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June 2015

Third world country

Spike is living in Manila and all is not well: A Scam A Day Keeps The Philippines A Third World Country.

I’ve been coming here since 1997. On my first trip, I remember seeing people in the street selling single cigarettes and single sticks of gum. I said to myself, “This is a poor country.” 20 years later, I still pass people selling those single cigarettes.

[…] at the core this is still a desperately poor country and the biggest export here still seems to be people.

Almost everywhere you go in the world you will find Filipinos who have left the country to earn a living. Two of the smartest people I have worked with in Hong Kong are Filipinos, but many of their compatriots are way over-qualified for the jobs they are doing, often in the service industries (it is a rule that musicians in hotels throughout Asia have to be Filipinos).

As Spike says, when the brightest and best leave the country, where does that leave the ones who are left behind?


You want English? Learn Chinese!

If you live in Greater China you will know that stuff (phones, tablets, etc.) often comes with Chinese as the default setting.  And the (pitifully) few Chinese characters I might recognize are nowhere near enough to navigate through the menus to find the option to change to English.  

Yes it’s my own fault for buying a tablet with Chinese Windows.  I was in a hurry and I assumed that it would be easy to switch to English.  Indeed (with some help), I changed the primary language to English. 

Then I downloaded Evernote Touch, and it’s all in Chinese.  What?  I couldn’t find the menu in the application, and it turns out you have to do something in Windows and then all is (reasonably) well.  Anyway, waste of time because it’s rubbish.  Back to the normal (desktop version) of the program, which is fine except that there’s no way to do a right-click.  

This is strange because in Google Chrome you can do a right-click (hold your finger and up pops a menu). 

But back to the point - is it too much to ask that there should always be a button or high-level menu in English, Spanish, or French that takes you to language selection?