Message from Above

I was in Church the other weekend attending a mass. As I’m not a religious person, my attention was beginning to wander. Some birds had taken up residence in the roof, so I was watching them for a while, which struck me as mildly odd. Then the choir started up to lead the congregation in … Read more

Twisted Logic

I was walking back from the supermarket yesterday and saw a guy relieving himself against a fence. OK, so it was broad daylight, and its not an altogether uncommon phenomenon here. However … the fence was a chicken wire fence, and it separated him from a busy road – the one I was walking along. … Read more

Sorry Sir, your phone is broken

jeepney-icon.jpgSo, if you’ve been following along, you’ll remember that the villain of the last piece, Smart Telecommunications — wait, let me try that again — “Smart” Telecommunications, have a sub-standard internet service. I also have my mobile phone account with them, which could come under the category of having all your eggs in one basket.

3G, doesn’t work. That’s pretty much it. For the first three months I was here, whenever I was at home, I couldn’t make or receive calls, or send or receive SMS. If I stepped out of the building and into a different cell zone, everything was usually dandy, but at home, where I spend most of my time, nothing. I spent two months complaining several times a week at their office and over the phone. However both these approaches were fraught with difficulty – in their offices the 3G signal was perfect, of course, and to complain from home … well its pretty hard if your phone doesn’t work. My girlfriend’s phone (also a Smart subscription) also didn’t work in my apartment despite both phones having a 5-bar signal.

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Sorry Sir, the Internet is Broken.

I hear the phrase above so often in the Philippines I can barely believe it. Replace the word ‘Internet’ with almost anything you use in daily life, and there, in a nutshell, is life in Manila.

I should have started this blog a long time ago when I first moved here. At that point I was still incredulous and I would doubtlessly have filled many pages with examples of inefficiency and brokenness in this country. I may still fill in some of the more memorable examples at a later stage, but to kick this blog off, my main beef at the moment is the Internet.

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