about the talking fish

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Writer. Wheelman. Occasional DIY mechanic. Walking collection of hang-ups. Hopeless romantic. Old-school. Analog soul in a digital world. I am all of these things and more.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Haven't been able to post much, but the past 5 days I've been staying with Uncle Bobby, Tita Susan (Uncle Butch's sister), their daughter Belle and their dog Teddy in Maple Valley, Washington State---a few miles from Seattle.

Washington is very different from California. It's consistently a lot colder but ironically I find it more comfortable here than in South Pasadena. This is coming from someone who usually gets chilled very quickly. It's akin to going to the province in the Philippines, going to Baliwag in Bulacan, although the urban sprawl of Seattle and Everett isn't so far away and discipline is even better instilled in the citizenry. Crossing the US-Canada border and making it to Victoria or Vancouver in British Columbia isn't too hard either---just leave or eat whatever Canadian meat before going back across the border.

If I were to live in America, Seattle would be a pretty nice place to stay. That much I'd say.

With respect to that last sentence, I meant it. I had doubts before coming over to the US about my ability to survive here. But having spent the past month, I find it's probably an adventure and a change of pace worth trying out. It's only been a month, I know, but I find it very difficult to say goodbye to the nice sights, to the very wonderful Filipinos residing here (whether in San Francisco, South Pasadena or Maple Valley), the higher wage rates and the prospect of a better life here without the abject hopelessness I feel back home.

I told Tita Susan that I'd probably go back to live in the US. I'd like to finish what little is left of my college degree, attain good financial standing and make arrangements for the permanent big leap across the Pacific pond---ideally before I turn thirty. It might be hard, but I'm quite convinced it'd be worth it.

My dad had told us to weigh ourselves before flying Stateside, and compare such weights with what figures the scale would yield by the time we went back on the 20th. Right now I don't think I need to do that.

Eating out all the time has taken a toll on my weight. I had gained some weight in the Philippine summer already, leaving at 170 lb., but I gained a further 4 pounds here, mostly from misjudging how big the American servings are and eating in restaurants all the time. I had fears and frustrations of uncontrollably gaining weight during my stay, but I realized that it's not as hopeless as I thought it would be.

Having exercised what little degree of control I could have on my diet (our hosts are taking us out to restaurants 80% of the time), and with a meager amount of physical activity a day, I managed to lose 2 lb. without much fuss. Of course it'd take me a lot more effort, discipline and reinforcement to bring myself back to my ideal weight vis-a-vis my height (150 lb. to my best knowledge), but having physical fitness isn't too bad a goal either.

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