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Uninvited Houseguests

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Eugene's picture
Joined: 11-Sep-09
Posts: 11

Over the years of living here in the Philippines I have become use to the Filipino way of doing things including family. Although I see the need for family helping family, I also see too much of the attitude that its expected or a foregone conclusion that help is available from ALL family members regardless of household situation or economic concerns. That I do not agree with. Each family and family situation is different and often fluid. So to instill the guilt trip on a family or family member that is not helping-to me is wrong.
Another thorn under my saddle is uninvited visits by extended family members. The ones that come in route to somewhere else or stop by for an hour or two are no problem usually. But the ones that frost my cake are those that just drop in unannounced and uninvited with bag and baggage all set to stay for a week or so. Love the family but hate the lack of thinking by family members that either don’t realize or maybe just don’t care that NOW just might not be a good time.
Last time that happened here I was about to go atomic. Then had an interesting thought that I shared with my wife. Stop buying and furnishing the meals. When they get hungry and the fridge and shelves are empty—they will go. For once, I was right and it worked without an eviction order or my blood pressure going through the roof.
So from now on when that happens I’m not going to sweat it. Just cut off the food and kick back and wait a few hours to reclaim my abode.

Maybe, just maybe after a few times of no invitation to camp in our “teepee” and food quickly becomes unavailable (or well hidden) they will get the idea. One can only hope.
These behaviors are or seem to be part of the culture here and are practiced by every family we know of. That’s ok too. Everyone can do as they like it their own home and I have no interest in forcing my values and ideas of courtesy on anyone else.
But continually physically bumping into family including noisy, uncontrolled, destructive children is just not acceptable to this American guy.

I’d like to hear from anyone else who is dealing with this issue or has in the past. I’m a pretty tolerant person. But peace and quiet, freedom of movement, and above all else-privacy are things I will not sacrifice even living in a foreign country.


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