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Making Corrections

Photo of the top of a double A battery

Before we become expats, we brave souls who leave home for the wilds of the parts barely known make plans and promises.

We think we know what it will be like to live in our place of choice only to find out months or years later that we were very wrong.

One of the things we all do before we make the move to the Philippines is promise ourselves that we won’t miss certain things. If you move to the Manila area, your promises are usually fewer in number and easier to keep.

If you settle farther outside of the National Capital Region, you may feel like a liar fairly soon after you make the jump. What’s available in Manila is often much harder to find on Mindoro.

Promises and plans take all sorts of shapes. Maybe you promised that you wouldn’t miss thick, juicy rib-eye steaks. Maybe you planned to learn to like ampalaya.

Before we left Seattle, I was a building engineer. I always carried two things with me: a flashlight and a pocket knife. I used both of them almost daily while I maintained my assigned properties. I had settled on the type of flashlight I liked and, more importantly, the type of batteries those flashlights used.

We sent 24 balikbayan boxes ahead of us to a friend here in Davao who stored them for us before we moved. In one of those boxes I had shipped a case of 50 123A type lithium batteries.

I had decided that I liked flashlights that used those batteries. I had five modern LED flashlights that required those batteries. I figured that 50 batteries would last a long time and that if I needed more, I could ship them to our friends who would make up BB boxes for us.

Well, I was dumb.

Five years later, I’m out of batteries. My plan fell apart!

The 123A type lithium batteries that I like are EXPEN$IVE here. We felt bad bothering our friends back home with our packages showing up at their homes and then making them pack and ship for us, so we stopped it years ago. We have a mailbox/shipper who will do the same thing for us now but they won’t ship lithium batteries because of the rare explosion danger.

I bought two new flashlights that take the readily available AA batteries and I feel like a dummy.

What’s the saying? “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”

Well, at least I can use my new flashlights to look at my old flashlights – in the dark!

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