Many will call me insane for saying that I’m looking forward to returning to Philippines weather. I am looking forward to it, but I’m also looking forward to returning home. Olongapo is my home now, not some place halfway around the world from it. I may have been born in the United States, but I feel no affinity for any of the places I’ve lived in the United States. I’ve lived in Arizona, California, Hawaii and North Carolina and I’ve spent a short amount of time in other places I don’t care to remember.
I don’t usually feel a longing for anything, unless something sparks something within me. This morning, just before Josie (my wife) went to work, we were subjected to a downpour reminiscent of one of the only two seasons of weather in the Philippines – the rainy season, which usually starts in mid-June and lasts until September or October. Our heavy rain didn’t last long, compared to the all-day rains we’ve come to know and love in the Philippines. Another torrential downpour occurred nearly 12 hours later, again not lasting very long.
The weather is perfect in some places for some people, but it’s never perfect anywhere for everyone. Philippines weather is like that, as is the weather in most of Arizona. There are places where the weather’s nice in both places, but I’ve never lived in the nice places. Phoenix isn’t far from where I spent the first 13 years of my life, which is only about 70 miles away. It’s hot and dry during the summer months and absolutely miserable without air conditioning. Olongapo is the same way during the latter months of the dry season.
The differences are in temperature and humidity. It gets hotter in Arizona, sometimes more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit, but it’s a dry heat – almost no humidity. With Philippines weather, the temperature rarely reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit, but the humidity is really high, which makes it feel hotter than Arizona. Most of the time. Recently, it’s been in the 90s in Phoenix with the humidity higher than normal. The rain we’ve experienced in the last week is obviously a product of all that humidity. Hopefully, the humidity will drop to a normal level when the moisture dries up.
Our Internet connection is furnished by the extended stay apartment complex we’re living in. So is the cable TV, electricity, water and landline phone service. It’s all included in the monthly rent. We’re not allowed to get our own wired connection and any kind of wireless connection locally available costs more than our monthly budget can handle.
When it rains hard, like it did today, our Wi-Fi connection becomes spotty at best. I have no idea how the routers and such are set up here and I don’t really want to know. The one thing I do know is that they aren’t set up to handle this kind of weather.
In the Philippines, I had DSL until the week I left last year and I’d had it for more than six and a half years. It wasn’t fast (I started at 512K and ended with three megs) but it was stable and reliable. I can only remember two days completely without Internet, when I didn’t have it anyway due to a brownout. The Philippines weather never affected my connection (except for the typhoons causing brownouts). I’ll have DSL again when I return in December, with the price being less for an even higher speed. Three megabits is plenty for what I do every day, but I’m going to be sharing it with at least one niece wirelessly. I’ll also be using it wirelessly myself, with a decent wireless router and the powerline extensions to go with it.
I never thought I’d say this, but I miss my nieces and nephews more than the rainy part of the Philippines weather. I don’t really care much about the adults (their parents), but I’ve known most of the children for most of their lives, including the teenagers – there’s a few that don’t live in our compound or nearby. This year and a half away has obviously been harder on me than it has on them.
Josie and I are supposed to be going to England for a few months, sometime after our 30th wedding anniversary. We’ll be flying to and from Manila and London. We won’t return to normalcy until just before the rainy season next year. I’m definitely looking forward to Philippines weather again, even if no one else is looking forward to it.