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A Day in the Life of an Expat from the Philippines
Never a dull moment
I wake groggy and confused, neck stiff from burning the midnight oil the night before writing essays and editing video. But I can’t afford to enjoy the cool conditioned air lying about in bed.
My son has therapy this morning, and we have to leave the house in less than forty-five minutes. You see, we recently found out he is autistic, and we are doing everything in our power to make sure he has what he needs to be successful in life.
The traffic is terrible all the way there, but I am still able to get my wife and child dropped off in front of the hospital in time to get to his appointment. My daughter and I find a parking lot and wait the hour it takes to finish, then we would pick them up in the same place.
Today, the appointment takes an hour and a half, but he did well and the therapist is delighted with his progress. The traffic is still atrocious, so we decide that a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee will make our day – hot and black for me, iced for my wife.
Across the street is Jollibee, the Filipino McDonald’s, but far superior in every way. Their fried chicken is remarkable, and two pieces later, I fulfilled my cholesterol limit for the day. An icy Coke Zero only made it all the more scrumptious.
I sip my coffee on the way home because it finally cooled enough that my mouth wouldn’t blister on contact. As I slurp the beany broth, a semblance of humanity returns to my life.
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At home, there is still a matter of filming my video for the day and getting it published. I have to hurry because my wife needs to work as well and someone has to supervise the baby. I film a tour of my house, carefully avoiding the unkempt bedroom where the blankets still lay strewn across the bed.
After editing, I upload and publish on YouTube.
I have plenty more to do, but the boy is losing his mind waiting for me, so I go to play with him. We take turns playing games on the phone, watching Peppa Pig, and playing with trucks in the living room. He seems to be in a stage where he never gets tired and his constant eating keeps him fueled to tear around the house for hours on end.
When dinner comes around, I am craving the Adobo chicken feet (yes, feet, don’t knock it till you try it) we had the night before, but all we did eat is rice and the air-fried chicken from breakfast. A little salsa and it is a meal fit for a king.
After dishes, my daughter plays with my son in the bedroom while I sit on the couch and watch YouTube videos about public speaking. I am trying to improve how articulate I am when I film my videos because I feel like my skills as a speaker has degraded from the long years of sitting in a dark room writing and never expressing myself to anyone.
You truly can lose the ability to speak intelligently. It’s like a muscle, if you don’t use it, it gets flabby. I used to be quite a competent speaker, but I’ve lost the chops I once had.
At nine o’clock, the baby finally wears down and falls into dreamland without the usual fuss and crying. He really does not like going to sleep, but once he is there, he is like a rock, unmovable.
At ten, I finally get to settle in and write this story that has been playing out all day.
Today was an average busy day. Most days are worse – never a chance to relax until your head hits the pillow in the wee hours of the morning. Because I do most of my writing at night, sometimes it’s 2 am before I crawl under the blankets to sleep a few hours of fitful sleep.
Tomorrow, I will wake early and start all over. It doesn’t matter that it is Saturday, there is work to be done and children to tend to. There are errands and bills and groceries and deliveries and diapers and dishes in the sink to do.
Tomorrow, maybe I will go for a walk, and try to relax from a day when I don’t have a moment to myself. Maybe I can chill, maybe I will finally sleep.
Just another day in the life of an expat from the Philippines.