords, I am in a position to compare. Philippines internet is rubbish even if you're staying at a tourist-friendly hotel or condominium. When you're actually living among the people, it's a nightmare.

I live a few minutes from the highway in the fourth most populous city in this country. In terms of internet coverage it's the next thing to being in the jungle. I've had more reliable connections on remote islands. Here is my harrowing story of survival.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Dream journal: Evil edition

For once, there actually are recurring themes threading through some of these dreams: construction and financial anxiety, since we've been building our house during this period. I'm also borderline evil in a few of them, and the customary lack of entertainment is alive and well.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Best of 2015, in March 2016

I'm not overly concerned with keeping up-to-date with the zeitgeist, which includes writing end-of-year lists around the end of the year in question.

At the end of 2014 I did a round-up of things I'd enjoyed that year that were unfailingly made in other decades, but this time around I've endeavoured to be more current. Apart from writing this in March, obviously. And a couple of entries from the last century. I'm getting better.