S2E13: Immigrating from the Philippines To... Ft. Marian Ereno of Tita Talks


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There are two things we have in common with Marian - being an immigrant and a K-drama fan.

This session is divided into Part 1 and 2.

In Part 1, we get into the general stuffs - the reason why Filipinos migrate, what we missed about the Philippines, how is it living abroad, and a side story of Glee talking about her love life! LOL.

Part 2 will be released next week. Which will showcase more anecdotes of Marian on her life in Canada.

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And when I went back to the Philippines for vacation, I really wanted to check out the malls. I want to experience the life before, because this is really province. It's a province life it's way province, sir. He was in a word it's way more provincial

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in this episode, we are going to talk about personal immigration stories. I am joined by a fellow podcaster and immigrants currently based in Canada. She is the creator of Tita talks, a podcast, deep diving into Korean dramas and Filipino teleseries for both beginners and hardcore fans.

So far our non Filipino listeners, the word Tita Tita translates to aunt, which is not necessarily your relative by blood, but a term that connotes a lady in her mature years. I'm not quite sure if I have explained that, right, but they'll ask our guests later. So please welcome Marianne Aaron off Peter talks.

Hi . Hi, thank you for having me. Thank you for being here. So did I explain the word Tita, right. I think so. I think it is, it is more of the, a matured person. Some of the things like, yeah, it's like, it's kind of like sometimes like a joke, right. In the Philippines, like you have like Tita Tita moments or, , just sipping wine or, , it's quite older.

Yeah. It definitely relates to you being mature. Yeah. But it's definitely something that it's not really exclusive to being a blood related. Yes.

you run Tita talks, but I think in, in your podcasts, you haven't really talked much about yourself only oppas.


I was just going to ask you a bit of background on yourself Well what do I say? I don't know. I don't really talk too much about myself, as you have mentioned.

my podcast is called Tita Talks, but I don't really talk about myself. Well, not anymore. Before that was the format of the podcast. I used to talk about a lot of things, different things, sometimes the most, trending topics and all that, but I'm shifted or moved or transitioned to more specific topic, which is the K drama. So I don't really know what to say about myself, but I currently am in Canada. I have been here for six years now. I would say September, this September six years. So yeah, you're from Bicol and then immigrated to Canada.

So why, did you immigrate if I may ask. Well, actually it's the same as any one who migrated to a different country. It's usually because of it's, money, better job opportunities. And for me, I guess the additional thing about migrating is that I am here with my brothers because before I was living alone in Manila, so my family are in Bicol and in Canada.

So I'm the only one living in Manila. So for five years I was all alone in Manila. So that's when also, I finally decided to move with the other side of my family, which is here in Canada. that's additional to the usual things, which is of course money, greater opportunities. So, but let's say if your family weren't in Canada right now, would you have preferred staying back in the Philippines or you would still prefer going abroad? Well, that's a good question. I would say that I would probably have stayed in the Philippines if I had no one here in Canada, I would have stayed in the Philippines because that's where my family is right now.

So I actually never had on my own decision to move to a different country traveling, I would say, but living in a different country other than, for money or for career's sake, I never actually thought about it. So I would say, yeah, I would say that I would have stayed in the Philippines, opportunities were there, right?

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I actually had a stable job. It's just that the expenses were higher than whatever I am earning.

we have all been through this. We had stable jobs, but the expenses were like, it's, it's definitely twice as much as we can earn.

And it's even now, like coming back or like going to vacation in the Philippines from an immigrant point of view or someone who is earning, , abroad when you.

Why is this so expensive? Like I know for this, even with my salary now, that's true.

When I went home last 2019, I didn't bring much clothes cause I was saving for the, expenses for the additional travel check in luggages. So I did not bring enough clothes. And I thought that I could just buy from the Philippines, , thinking that it could be cheaper.

Yeah. I ended up wearing my sister's clothes.

Yeah. It's quite expensive. They're like even the local brands, right? Like our local brands, like Penn shop bench, they areexpensive, because they have I think the artists as well are now international. Yes, the endorsers are mostly Koreans actually. Do the latest one right now?

Right? For which brand? Bench? I don't know. Who's the latest one for twice? No, no. The latest one. I just saw it on Instagram, so I don't know if, if the latest one, but that was the latest on my feed. It's okay. Not to be okay. The guy who.. Kim Soo Hyun?

I didn't know that!

That on Instagram. I didn't see that. Okay. Oh my gosh. Yeah, definitely. It's a local brand, but the endorsers are not local, which is ironic. If you think about it.

Exactly. Yes. For some reason, but because the people will like to buy because of,

Yeah. Yeah.

What they think are the top three reasons why Filipinos migrate? Well, definitely for, for those with families, they definitely, most of my brothers actually migrated for the sake of their kids so that they can get a better, , degree and better, life education.

And then for other reasons of course, career for those that are aspiring, but. Mostly it's because of money. And let's be honest. That's the main reason for most of us. would you agree with that or do you have a different reason? Yeah. before I met my husband, so I wanted to really go abroad because at that time the money was not at the bottom of the list, , when you're quite young, like 20 something, it's not really at the top of your list for me at that time.

So I wanted to go out because I wanted to explore the world char. Oh, okay. Yeah, Char. So it's not so it's that kind of ideal mentality, cause before I was just living in Cebu, so, I've gone to Manila and other parts of the Philippines for vacation, but not really like living there.

And it was just working in Cebu my entire life. And then I got the chance to, , like do a business trip, like outside the Philippines because of work. And I realized what the world can offer. So that was really my turning point. So all I want to go out, but yeah, so there were a lot of things that happened along the way, but I think aside from money and opportunity, I think exploration.

Oh, it's a, it's a different kind of world. It's something. Yeah.

Videoke. Yes. Yeah, it is. It is actually for young ones. That definitely would be one of the reasons why you migrate to different country. And for my, well, I wasn't really that old at that time, I was in my late twenties when I moved here. So I would say part of it was, it was the fact that it's a different kind of world and you're very hopeful when you migrate.

Actually, that's one thing that you have, it's the hope that Life would be better once you moved here. And we all had that experience. And then when you moved, after a while you suddenly realize, did I make the right decision? were there's some stages in your life that you had that question?

I would say yes. I wasn't really that hopeful. I mean, it wasn't all happy moments. Like when I experienced my first winter, because the winter here in where I am right now in Winnipeg, Canada, the winter here. Oh my God. We go from minus 30 to minus 40. Oh my God. My every year. So when am I coming next?

Yeah, we're on it. We have minus degrees weather for, I would say a good nine months, eight to nine months were covered in, well, not really covered in snow, but we have like a really cold weather, so yeah. And then for half a year, we're covered in snow.

So it's actually not really something that you imagined when you watch movies. Right. You, when you watch movies and they experienced, , winter, snowy, Christmas, they, yes. Right. So you think that it's going to be something so magical when I first experienced? No, I was also one of those. It felt so magical, but then if you experienced it for six months, for every, it's not magical.

So I guess in the first two years of my stay here, I definitely had those, that question in my mind did I make the right decision? Did you also have that? Because in Australia you don't have snow. Am I right? You don't have thankfully, but you do have like cold weather, right? Yeah. Yeah. We are currently like winter quote unquote here in Brisbane, but winter in now.

Yeah. But see, I'm in my t-shirt winter in Brisbane because we are opposite. We're in the Southern hemisphere. So if you're a summer, I'm winter. Oh, really? Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's the north pole and the south pole. So yes, we are winter here. Winter in Brisbane. It's quite north of Sydney in a different state that Sydney and Melbourne we are actually like subtropical city, subtropical state.

So in Queensland. So the winter is, I think the, lowest it can get here at nighttime. It's just maybe like 9 degrees

and lunch time. It will be like 20. I see. 2 23 0 5 the degree. Oh my God. It's so cold. Oh, my God, 9 degrees. The people here at 9 degrees are still wearing like short shorts and, , summer clothes. Cause that's actually our typical summer. Oh my God. Typical summer. But that's like the start of our summer when we get in the one digit, something like that, but then summer, Like right now it's plus 30, 30 something. like very big. disparity between the temperatures is very opposite. It's too high, too cold here in Brisbane. This is the only city that I noticed that on winter, there are two types of people. People who wear coats.

Or people who are on crop tops on winter that's Brisbane. So like, that's how it is. There are people who are able to withstand that, like the whole 10 degrees, , with cropped tops on, and then people like me who are like already too cold for it. definitely, if the people from my, from my place right now would move there, they would probably be the ones that are wearing crop tops. Yes. At first. Yeah. Yeah. 10 degrees. That's a blessing to us. That's definitely a perfect weather. Yeah. how was the transition? So I think I heard some stories from other friends who migrated about the winter as well.

they were depressed or something for a couple of years. How was it for you? I also went through that. The first couple of years was actually, I would say we all went through that. Cause I, remember when I moved here, there was actually a sort of like sponsored orientation for new immigrants provided by the government.

So it's not something that you have to go through. It's optional. But I went through that. Because I had nothing to do. I had no work yet at that time. So when we were discussing about the first few years, it was actually told that it would be it's not normal, but it's kind of expected for you to go from really hopeful and then to happy and then go to depression.

So that would be the curve. And then once you go after depression, of course, that's when you fully accepted your life here. So I did went through a couple of years that I was questioning things. I was lonely because all of my friends were actually in Manila. because my younger years were spent there.

So my friends were all there. So when I moved here and everyone that moved here are usually with their families, right? So no one comes to Canada. Well, at least in my area. , career wise, mostly because of their family for the kids' sake. So most of my friends were moms, so I had trouble with that because I had no one to go out with because they're moms.

Right. So I kind of struggled with that and I, I actually do still struggle with that for sometimes when I miss going out with them, , just, . But I would say after being here for six years, I would say that I kind of already got used to the life, I would say. And you kind of had a workaround and, , K drama saved me.

So it literally saves me. Yep. Yeah. So if I wanted to go out and there's no one to go out with, I would usually just go and watch K-dramas. So that's, that's my thing, here in Canada But would that be the same with you? Who I'm in Australia? Because I know that there's also a large community in Australia, but I don't know if it's also that large in Brisbane.

In Brisbane, actually, there are very few Filipinos. I don't know if there is a Filipino community per se, cause I really don't go out much anyway, but I had like two stages of not really immigration, but two stages or two countries. Well, when I went out of the Philippines, so I went first to Dubai.

I lived there for three years, and then immigrated to Australia. So that was like, I had like a detour in Dubai. So sort of like a training ground we're training. And then now you are in this way, it's the harshest training ever. Life in Dubai was really hard for me because I think that was cause that was my first going out of the Philippines and, and the story.

And this is where the story will start. So do you have time, like this is quite long. Sure, sure. We have all the time. So I went to Dubai, not because of money or anything or any or career. So I, I met my. Ex boyfriend now, husband in the Philippines, but he's not Filipino. But we kind of like worked together before, but we're in the same company, but so, , in the Philippines there are a lot of offshore companies, right?

Oh yes. so I worked in that company for five years and I've worked with him before. I didn't know him. It's just like emails, , company emails. I know him by a company emails because he's my counterpart outside of the Philippines. And then after five years , I resigned from that company.

I didn't meet him at that time. And then I moved to a different company, which is just beside the building of that company of my old company. And then, so what happened was that because we worked together before, I didn't know how old he is. I actually thought he was like 50 years old or something because of that email, like who mature email, very formal, very formal, very formal, very formal emails.

but we were friends in Facebook and his Facebook doesn't have picture at all. So we are friends with our counterparts. I'm not sure if you have tried before. Like if you worked before on offshore companies that you'd be friend your counterparts , outside Philippines as well. So, so, , we add each other and some of my, some of my counterparts as well, he added me before, like we were friends for five years in Facebook without any interaction.

And then one time I was already in the different company back from that business trip that I mentioned earlier. So. one time he messaged me on Facebook that, Hey, Glee, I'm going to the Philippines. They want to meet up just like, it was just like a colleague type of meet up because We kind of worked together before, so we, met and then oh my God is so good looking love at first sight, it wasn't really, , yeah. I didn't really thought about anything, but I was so surprised that he was like, he wasn't 50 years old or, , I thought he was just like a, , like a very mature person, but he's like, not really the same age as me, but quite a bit older than me, but not what I've expected.

So like, oh, this was my counterpart before. I didn't know. So we talked, blah, blah, blah. We had lunch and nothing was, there was no romantic kind of thing at that time. Quick question. Was it just the two of you or, yeah, because so he met with me because I was already in the different company, but he also met, , the, the people in that company.

So, cause he was there for a business trip, like a company trip. Oh I can. Yeah. So, and then we met that then I was already in a different company, so, oh talk about plans that even talk about I want to go to Australia, blah, blah, blah. And then after that, there wasn't any, because I know I'm not gonna meet him.

after this. then I mentioned about like, I want to try Dubai as well, blah, blah, blah. And after that we met on another day to give him a tour of Cebu because he worked in finance before we approached in the finance department, but now he kind of like moved in a different department and some of the people he worked with before are not there anymore.

So in the end, like I had the duty to, , like show Cebu, the official tour guide. Yeah. The official tour guide at that time, which was funny because. in the Philippines, when you are with a foreigner, people assume that the foreigner is your boyfriend or the foreigner pays for the taxi.

, I don't know if that's also in Manila. Yeah. Oh definitely in Manila as well. And of course be, I think it's, it's very Filipino. It's very Filipino anywhere we go, well, you are with someone with a foreigner and then it's a guy or the opposite sex. We will always assume that it's there together and the person or the foreigner is the one with the money and paying for it.

Yeah, exactly.. And for that time, because I'm the tour guide. And I'm sure it's not their custom, , like paying for everything. So I paid for everything. Like I paid for the taxi and the taxi is not a metered taxi. It's like, if you're with a foreigner, like, oh, it's "pakyaw". I don't know how to it's not a metered one, but like you pay for the package. It's like per day?.

Yeah. Like for that, for that hour or B it's not the tour, like you just hire a taxi and then instead of putting it on meter, I have to haggle with the taxi driver because Kuya, he's not, he's not my partner, anything I have to pay for this. So don't give me a, high rate they do that for foreginers

They do that. Yeah. that was really a stressful tour in of haggling with the taxi drivers. so we just met at that time and nothing romantic, but then that was our second day of meeting, I guess. He said that like if we will be living in the same city in the future, would you want to go out with me?

So it's like, Ooh,

that's just the second day that you've met him. Yeah. Like the personnel meeting. Yeah. But we were like work emails before, so yeah. Yeah. So that, but that was the second time he saw, he saw me. So, but like , like your reaction is like, I don't think we're gonna meet anyways. Ah, like, , you're just smiling and stuff.

So I didn't really expect that after a few months, then he got a job offer in the same company, but in Dubai then he. Do you, do you like to move to Dubai? There are a lot of Filipinos. He noticed that there are a lot of Filipinos. Yeah. Community in Dubai is really big. I would say it's becoming the second or actually third.

Cause of course America and then Canada and then Dubai. There's so many Filipinos in Dubai. Yeah. So he said like, you wouldn't be homesick here. And that was also the time. as I mentioned earlier, that that was after coming home from a business trip in the UK I realized that there, , I want to explore the world, blah, blah, blah.

So that was really the time. And I also told him about when we had lunch that, oh, I want to go to Australia. I want to go to Dubai, try it out. So it was really like like falling into place at that time. So I said, oh, okay. Maybe this is an opportunity for me to go to Dubai. And, my job also was also quite good at that time.

, I had some trip in the UK. I have to, , do the training to my colleagues and stuff. But after a few, I think after few months I have to resign because love,

but that time, , like it's like, okay, I'll try it out. There's also like a potential. Love life, but when I went bonus bonus thing, yeah. It's more of career and then a start of a new beginning and then the love. Yeah, exactly. And I didn't tell my parents the reason why I went to Dubai, so I just thought I just wanted to, I just, I told them that I want to go abroad and there was like, there was kind of a not good relationship at that time with my parents, because prior to meeting my husband, I had a boyfriend who.

It was really good relationships with my parents. but he cheated on me. So even though he cheated on me, the parents still like him. I don't no, for some reason. Oh, I see. I don't know if you had heard stories about that, but that was really awful. So I kind of felt bad, I guess, towards my parents, because they still favored that guy.

So it's like, okay, I want to go out to go out of this house go abroad. So that was really like the pivotal moment. So then I went out of the Philippines. So that was when, when I arrived in Dubai and stuff like, you will be happy. Same with what you said. Like I was happy and then excited and then, , going down to depression.

So I was really like depressed, like most of my time there. Yeah. even though there was Filipino community in Dubai, it's not really the same. I it's not, it's not. Yeah. It's and it's quite not the same kind of people that I hang out with as well. I feel there are a lot of people, it's a mix of people, people who, I don't know if you have heard about some stories about this, but there are people who are quite nosy as well.

Right. So they always say, oh, who is your boyfriend? And I didn't want that kind of talk I couldn't really, so that was like very, very depressed for the two years. Stayed there and then that's why we hastened the process of immigrating to Australia.

No, but here I wasn't really depressed but I can also relate, like, I don't have people to go out with especially because we immigrated when we are older, we don't have friends here. That's true. I guess that's, that's something that's very common as well for us, for, well, at least for those without, family established family with kids and all that, you kind of look for your own crowd, exactly.

How about your careers? Like you moved to Dubai for both of your careers, cause he had a job opportunity. Did you also move to Australia with already a career opportunity or did you start from scratch? Start from scratch for both of you?, yeah. For both of us. I don't know they're in Canada, but here in Australia, although they are very diverse as well.

The, they still prefer Australian experience, even though you have of experience abroad. I don't know for in Canada, what's your experience. I guess there are jobs that require you to have experience here first, I think that's one thing that has already been. Raised for so many years now, because one of the qualifications for you to be approved for immigration here in Canada is that you have this certain experience or job, like for nurses, you have this nursing experience.

I'm not a nurse, sorry, I don't, I don't know the exact terms, but you have to be of this level of experience. But when you come here, they don't see that they don't accept you immediately. So you have to study again, work again, to have experience, to be able to actually get the job that you wanted. So that's one thing that we have always been asking the government.

Well, not me particularly, but the, , the nursing association the, it was in the news. They were asking why they had to go through the process of. Learning again is studying again. And, , starting from scratch when that was one of their qualifications, that's why they were approved here. it is also a diverse country.

I mean, I definitely would say that Canada is really, one of those countries that would be good for immigrants. Cause we have like a diverse community in my job alone. We have so many nationalities, different ethnicities. So but for big jobs, like those with professional jobs, you really have to go through the process again of studying and studying.

Doesn't really cost for free. You have to expensive student loans and. Number of years. I don't really know how many years for nurses, but I, I do know for teachers they're like two years, at least two years for this particular subject. So they migrated there. They have Oh, yes, you have to have a certified I education something here because my cousin was actually a teacher in secondary, in the Philippines and that was one of her qualifications for immigrations here.

So when she moved, she wasn't able to get any position, even a temporary position as a teacher, as her previous job, she had to study again and had to go through being a temporary or substitute teacher until she gets approved for a permanent one. And actually even that the permanent position for those that in the actual town or for the city were not given to them.

Did not have the full four year course of education and background. they were only offered positions outside the city. It's very hard. I know, I know. is it the same with Australia? With us? I I think maybe for the nurses, but I know some one is a nurse, but she studied here first, the bachelors.

but she grew up in the Philippines and then for university, she moved here for the study. So I don't know anyone, but I think it might still be the same, like doing that two year course. For us. We, our finance they always require CPA. So I am CPA in the Philippines, but because it's Philippines, , they don't really acknowledge it.

I also have a different qualification or us certification, but they don't accept that recognized. So they only recognize Australian and UK certifications because UK, because Australia is also somehow yeah. Like, like UK or something like that.

So our queen is a queen. So Canada but still yeah, that cause at that time when I took this U S certification we thought we would be going to Canada or Australia. So we had that two options. But after visiting Australia for vacation, when we were still in Dubai, we like Australia.

So we told ourselves to, okay, let's just not go to Canada. Let's just process Australian paper. So now I'm also studying their CPA, which is But I still got a job which was good maybe it's different in each profession maybe nurses I don't know why it's like that, but for us finance, maybe it still depends on the companies because the actual advertisements actually really say a preferred CPA, blah, blah, blah. But I still apply, apply, apply. And then got lucky with the interviews and then the company as well, my current company people are very diverse and they like it that way. So I still got like a normal accountant job, even though I don't have the CPA here, but I'm working towards it, at first it was very hard for us. And with regards to the nurses that are offered outside the city I think it was their visa. They know like, is there a specific visa for them to just be on the job or outside the region also? Sure. most of the people that I know were actually Part of the family and friends program.

So it's more of a province. Cause as part of that, I'm not sure about the nurses, because we had that training, right. So that the intro to immigration, something like that for new immigrants.

So most of the people that I was with were nurses. So, but they were also part of the program that I was included. So it's more of the family and friends thing. So I'm not sure if they have a different one, but I think now they are more focused on work related. So it's very specific to the jobs that are required in the province because in Manitoba right now where I am.

They don't really need that much people anymore. So they're getting more strict, I guess, with the qualifications. And I don't know if the family and friends type of immigration program is available. I don't think so. Cause it's been years. So Family and friends. So before you can sponsor your friend.

Yes, actually, yes, that is true. Actually, a friend of a friend was sponsored here. Well, my brother's friend had a son and the son was sponsored here, I guess it was presented as he was friends with the son as well. So because the son was like, oh, cause my brother's friend. Older.

So the son was roughly bit older than me, so somehow closer to my brother's age or something like that. actually one of the good immigration programs before there was a lot of people moving to this province because that's somehow like the, opening was here in the province.

But now that we have so many people moving in, they're getting stricter. And now the opening is actually, I think, in Nova Scotia, another province here. So that's where if you are interested to move to Canada, you might want to check out Nova Scotia province because that's where you can. Well, I wouldn't say easily, but I guess that's where you can get an opportunity to move.

And so, coming from Manila. did you have some experience as like, oh, there's no nightlife here? Uh, yeah, that, that, that added to the depression guess that was actually my life before, when you're young, you experienced nightlife, you experienced hanging out then malls would be like so crazy.

They have everything that you wanted malls here usually are just one floor. And then the biggest mall that we have is only two floors. And it's actually there are brands, they're big brands, but there are. Bigger brands in the Philippines. I would say definitely the malls are better when actually after moving here.

And when I went back to the Philippines for vacation, I really wanted to check out the malls. I want to experience the life before, because this is really province. It's a province life it's way province, sir. He was in a word it's way more provincial than what I used to be in the Philippines, or even Bicol it's, it's totally different.

So it's not the same as with Brisbane. Sorry. What's the capital of Australia. Again, that's Canberra. It's Canberra, but really like live there. I mean, some people live there, but. It's not Sydney. I thought as well before, but it's

the most popular Sydney and Melbourne, but yeah, they are capital cities because most of the government offices as well is in Canberra. But yeah, so there are, seven states here in Australia. So for example, Sydney is a city in new south Wales state. So it's a capital city of new south Wales and the capital city of Victoria state is Melbourne.

And then the capital city of Queensland state is Brisbane. So, but if you compare this

yeah. In a way we're the same. Brisbane is the, even though it's a capital city in Queensland, it's a small city. I would say it's a small city, but it's still good. But the thing with me as well was because I lived in Dubai, the luxurious Dubai for three years, I was like exposed to Dubai mall the mall luxurious. Yes. Like shop till you drop kind of thing in Dubai. I would say that Dubai, it's not that expensive in a way, because before, before 2018 they don't have VAT before, but in 2018 they introduced Vat but it's just 5%. Philippines is 12%. Yeah. And you don't have income tax in Dubai as well.

Can I go there?

You get your gross pay and everything. also insurance in Dubai is covered by your employer. Same, you don't have to pay for it. And also the visa is covered by employer. So the only downside in Dubai is that you are like a permanent resident, as long as you have work.

But if you're out of work, you like 30 days to find work, otherwise you need to leave the city or the country. So that was the downside there, but it's really luxurious. you would say that. it kinds of depends as well, but in general Dubai is a very luxurious city.

I want to visit it, but I don't want to live there. I think because it's, it's very stressful in terms of work actually, especially in finance. Oh yeah. Work. because most people are not permanent. , they live there for work. Right. So it's very competitive . The people are very competitive with each other and the point that you have to always watch your back, , like, so, and then also you have to work longer hours. I mean, I don't know for others, but in finance because we are like office, so it's not really per hour, and the culture there is quite different as well.

So, but aside from the work it's very, it's a very nice city, especially if you live in the international side of it. So there is like a old Dubai and new Dubai, and then we lived in the new Dubai area. So it's so yeah, it's so nice. and then coming from Dubai to here as well, we were so surprised that the malls closed at 5:00 PM.

I don't know about you. 7, 7, 2.

Yeah. So malls close at five and one time when we've first arrived here or I think it was a vacation, I forgot. Cause we went here first for vacation 2017. We went to a different city in Queensland called sunshine coast the malls. They kind of like, they have like a siesta..

I don't know. Cause they close at three. So it's like, we were very hungry. We cannot even eat McDonald's because it's closed 3:00 PM. And how long? Like an hour? Yeah. Yeah, like an hour where they have like a break two to three or something.

Was their. Time off break time, and then they get back at four and then close at five or something. And some shops even.

Well, is that also only for Brisbane or is it the same case with Sydney? Cause there's these more, the popular city, right. Would that be easier there? Most also is just the same, the one I mentioned in the sunshine coast. So it's not the capital city, but somewhere in Queensland as well. It's more of a beachy kind of vibe city.

Cause it's near the coast. Brisbane is more inner city. So, but yeah, it's like, how can we shop right when we're still working and then how, how people do it is like they just shop on like lunchtime or online. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I like that. So that was like the malls in the city are also like, same as what you mentioned.

One floor or two floors, or even like in an old building that was refurbished to be a mall or strip malls as triple is like it's just a row of stores. Yeah. Like one of those big ones where you have like all the stores in just one building, this one is like, most of the stores that we have here are in the line.

So for example, you have Oshkosh or all the other, and they would be outside. They would have their own doors and all that. It's called a strip mall. I mean, that's a common theme. It is. , us Filipinos. I think this is one of the issues that we have because we come from a country where the mall is like our heaven.

It's been almost 24 hours. Right. It's one of my struggles actually. I'm not used to 'em online. Are you? Because in the Philippines, we don't have online right before the pandemic, everything was, you have to go to the mall, you have to go to a specific store here. It was like, they go with the online thing.

They have Amazon, they have so many things online. So I guess that's one reason why they don't really care if the mall will close up this time, but here's is actually way, way worse. Yeah. Yeah. It's so it's so frustrating. Yeah. even a weekends? Yeah. Even on weekends. So yesterday I wanted to buy something and then I said, okay, I'm just going to buy today because it's already closed.

So yeah, that's, that's really the struggle as well. with online, I learned doing online in Dubai, even though it's because Dubai was really like, you have online, you have everything, you have shops, you have everything. And even if it's Ramadan. Yeah. actually when I was in Dubai, like I was shopping a lot, blah, blah, blah.

And I didn't have like family responsibilities at that time, back in the Philippines it was really shop till you drop and everything. But at some point I said to myself, oh, I want to move to Australia because at least my shopping habits will be, , lesser or less temptations. Exactly.

Because there Victoria secret there is quite cheap as well in Dubai. So it was really good that the sales are like. So good at the malls. I heard that the malls are so huge in Dubai and I think also in Abu Dhabi, but Dubai I'd say is the best. I mean, there was a big mall. Yeah. There was a big shopping habit, but Dubai mall is really like, yeah.

Shopping heaven. And Idon't know, for some reason you can afford. Branded things there for some reason it's expensive, but you can still afford it if you have like a decent job in Dubai. but here it's like, even though I have a decent job, like I still can't afford the, of the expensive ones.

because the rent here is also high and stuff, same, same. This is actually something that most of us in the Philippines don't know about. It's that when you move to a different country yes, the salary compared to the Philippines is higher, but the expenses here. So I rent here is almost cost of one salary.

I have a decent job. I have, well, not really a huge, but it's more than the the basic pay, but I still cannot afford like expensive things because half of my salary is just for the rent.

Yeah, it's the same.

Hey Zestie.Stay tuned next week for another set of funny moments and anecdotes with Marian of Tita talks. Please note that these are our personal experiences and may or may not reflect the overall situation.

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So what funny story when you first arrived in Canada I don't know if I would say this as funny or. If humiliating, but

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