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So... Exactly how long is "a while" anyway?


quit_yume

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quit_yume

I am not totally new to Philippines culture..  but this one just kills me.    In the usa if someone says they will be with you in 1 second,  that usually will mean up to about 2 minutes.     if they say, they will be with you in a minute.. that's usually up to 5 or so...  we kind of know how long ' a second' or 'a minute' usually is.

 

But it seems that when someone tells you 'a while'..  they are actually saying nothing.  it could be a minute.. or it could be an hour.   there is no sense of urgency attached to this reply.  no sense of having the decency or respect of your time to give you any indication at all of when they will get back to you..

 

i have known my current gf for a few years..   and for the first time ever she gave me the 'a while' reply.    she's smart, educated, well employed etc..  and up until now had never given me an ambiguous reply like this.   its part of what impressed me about her..  she understands how stupid and backwards many of her countries customs are..  but now i get "a while'..  and i have no idea how long i am supposed to wait for her .. grrrr.....   i am starting to think if she says 'a while' i should just make other plans and let her wait on me instead...

 

-quito

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bahalina buong

It's usually not very long, but I will try to get a better answer for you.  Wait!

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"For a while, sir." = anywhere from 15 seconds, to 2 hours. 

 

Seriously, it usually means a relatively short period of time. I have never waited too long, when someone told me that. 

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quit_yume

It's usually not very long, but I will try to get a better answer for you.  Wait!

 

yeah,  that's the other one..  "wait please".. lol

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SomeRandomGuy

I am with u though on that.. "a while sir" is such a strange statement and it is just a lazy short cut yet that is a cultural thing...

 

What made me laugh the other day was I went to go to a teller and she looked at me and just said " pending"... well I did not know what she actually meant buy pending as that was not much of an explanation and I as of yet had not had my coffee (was there to get milk) I had to say "huh" in which she just said pending again... I left her and went to another counter only to watch someone walk over to that same teller with a few items and I realized pending meant she was in the middle of serving a customer and that customer had for whatever reason needed to shop for one extra item before she was done so her SALE was pending for her customer before me.

 

Then again I always get a kick out of a dong pointing and saying " TAXI" if i am in a good mood ill also point at random things and name them too just so he knows i also know the name of things

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Headshot

Quito, is that the worst complaint you have about your GF? She said, "for a while" once? Maybe she doesn't know how long whatever it is will take. Maybe she needs to think things through before she gives you a real answer. Either way, those aren't necessarily bad things. It sounds like she is a very good woman overall. Don't worry about the little stuff. If, other than that, you think she is worth waiting for, then wait. If you don't think she is worth waiting for, then walk away now before you are fully committed. To do otherwise will be wrong for both you and her.

Edited by Headshot
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... well I did not know what she actually meant buy pending as that was not much of an explanation and I as of yet had not had my coffee (was there to get milk) I had to say "huh" in which she just said pending again...

Learn to drink coffee without milk. Takes a week or two getting used to.... but makes your life so much easier.

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'a while'

 

 

 A suitably indeterminate period of time which, when used, permits the speaker to respond in an positive and polite way without having to say "I don't know how long" or worse, "I only work here and get paid peanuts, how on earth do I know how long xxx is going to take?"

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quit_yume

dont worry headshot..  im not walking away from this one.. she has put up with more bullshit from me than i could ever have expected from someone..    i see more love and loyalty from her than anybody i ever met before..    stupid me,  it took me some time to realize it as i was not always thinking with the right head... 

 

actually, im going to meet her family in january..  and then a K1 visa for her after that..

Edited by quit_yume
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Headed that way

Oh no, run like mad.  This is only the beginning you poor man.

 

Irony intended for the clueless out there.

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arentol

After 7 years or so of living here, you may also start saying "awhile"... I use it regularly, along with their not-too-distant cousins 'avail,' 'fill-up,' and 'first-click.'

 

Sige? Sige!

 

 

Aren -

Edited by arentol
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But it seems that when someone tells you 'a while'.. they are actually saying nothing.

 

Actually, they are saying____"When I get around to it".

 

Always carry some of these around to help facilitate their actions.

 

PICT7287-lg.jpg

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rainymike

You have to learn to read that response within the context of the question.

 

"Miss, when will my order for the chicken and rice be ready?" - a while is usually less than 15 minutes.

 

"Sir, when will the paperwork for my visa renewal be completed?" a while is usually less than 3 hours.

 

"Ma'am, when will you send the repairman to fix the leak in my roof?" a while could be anywhere from a few days to months.

 

"Kuya, when will you return the 1,000 pesos you borrowed from me?" a while means don't hold your breath.

 

It's not the pinoy who are weird in this matter. It's the bone headed foreigners who think that English is English no matter where you are. It's no different in the United States. Words have different meanings and are used in different contexts from one region to another. You just have to adapt to it.

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I must be on a run. No "for a while" here. I looked for my cup to make a cappuccino and it's already on the coffee table refilled. There are some out there that are 'doers'.

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In a jiffy

Just a sec

A moment please

I'll get back to you

Hold on

Okay okay

Just wait

Hold please

 

 

There's a few. Now translate these into the dialect and see what comes back........"for a while"

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