What's this about?

Ladies and gents our story begins with our author who one day packed up his bags to spend the next 5 years of his life on some tropical island far far away. This land is not like any place he has ever been to before. There is no telling of what he may encounter during his stay there but one thing is sure he is going to be in for one crazy adventure. And this is where you get to read about it.

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Readers beware!

The stories told here maybe appear larger than in real life and at times may even appear outlandish. However, all actual events are in fact real (well, most of them). What may appear as a distortion of reality to some may only be due to the author's perspective of the actual events. Some say he is just not right in the head.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The chain of pain

Despite the fact that I got half my class calling me the golden boy around here things don't really go all that smoothly for me out here. Usually when ever I'm trying to get something I need done it's a long laborious process with a lot of speed bumps. Take for example my little adventure in trying to by a car.

The Prolog
Last year I had the money in my hand to buy me a car. Nothing fancy, just a simple fan that I thought would be cool to have to haul everyone around in.
The speed bump:
My aunt was telling me not to get it because it wouldn't be safe. So I stop to think about and plus also I start to have second thoughts about coming back.

Act 1 – Let's get a loan
Attempt 1:
Around 2 months ago my grandmother and I go to the car dealer to see if we could get me a car.
The speed bump:
Despite the fact that my grandmother can buy a brand new car in the States just like that, in the Philippines she's too old. Where are those anti-age discrimination laws when you need them?

Attempt 2:
So I'm not going to be able to buy a car with my grandmother's name. But maybe we could put it under my name after all my monthly allowance is more than enough to pay for the down payments. So I fill out the form and put her as the co-signer and wait.
The speed bump:
The dealership calls me up later that week saying my loan wasn't approved. Did I mention my grandmother can buy a car just like that in the States and that my monthly allowance is more than enough to pay for the down payments? Anyway the sales lady, Rugi, suggests that I try to get someone else to co-sign for me.

Attempt 3:
After searching everywhere for a relative I am finally able to get my uncle to go back with me to the dealership three weeks later.
The speed bump:
This time when we get there Rugi isn't around and we speak to a different sales lady who gives us a harder time. She tells me that in order to buy a car I'm going to need a power of attorney. Not really sure for what, because I'm not old enough to get one with out the consent of my parents?

Attempt 4:
I filled out the paper work anyway putting my uncle this time as the co-signer and tell her I'm leaving it for Rugi whom I spoke to three weeks ago. I call up Rugi the next day and she tells me that she is going to put it thru and see if it works.
The speed bump:
Besides the fact that my uncle has his own business and his wife is a co-owner of a chain of hospitals and universities here in the Philippines the loan doesn't go thru. Did I mention that my monthly allowance alone is more than enough to pay for the down payments?

Attempt 5:
Rugi calls me up again later that week suggesting I try to get the car by putting it under someone else's name. Maybe the reason it's not getting approved is because I'm a stinking foreigner.
The speed bump:
Who's gonna wanna do that for me?

Attempt 6:
A week later luckily for me my aunt decides she'll be willing to put it under her name while I make the payments. Well, maybe it wasn't exactly a week later when she made a definite decision to do this for me because it took her another two weeks before she went back to the dealership to tell them that she would. Anyway, with in that week she gets approved. Whoohoo!

Act 2 – Let's collect the cash
Attempt 1:
The bank has finally approved a loan for me. Well not exactly for me but either way I'm going to finally be able to get a car. Well maybe.
The speed bump:
When I first went to the dealership with my grandmother I calculated that we were going to have more than enough money to pay for the down payment more than a month ago. However, 100,000 pesos of that money seemed to have magically disappeared. Damn I should have excepted that job as a male gigolo. Where am I going to get that kind of money now?

Attempt 2:
So I can get the car. I just need the money. I call up my mom the next day to see how much she can send me. Luckily for me she says she is going to wire me some.
The speed bump:
Unluckily for me she could only send half of what I need. I guess I shouldn't have turn down that job as a coconut sales man either.

Attempt 3:
So I got half of the 100,000 pesos I needed. I just needed to figure out how would I get that other half of that 100,000 pesos. Then I remembered that I could make a cash advance on my Citibank Mastercard. I call up Citibank just to see exactly how much money I can get on that cash advanced.
The speed bump:
Turns out my mom missed the last payment. $20 is now keeping me from collecting on $500.

Attempt 4:
I call up my mom and tell her about the situation. She tells me that she'll go to Citibank and make a payment tomorrow. When she does they tell her that I could just call them up and I could use the card.
The speed bump:
Now I got all the money, sort of, but my aunt she tells me that I might actually need a little bit more than 100,000 pesos to get that car.

Attempt 5:
I got the 100,000 pesos but it turns out that might not be enough. Now I was thinking I should have agreed to test out doc's experimental med for Enterobius for 10,000 pesos. Then I remembered that two years ago when I first got here I opened a savings account at the university's savings bank and had a little bit in there. Maybe I could use that money.
The speed bump:
Just read the previous post.

Attempt 6:
I call my aunt up and tell her that's all the money I can get. She tells me that's ok and tells me to come on over to Cavite City so we could deposit it to her account.
The speed bump:
I'm staying in Laguna and as a foreigner who can't speak and hardly understands the language commuting 2 hours across the country by public transportations is going to be a bit of a problem.

Attempt 7:
Well, my uncle here told me that he wouldn't be able to take me but after getting some crude directions I decided to set off despite the fact that I could end up being sold to the highest bidder by one of the Filipino mobs out here. But before I left Ray suggests that I should make the payment at one of branches of my aunt's bank around here. I call up my aunt says that I could just do that if I want. Why didn't she just tell me that before?
Side note: My friends seemed to be more concerned about my safety trying to get to Cavite City than any of my relatives did.
The speed bump:
Turns out I just can't make a cash advance with my credit card at any bank. They say it needs to be at a Citibank and there isn't one close by that I can go to. The closest one is about 45 minutes away but since the banks here close at 3 I wouldn't have made it in time. Should have gotten an American Express.

Attempt 8:
Well it looks like I will have to wait until tomorrow. Luckily for me Tom says he'll give me a ride to Alabang the next day as well.
The speed bump:
So today me and Tom went to the Citibank branch in Alabang and the teller tells me that they don't do any over the counter cash advances for foreigners. Damn son of bitch, now that's discrimination. Yup, I really should have gotten an American Express. I went to 5 different banks but none of them were willing to grant me a cash advance on my credit card. Bastards.

Act 3 – Time to give the down payment
Attempt 1:
Well that's all the cash I'm gonna be able to get for now. I call up my aunt ready just to give up but she tells me that maybe if I come to Cavite with my credit card tomorrow maybe the bank there will accept it.
The speed bump:
I'm still not exactly sure of how I'm gonna make it there alive.

Attempt 2:
My aunt suggests that I go to Dasma early in the morning and that they will just pick me up there. I don't really know how to get there either but Kissey tells me that if I meet him at 7:30 in the morning he'll show me where I can catch a passenger van to get where I want to go.
The speed bump:
As I was typing this thing up my aunt texts me saying she has to wait for some papers before I make the payment so she's not exactly sure if I should go out there anymore. They have been texting me the last few days, basically telling me to hurry up and get the money and now they are going to tell me that bank doesn't even have all the papers ready.

Attempt 3:
She asks me if I could come out there on Thursday but I have a test that day so she suggest that I just go ahead and try to come out there in the afternoon.
The speed bump:
Looks like I'll be missing another class to try and get this done. And even if do somehow manage to make it to Cavite City something else is bound to pop up making my attempt just another waste of time. But hey what can I do.

If you have been reading up to this point then I need to get you a cookie.

I'm on the verge of just giving up on this whole damn thing. It just seems like I always have go thru a bunch of $#!& before I can get anything done around here, not just in getting this car. The situations may be different but there always seems to be a chain of events that makes things even more difficult for me. Like how my air conditioner broke down last year just in time for our last shifting exams and comprehensives. And like how I had diarrhea but no running water in my dorm room earlier this year. That was a bitch and because my windows couldn't close all the way rain water was hitting me as I sat there on the can. I'm bound to have another problem with my door knob too. It's getting harder and harder to open it up even though it looks like it is barely hanging on to the door. I'm going to snap one day and just kick it down. Living in this country is going to make me crazy.

Well, I guess one thing that looks to be going my way is that earlier in the year when they assigned every one advisors mine so happened to be a psychiatrist.

4 Comments:

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