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Ah the good old days. US licorice is crappy. A local candy store here in Florida sells Australian licorice and it is pretty good. As good as back in the good old days, been too long I don't remember. But it is worth the extra money.
Go to market here in the Philippines is one of the things I really enjoy, vegetables, fruit and I love fresh seafood, so much cheaper than in Europe and selection much bigger, many new kinds of foods here, I never have seen before
As I see before you generalize, in my opinion, Filipinos have different personality and behavior exactly like expats and other groups of people. I can recognize what you say about some people want benefits from you. It takes time to own respect from the locals, I'm always friendly and talk to everyone, like it that way and it's just the way I am and part of my personality. I'm not the type who let others push me around or take advantage of me. I help a little, almost always people who can't work because of age or disability. Christmas time my gf give a bag with rice and some food to the poorest and I'm not the only foreigner who do that, I only give to the poorest another foreigner give to all families in the area where we live. There are people here who are starving from time to time, if I see it, I send my gf with some food, maybe small money too. I'm not rich but help a little around don't affect my economy at all, I know I can't save the world but I can do a difference for a few people and I'm happy to do that, I get so much in return
Went down Carbon Market with wife about 3pm yesterday. My driver and his wife arrived around 4pm, paked in the parking lot (p15 hour). After wife overfilled 1st bag (about 40 kg), I went to parking lot to relax a bit with driver. While there the big trucks were rolling in. Family enterprises from all over. Next to us was a clan from Argo, they were unloading about 2500kg fresh produce to sell. Avocado, bagyo beans, jackfruit, banana and more. We ended up getting 5kg of super super fresh avocado for p150, driver said if I wasn't there it would have been cheaper. 1 hour later we get the call and head out to pick up the wives with 2 more overstuffed bags + 2 beautiful watermelons.
Mango p60 kg sweetest ever!!
Bagyo beans p35 kg (string beans)
Cabbage p35 kg
I didn't pay much attention to other prices but we also picked up:
Potatoes, red onions, guava, watermelon, jicoma, cucumber, carrots, palmello & eggplant.
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I am curious about which Chicago "burb" you lived in. I lived in Orland Park, IL from '71 - '78. I've been in Madison, WI for the past 5 years, going back to the Philippines next year, probably in June.