Estelea's Blog

French Mum, humanitarian, restless explorer and doer on sabbatical in Cebu (Philippines): one Attila in each arm, I am exploring the “toddlers safe” corners of the region, while trying to keep some room for Me.

Culture shock: guess my soul is arriving slower than my body…



Their menu was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. 

I felt the tingling in my leg when I realized what pizza actually meant here.

Pizza Cono

Seriously, is this how humans eat pizza nowadays?

The palpitations started when I asked for a beer. Couldn’t believe that I was actually expected to drink this:



The waiter was nowhere to be seen. I breathing became shallow when I realized he was literally “on call”.


are we in a plane here or an hospital?

Have I been living under a rock those last 10 years ? Is it me getting old is this corner of the planet really.. special ?

Socializing in Cebu has proved harder than expected. I thought it would be as easy as in Bangkok, but I had forgotten a tiny detail :I am not working, hence no network. I don’t belong to any Church, and my full time Mum Schedule is actually pretty tight. Driving the kids back and forth to school, to the dance, cooking, shopping and stressing on what I could do better are enough activities to fill my days !

Cafés, food, music are some of those little things that recently made me feel completely out of my depth. I miss my basic points of reference. 

When did the honeymoon end ? I really loved our first months here, discovering our neighborhood, exploring the markets, tasting Filipinos food, trying to learn the language.Now all I feel is irritation: because it takes 2 months to get a parcel from Europe, because the dry cleaners never respect any schedule, because the traffic is hectic, because I can’t find a cream without whitening agent. I miss Paris, my friends, a real Thai massage and notably wearing my Hugg! I want to get out.of.there !!!

Arghhh! felt so good to eventually spill it out! Thanks for bearing with me 🙂

So What now? Time to roll up my sleeves and move on: I just enrolled to great online classes starting next week, volunteered to be the VP of the Parents Teachers Association of the Attila’s school, finally invested in a two-month yoga pass and last but not least book us a week in Seoul for Maelle’s birthday!

Just like the rainy season here, this little blues too shall pass…

Breath in…Breath out..and repeat the mantra:

Motivation!Fellow expats, please feel free to share your experiences. I would love to hear how you finally adjusted 🙂



2 comments on “Culture shock: guess my soul is arriving slower than my body…

  1. that traveling nurse
    February 9, 2015

    sorry but i was laughing at the cream without the whitening agent part ~ papaya or glutathione? 🙂 i don’t know why filipinos are so obsessed with white/fair skin. they think it makes them look more beautiful. notice the artistas? ugh. i have olive/brown skin and i am proud of it! no whitening or umbrellas for this cebuana!

    anyway, i can understand your frustrations. even the filipinos are frustrated with the whole system themselves, but yet they condone it. totally perplexing!

    but even with all its red tape and inefficiency, i still love it, cebu most especially. 😉 btw, i like the quote ~ bloom where you are planted, true, indeed!

  2. estelea
    February 9, 2015

    Tastes and colors.. I am currently writing a post about this one 😉 Back in Europe, we are craving for a tanned skin, are spending so much in darker foundations; we are so envious of your guys skins!

    Probably because it shows that we are rich enough to travel to sunny places and have our tan to prove it!

    After a year here, I realize that all I am complaining about is the traffic (like a basic Cebuana 🙂 ). And maybe hyper loud karaoké (like a basic expat 😉 )

    Seriously, with such a nice weather, smiling people all around, and no pressure to be on time anywhere (you know.. the legendary Filipino time!), there is not much to complain about!

    Have a lovely day and Salamat for stopping by and sending your great +++ vibes all the way!

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This entry was posted on September 5, 2014 by in Expat.

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