Friday, December 19, 2008

Blatent Consumerism

I think I commented before on the simple beauty of Filipino life. I probably made this comment back when I was living in Granada though. The Filipino are very adept at using every part of everything to its ultimate end. If you look at their cooking, dishes like dinuguan (pig intestines with a blood gravy—which is actually pretty yummy if you don’t think about it) show their utilization of things that we consider garbage. Whether out of love of the environment or just a penchant for penny-pinching, lights are always turned off when not in use, and only utilized when the sun is not bright enough. In America I was taking 10 minute showers of constant running water. Here I take a bucket shower that maybe uses a gallon of water (I don’t feel as clean afterwards, but then again I never really feel clean here).

Taking into account this new lifestyle, the blatant consumption that is Christmas is a little depressing. The same Filipinos who were only using what they need have gone crazy buying crap they don’t really need. The usage of crap cannot be emphasized enough in this case either. On a Christmas shopping trip that I recently made with my counterpart teacher to buy gift exchange gifts I asked her to show me what would be some typical gifts. Her first choice was some flowery cups. Choice number two was a flashlight; finally, Looney Tunes towels. I kept saying, “If I got this gift I would not be happy…Would you?” She agreed, but only after some pushing. I ended up buying a wall clock and a watch as my two gifts. If nothing else those two people will be on time to things.

As much as I complain about all these things, I can’t say I’m doing much better. Last weekend I went out with Marlo and Rachael to his office Christmas party then out until 4am. I basked in the luxury of sleeping in until 11, got up and went to the new Starbucks. That’s right; my city just got its first Starbucks. This is a pretty big deal in that only two or three cities in Philippines have a store. I’ve already been trying to justify indulging in weekly high priced cups of coffee at other establishments, but the prices at our new Starbucks push the limit of my delusion. This week I also dropped some big PHP on a bike. This bike is great because I can get where i need to for free. But with that and the coffee and christmas presents the cash has been flowing.

Not sure of a way to end this post except to say that this Christmas I received a flashlight and a porcelain puppy statue thing. The puppy is also holding what I think is supposed to be a green key, but looks like a green penis... MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!


Loren said...

We have 2 Starbucks in just one of my malls. And we have at least 5 malls. I'm living such a different PC life than you.

Shauna said...

Um... check out my Starbucks photo. I took a picture of a Filipino so it looks more authentic.
Also you are incorrect. It is not a key. It is actually supposed to be bitch holding a green penis.
Happy Hanukkah to you:)