25th of April, 2008

Well here is an unannounced surprise for my customers when not only did I return from the Philippines less than three weeks ago, after spending three weeks with my fiancee within this country, but on Monday the 28th I once again depart for New Jersey USA to spend 8 long weeks with my brother and his family.

Since this happens to be my third holiday within the past 6 months then I am starting to think that jumping from zero holidays during past years to this is getting a bit extreme. And sure enough it is back to my loved one and the Philippines once again later this year.

I should add that this USA break is longer than I had wanted when I had stated to other family also taking this trip that I did not want to go longer than 6 weeks. In this case though I was out voted when my family want to spend a long time with my latest neice due to be born near the end of next month.

Not helpful to make money working in other words.

This extra long holiday within the evil looking extremely vast forest of New Jersey creates a never before seen event for my company. This is that it is my company policy to not keep customers waiting for their order dispatch longer than 4 weeks due to a holiday. So for the first time since my new web site opened in September 2000 then all ordering through my company is currently DENIED.

This ordering system will however be restored on Sunday the 25th of May for those customers desiring an order dispatch four weeks later on the 24th or 25th of June.

Well as you should be aware this company is now CLOSED until my company reopens on the 24th of June. My family and workers who remain behind will now have to live on without me. Last of all the e-mail contact system will still be operational during this holiday should you need to ask or say anything.

9th of April, 2008

I can confirm that I returned from the Philippines early yesterday morning where I was correct that I would go through the new Heathrow Termimal 5. Fortunately while my luggage took longer than expected to appear it did turn up unlike for passangers from the previous week.

I would have liked to have done a news update yesterday but since my flight out of the Philippines departed at about 6pm local time to arrive in Hong Kong at about 8pm and my flight from Hong Kong to the UK departed at around Midnight then sleep was obviously due. Following the inflight meal at around 2am sleep is what I tried but that is very hard when seated behind the jet engines in seats that do not recline as far as other people's seats did. So in all of this 13 hour flight between Hong Kong and London I only managed to sleep for about 30 minutes before being woken by one of the air stewards to find out if my seatbelt was fastened. Sadist.

So following my arrival in London at 5:35am and returning to Maidstone I could only manage powering on my computer systems, talking to my loved one who has been upset and missing me since my departure, and printing out some photos of us together that I so had to stick on my wall before I slept.

As to how my three weeks went then cultural conflict comes to mind. The problem being the other two family members who went with me to see the woman I want to marry. I had done lots of research into the local culture myself and even provided them with a book to read but to follow the local culture they did not. So I had to stop both sides doing things that were unhelpful and to explain why people did what they did due to their local culture.

So unfortunately while I myself got along great with both sides I can only conclude that the other four people there should really not be living in the one house. At least I got along well with all of her very large family.

March 22nd I had a good talk to her mother about my love for her daughter. Not only did I bring a few tears to her mother's eyes but approval of our pending marriage she gave. It is part of Pinoy culture to ask the parents approval before marriage plans go ahead. So this was an important step to pass.

It is also part of Pinoy culture that the older you are the more respect you have. So obtaining her two grandmothers approval for our union was also important. One grandmother I did not meet but had to live with her requirement that another family member, my fiancée's oldest sister, stay with us. This grandmother also heard all about me from my fiancée's mother. Her second grandmother I met directly following a long 15 person trip to go and see her and other family. Things went well there where even I, a white western guy, had to show elder respect by touching her right hand to my forehead. Do anything I had expected before I went where that one was not too hard.

A harder aspect was food where her families approval is in part tied into I eating the strange food that they eat. Sun died skinny fish that tasted like my aquarium smelt is one example but a local cat had the tail on that one. More demanding was when her visiting friends brought along a tub of chicken claws which seem to have been boiled. Deciding what to eat first I picked the leg and felt the tendon snap on that one. Next I tried the pad of the foot where the texture was not unlike the paw on a cat in other words a bit wrinkled. Best I could do where only later on I discovered from my fiancée's middle sister, who likes her chicken claws, that the correct way to eat one is to put the claw in your mouth while holding the leg and chewing it up before spitting out the bones.

Fortunately there were no balut eggs this time which are eggs with unhatched ducks inside. Still I also discovered this trip that she did not desire to eat what we normally ate either. So eating the same food was mostly down to me trying their stuff.

As to my relationship with my fiancée then that went well enough considering this being our first direct meeting and cultural problems. The best days were the last few where we shared our love and affection. A fourth week would have been ideal but at least the night before I flew out during a family video version of karaoke I did well singing the song Leaving on a Jet Plane. Her and her family were so impressed it was then sung four times by three people in all.

Well with only further work on our relationship between now and then our marriage is now go. So I am certainly happy that all turned out well.

Since I am now back in action then you are welcome to place an order. At the current time though it may take today, tomorrow and Friday before all delayed work and dispatches are cleared. Yesterday was not as productive as I had hoped.

More news and maybe a photo of us to follow within days.