Monday, June 20, 2011

Looking in the wrong places

I've made no secret on this blog that I'm leaning toward going back to college. As I said previously, my main targets are Japan and New Zealand. Australia is too expensive and will probably remain so for some time, and I've yet to find schools in places like South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, etc. that will take older undergrads.

It turns out I've been overlooking one low-profile but apparently high-value option: the Philippines.
Thousands of foreign university students are flocking to the Philippines, attracted by cheap yet high-quality courses conducted in English and an easy-going lifestyle outside class.
With more than 2,100 private and state-run institutions nationwide offering a wide array of courses, and an immigration policy friendly to foreign students, the former American colony is enjoying an enrolment boom.
Nearly 20,000 foreign students held special visas at the end of the school year in March, according to the immigration bureau, which said the number would rise when classes began in June.
Not exactly the first place one thinks of for a quality education, is it? I remember George Carlin using going to dental school in the Philippines in one of his jokes on "Complaints and Grievances."

There might not be much prestige in a degree from the Philippines, but I imagine this would soften the blow a bit:
A four-year degree course in the Philippines costs between $1,000 and $2,500 a year, significantly cheaper than in the United States, for example, where one could spend more than $30,000 annually, educators here say.
Hmmmmmm. I'm already inured to awful traffic, low pay and living far from home. It's certainly not my first choice, but if a degree from the Philippines can actually be competitive in the US and/or Asia, who knows?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

5-star accomodation

A few shots I came across while digging through the archives. This was my room at Hotel Tugu in Malang, a place I'm told is the only five-star hotel in the city. I don't normally choose to stay in such high-class places, but I knew people from the Asian Football Confederation (including the referees) were staying there and they were nice enough to offer airport pick-up.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Malaysia just can't catch a break

Finally, we've pinpointed what's truly wrong with this world — uppity women.
As a new bride, 22-year-old Ummu Atirah believes she knows the secret to a blissful marriage: obey her husband and ensure he is sexually satisfied.
Ummu and some 800 other Muslim women in Malaysia are members of the "Obedient Wives Club" that is generating controversy in one of the most modern and progressive Muslim-majority nations, where many Muslim Malaysian women hold high posts in the government and corporate world.
The new club, launched Saturday, says it can cure social ills such as prostitution and divorce by teaching women to be submissive and keep their men happy in the bedroom.
"Islam compels us to be obedient to our husband. Whatever he says, I must follow. It is a sin if I don't obey and make him happy," said Ummu, who wore a yellow headscarf.
You heard her, ladies. Be quiet, be demure, be submissive. Otherwise, women like these will ruin your marriage!
Malaysian lawyers, politicians and activists lambasted the police Saturday, accusing them of abusing their power in chaining up and marking the bodies of 30 foreign women detained for alleged prostitution.
Police raided a high-end nightclub in northern Penang state late Thursday and arrested 29 women from China and one from Vietnam, along with eight Malaysian men. Local media reported police officers went undercover at the club for a week before the raid. [Emphasis mine. Shocking, no? — Ed.]
It triggered an outcry after local newspapers carried photos of the women bound up with a long chain and marked with either a tick or an X on their chest and forehead.
The policemen are blameless, of course. After all, they were just doing their job. The real villains in this piece are the women.
[Penang police chief Ayub Yaakob] also said the women had wrecked many marriages and that police had received numerous complaints from wives of men who sought their services.
Stories like these just infuriate me. It's the women who have to take the blame for men's indiscretions. It's the women who have to cover themselves from head to toe because men don't know how to control themselves. It's the women who have to be subservient because men have been told for generations that women are second-class citizens who were designed by God to defer to them and they're not about to take any lip from an inferior being.

There's no misogyny in Islam? Bullshit.