As i scroll through the internet looking at various news articles and spent some time watching about British tourists in Thailand it makes it pretty obvious why things go so bad for so many. There is an arrogance that a lot of people have when entering a country that does give foreigners respect. But also the same issue leaves many people off guard when they get caught out by some local criminals. A lot of countries orientated around tourism will cut foreigners a lot of slack but some people just don’t know where the limits are and push the boundaries. Drugs are a major problem in Asia and something to avoid as much as possible. You may find some locals smoking some weed but you can guess who will be in the cells quicker than you can say it wasn’t me. Foreigners make good news headlines as we are supposed to be setting an example and if caught doing something we shouldn’t then it sells newspapers. It doesn’t mean you cant have fun while abroad but just be aware that eyes are on you more than you realise. If your going to get caught doing something make sure its something in a good light. I remember the one day we were sat in McDonalds when this young girl had been begging as we entered the store. Then was stood at the window while we ate. I went and got her burger,fries and an ice-cream. She wouldn’t come to the door as she was scared of the guard so I had to take them outside. After I gave it to her she ran over to what must have been her brothers and they divided the food between the 3 of them. When I went back to my table April said to me that people were saying how nice it was of me to give the food away. But to me it wasn’t important what was the kids smiles. But it also shows a few people seen me in a positive light but if I had done something stupid and in the newspapers I would have been seen by literally thousands of people in a negative way. The Philippines is our home and should be treated that way.
It doesn’t mean I’m Perfect as I know I’m far from it. The problem I think a lot of people experience is cheap alcohol and hot weather mixed with boredom. The same reason I have pretty much stopped drinking alcohol except at social gatherings. The other reason it goes straight to the hips.. A lot of people expect foreigners to be foul mouth loud drunkards something I want to steer clear of. Do I expect to be accepted in the Philippines as more than a foreigner? Simply I don’t expect anything.. some days you feel you fit in and then something will happen that shows your still an outsider. If I’m an outsider so be it. It reminds me of the song common people by Pulp with the lyrics
“But still you’ll never get it right
’cause when you’re laid in bed at night
watching roaches climb the wall
if you called your dad he could stop it all”
because no matter what you do people will always see you as a rich foreigner and the fact that you could just up and leave. Because culturally most peoples perception of the world outside of the Philippines comes from Movies and TV. Problem with that is its about as far from the truth as life could be.