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


quit_yume

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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

She has a great smile good luck oh and beautiful
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A_Simple_Man

True story:

 

I bought a washer/spin dryer at Gleen Marketing (Tacloban company with branch office in Naval where I live).  When I bought it I asked if they were absolutely sure they could repair it when it broke.  (Don't give a shit about warranty I just wanted to be sure someone could fix it).  They said absolutely YES!

 

2 years later it broke.  I took it in for repairs.  They said they will send it to their office in Tacloban where the repairman will deal with it.  Ok, fine.  That was over 3 weeks ago.  A couple days back I went in and said:

 

"So when will my wash machine be repaired?"

 

"Just wait a while."

 

"How long is a while?"

 

"Just wait a while, Sir.  There is a part needed and they have to wait for it."

 

"So how long is the wait?  Is the part coming from USA?  Does it have to be manufactured?  Is it even ordered yet?"

 

"Just wait a while.  We will contact you when it is ready."

 

"But do you mean I must wait 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months, or 2 years??"

 

"Just wait.  We will contact you."

 

"Can you tell me how much it will cost?  If it is going to take 2 years and cost 10K pesos then I don't want to repair it."

 

"Just wait, sir.  We will say how much when it is ready to pick up."

 

"So you cannot give me an estimate of how long, or how much, or even if the parts are ordered yet?"

 

"Correct sir.  Just wait a while."

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bahalina buong

For a while is not too bad. Try 'ugma'.

Yeah, and like the Spanish 'manana' it can mean anything from "we'll do it tomorrow" to "go screw yourself".  :)

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Headshot

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..

 

Good. If you can let the little things like this just pass, then you will be a happy man.

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Canuck Joe

they don't know how long, no specific time...or they would say wait 1 minute please

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Yeah, and like the Spanish 'manana' it can mean anything from "we'll do it tomorrow" to "go screw yourself".  :)

 

"For a while" as what others here has said earlier could mean from a few minutes to eternity. The Arab people version is "inshalla" which literally means "if God wills it, then it will happen".

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