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Old 08-23-2010, 09:48 AM   #1401
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

Hotels wise, Marriot where APT is held seems to be full? They want to charge $200-260 for the Deluxe rooms which are meant to be $125/night. Paying almost double or more than double for the same rooms seems ridiculous.

Any ideas if there are different hotels nearby to the Marriot which are better deals? Hopeless staff at Marriot said there are no hotels nearby (???)

Quote:
Originally Posted by alex23 View Post
I know there is someplace in the basement of Rockwell (not sure if a bank or what) where you can exchange pesos for $ for a good rate. Basically any of the bigger local banks should have a good rate if they will exchange for you, but not all are licensed to exchange afaik.
Are you sure about this? The banks last time would not swap more than $500 USD per day per person. Im talking about swapping like $10k or $20k usd for PHP, and then BACK from PHP to USD (this is more important since nobody wants PHP toilet paper money).

Have you actually done this yourself for high amounts of $? Or have you just heard this? My experience last time was we were basically told banks do not want to buy high quantities of PHP, lots of money changers dont buy PHP *at all*, and your other options are finding some Philipino resident to wire it for you (****ing dodgy obv) OR. finding blackmarket money changers (gotta be even worse).
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:50 AM   #1402
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

Anyone In Boracay?
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Old 08-23-2010, 02:18 PM   #1403
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AuroythmiX View Post
Hotels wise, Marriot where APT is held seems to be full? They want to charge $200-260 for the Deluxe rooms which are meant to be $125/night. Paying almost double or more than double for the same rooms seems ridiculous.

Any ideas if there are different hotels nearby to the Marriot which are better deals? Hopeless staff at Marriot said there are no hotels nearby (???)
It's true there are no hotels nearby as that area (near the airport) is not developed. If I were you I'd just stay in a hotel in Makati or Pasay. Without traffic it'll only be a 10 minute taxi ride. Don't stay in Malate as it will be a longer commute on local roads.
Quote:
Are you sure about this? The banks last time would not swap more than $500 USD per day per person. Im talking about swapping like $10k or $20k usd for PHP, and then BACK from PHP to USD (this is more important since nobody wants PHP toilet paper money).

Have you actually done this yourself for high amounts of $? Or have you just heard this? My experience last time was we were basically told banks do not want to buy high quantities of PHP, lots of money changers dont buy PHP *at all*, and your other options are finding some Philipino resident to wire it for you (****ing dodgy obv) OR. finding blackmarket money changers (gotta be even worse).
I tried doing that last year (trying to exchange a bunch of pesos for dollars) and could not find a single money changer willing to do it. If you win a bunch of pesos, I can send you money online for your pesos. I think Slider, Derek and maybe a couple of others are also looking for pesos.

For exchanging USD to PHP it's worth it to go to a Sanry's Money Changer (several locations in Metro Manila) as they offer the best exchange rate. But don't carry too much money, don't flaunt money, don't be an idiot, etc.
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Old 08-23-2010, 03:10 PM   #1404
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AuroythmiX View Post
Hotels wise, Marriot where APT is held seems to be full? They want to charge $200-260 for the Deluxe rooms which are meant to be $125/night. Paying almost double or more than double for the same rooms seems ridiculous.

Any ideas if there are different hotels nearby to the Marriot which are better deals? Hopeless staff at Marriot said there are no hotels nearby (???)



Are you sure about this? The banks last time would not swap more than $500 USD per day per person. Im talking about swapping like $10k or $20k usd for PHP, and then BACK from PHP to USD (this is more important since nobody wants PHP toilet paper money).

Have you actually done this yourself for high amounts of $? Or have you just heard this? My experience last time was we were basically told banks do not want to buy high quantities of PHP, lots of money changers dont buy PHP *at all*, and your other options are finding some Philipino resident to wire it for you (****ing dodgy obv) OR. finding blackmarket money changers (gotta be even worse).
No unfortunately I'm not sure, and from what you say it is probably the same way with the place in Rockwell.
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Old 08-23-2010, 07:24 PM   #1405
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

Most banks can exchange USD <-> PHP up to $30k at any time. Only problem is you need to have a bank account with them, which can be a bit hard to get, especially for tourists. Getting pesos at a good rate should never be a big problem, you can exchange in the glorietta mall for example. Swapping back to usd will be tougher. Best to sell to locals for neteller$$, but be careful and don't trust everyone.
I'm on holiday and won't be there for APT, otherwise I could bring some of you to my bank for the exchanges.
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Old 08-23-2010, 07:46 PM   #1406
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Psychadelic View Post
Most banks can exchange USD <-> PHP up to $30k at any time. Only problem is you need to have a bank account with them, which can be a bit hard to get, especially for tourists. Getting pesos at a good rate should never be a big problem, you can exchange in the glorietta mall for example. Swapping back to usd will be tougher. Best to sell to locals for neteller$$, but be careful and don't trust everyone.
I'm on holiday and won't be there for APT, otherwise I could bring some of you to my bank for the exchanges.
Neteller is blocked in the Philippines
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:38 AM   #1407
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

i have a bank account. i can bring anyone to the bank for a small vig 1 point on the exchange rate. just pm me.

also i can buy pesos at 45 and just transfer you stars. only have like 2k available probably though depends when.

just pm if you need my help.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:18 AM   #1408
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

On the topic of bank accounts and exchange money between currencies.

I will ideally need a PI bank account when I head over and would prefer to avoid H.S.B.C. for private reasons.
Are there any banks where I can open up a local bank account with just my passport?
If all banks require a resident card, how quickly can you obtain one?
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:07 AM   #1409
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

I'm pretty sure an ACR card is required. I think it takes 3 business days to process.

Some banks denied me as I don't have a resident visa, but I was able to open a peso savings account at BDO Buendia with my passport, ACR card, and 1"x1" photo. Free, just have to maintain a balance of P2000. Very easy and surprisingly only took like 15 minutes. I also have a local HSBC account for USD, also very easy to set up.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:39 PM   #1410
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

I have an acc in China Trust bank and BPI. Neither required an ACR, but I had a personal connection with one of the banks and a joint account since before on the other, so that proly helped.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:29 PM   #1411
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

hey i am looking at moving to Manila for 3-6 months from next month. Rockwell looks to be the place to live. Really interesting thread, PaulB is there any way of contacting you to discuss a few things? Would really appreciate if you can help me answer a few questions i have. my msn is blinnnd@hotmail.com
tks
Dan
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:07 PM   #1412
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

Read/search the thread and use Google, and if you still have questions just ask them here.
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Old 08-26-2010, 03:28 AM   #1413
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

Paul
Do you recommend trying to find a rental place before i get there? (i have emailed housinginteractive and waiting for them to get back to me)

Or would it be better to get a hotel for a few days when i arrive, then look around for apartments in rockwell while i am there? (if a hotel is better, do u know any good ones in the rockwell area?)

thanks for the help
Dan
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Old 08-26-2010, 08:57 AM   #1414
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blinnd View Post
Paul
Do you recommend trying to find a rental place before i get there? (i have emailed housinginteractive and waiting for them to get back to me)

Or would it be better to get a hotel for a few days when i arrive, then look around for apartments in rockwell while i am there? (if a hotel is better, do u know any good ones in the rockwell area?)

thanks for the help
Dan
I used housinginteractive when I first got here, I paid deposit and the place was ready when I arrived. Rather than staying in random hotels, drivers and other people will likely try to rip you off. Would recommend HI. Legit, kind of steep price for short term. What you see is what you get based on pictures and info. If for short term then anything in Makati is probably ok, then you might do some "scouting" and find out where you wanna live. Rockwell, I haven't been living there, but it's one of the better places, however it shouldn't be your only consideration. Depends on what you are looking for and what you need nearby. But Rockwell is probably the most expensive per sqm.

There is Howzatt Inn that's supposed to be a good deal for a room, which is kind of near Rockwell if I remember correctly.

All the info you should need about getting a place, you can find in this thread and there's a lot of other great advice and stories fwiw.
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:57 AM   #1415
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

I have been here since friday.

At first, I stayed at BSA Tower, a condotel just by Greenbelt 5.
Ok place but quite expensive (for here) php3200 a night, +350 a day for "broadband", connection was slow but stable enough not to disco once while playing on ft and stars for like 10 hours, but connec doesn't work w/ party for some reason.
Rooms were 50 sqm with horrible breakfast.

I've moved yesterday to Greenbelt Radisson a residence 5 minutes away from Greenbelt 1.
My friend and I found our units via Brokerhouse Real Estate, we are paying 32k php a month each for 30sqm studios, excluding utilities with 10k deposit and 1month lease.
There's a swimming pool and a crappy gym in the residence and you can use their good internet connection for 60 pesos in their basement buisness center.


A few observations from my limited 7 days experience :
- So far I have been disappointed by people's english.
Maybe I have been unlucky but taxis, ppl in shops, and my landlord speak bad english.
People say "yes yes" all the time even when they don't understand **** and taxis seem to never know where you're going even if it's a 2 minute ride.
- 90% of girls are 7+ in the clubs.
- In my 10ish taxi experience, no one has really tried to screw me.
- Aircon is annoying, I have had it close to my bed most of the time and it's a bit noisy or too much air in the face to sleep well.
- Makati is really polluted.
- It has rained cats and dogs from 6pm to 9 most days.
- 2/3 of the people I met are really nice, the rest did not really care, but no one has been obnoxious.
- Icon is for posers, Embassy was much nicer, more real people and half the price
- Jetlag is extremely hard for me as a european, I'm still having a 5 hour nap in the afternoon and mini nights after six days.
- Cigarettes are $1 a pack.
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:35 PM   #1416
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

Nice to hear some reflections from someone who just been here a couple of days.

"yes yes" means a lot of things The only way to get proper answers is to avoid yes/no questions. If they still say "yes yes" then you know for sure that they have no clue what you're talking about.

Quote:
- So far I have been disappointed by people's english.
I'm kinda surprised to hear this since you're in Makati which should be crowded with professionals and other people who you assume need to speak English every day.

I read that the PI's knowledge in English have gone down the last years and it's mainly young people know less English now compared to 10-20 years ago.

Can anyone else share your experience with use English in PI (especially with girls) ? Do you have to simplify what you say in order to get understood with most etc?

Last edited by L4Freedom; 08-26-2010 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 08-26-2010, 07:16 PM   #1417
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

Quote:
Originally Posted by L4Freedom View Post
Nice to hear some reflections from someone who just been here a couple of days.

"yes yes" means a lot of things The only way to get proper answers is to avoid yes/no questions. If they still say "yes yes" then you know for sure that they have no clue what you're talking about.



I'm kinda surprised to hear this since you're in Makati which should be crowded with professionals and other people who you assume need to speak English every day.

I read that the PI's knowledge in English have gone down the last years and it's mainly young people know less English now compared to 10-20 years ago.

Can anyone else share your experience with use English in PI (especially with girls) ? Do you have to simplify what you say in order to get understood with most etc?
It depends who you're speaking to, but yes you often have to simplify it. However if you're perceptive you'll notice that if you're trying to pick up a girl whose english isn't perfect, you sometimes get several tries after saying something stupid. Whereas in the US or UK she would instantly blow you off after you said some dumb line, in the Philippines you can sometimes make like she misunderstood you. You can also use much cheesier lines and get away with them in these cases.
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Old 08-26-2010, 07:23 PM   #1418
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

Hehe, I make sure they understand every stupid thing I have to say.
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:10 AM   #1419
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

Does anyone know if Salcedo Village is a good area? HI found me an apartment there for 30,000 a month. Looks ok from the pictures. Any idea if is it far from shops and bars?

thanks
Dan
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:34 AM   #1420
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cocofrite View Post


A few observations from my limited 7 days experience :
- So far I have been disappointed by people's english.
Maybe I have been unlucky but taxis, ppl in shops, and my landlord speak bad english.
This is rather strange, unless you had really high expectations that people were more fluent. I'm extremely happy about the general skill level, and through 3 months never really had a problem with getting a message through. Yeah your casual english convo that you would have with your friends that are 100% fluent is not gonna be understood too well, like Alex said, simplify it and cut out the more advanced words. Try to be on their level when you communicate. That helps.
Quote:
People say "yes yes" all the time even when they don't understand **** and taxis seem to never know where you're going even if it's a 2 minute ride.
That will sometimes happen as the Filipino are quite polite people - they don't wanna be rude like, ever, to foreigners anyway in my experience.
I had the same problems with taxis in my first weeks. After a while it gets more obvious when they have no clue. They also won't know all locations so try another landmark or big place nearby.
Also if they see you as a fish they wanna extract money from, that counts positive for just somehow wanna get there even being sorta clueless.
Avoid taxis in rush hours (ranging sometimes from 4-9pm). You'll much more often run into drivers that want extra and other BS. I try to schedule my plans outside rush hours for the most part.
Quote:
- 90% of girls are 7+ in the clubs.
That's about right.
Quote:
- In my 10ish taxi experience, no one has really tried to screw me.
Will happen. A significant amount. Just use nearby taxis for leverage when they pull some "how much you willing to pay?" scheme or GTFO asap.
I've never been ****ed over by some more advanced stuff, they mostly just give you a little hard time and try to exploit naivety or spewyness.
Quote:
- Aircon is annoying, I have had it close to my bed most of the time and it's a bit noisy or too much air in the face to sleep well.
You get used to this. Most aircons have a pretty high noise level. I used earbuds at first actually.
Quote:
- It has rained cats and dogs from 6pm to 9 most days.
Yep. Rainseason and it seems kind of heavier than I expected. Might be random. According to this girl it will end some Sept/Oct
Quote:
- Icon is for posers, Embassy was much nicer, more real people and half the price
While I like Icon a decent amount that might have some truth to it.You should try Republiq at Marriot, it's a new hotspot, if you haven't yet been there.
Quote:
- Jetlag is extremely hard for me as a european, I'm still having a 5 hour nap in the afternoon and mini nights after six days.
- Cigarettes are $1 a pack.
Also being euro, I struggled with jetlag for about 2 weeks here. Waking up at random hours and being awake for 36 hours without feeling tired. I still have a problem with sleep schedule but that's due to borderline alcoholism imo.

Cigs are lolcheap but imo the Marlboros are somewhat harsh, feels like 3x worse than in EU/US but that might be some developing COPD
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:36 AM   #1421
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

Help me plan a 2 week vacation in January.

I went to Boracay for 11 days last January but that's all. I want to see a couple places this time but I'm not opposed to like 4 nights in Boracay at the end of the trip. Curious about Palawan, Bohol, Cebu, Pagudpud. Also want to go to Manila for 2-3 nights.

Any ideas you guys can throw out would be appreciated. I'm just having a hard time deciding/piecing an itinerary together.
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:55 AM   #1422
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blinnd View Post
Does anyone know if Salcedo Village is a good area? HI found me an apartment there for 30,000 a month. Looks ok from the pictures. Any idea if is it far from shops and bars?

thanks
Dan
I lived in Salcedo Village for a month.
Is it in Valero st?

I would not exactly recommend it. The traffic noise was terrible and so is traffic in general there, no lights for pedestrians. There's not really a lot of cool stuff in the area, nearest supermarket is in Greenbelt IIRC which is a 15min walk or a short cabride. There's not to my knowledge anything resembling a mall or nice shop within comfortable distance. It is still relatively close to GB so that's fine, it's just that your immediate surroundings are pretty much gonna suck imo. There's just a ton of banks, some fastfoods, avg/below avg restos and not much else.
It's moderately hard to get a taxi during rush hours (like 10mins, I even used almost 30mins once) and it's gonna take a long long while to reach your destination.

Apart from that, it is pretty nearby GB&RWell so it's convenient.
For bars, it's near Burgos and Makati ave. No immediate cool "normal" party&drinking places imo.
Then standards of your place is probably pretty good. I had problems with a lot of roaches and similar but that might be variance.
It's very easy to get there by taxi, meaning drivers know either the building or whereabouts.
Both HI and lobby service is good so it's not gonna be a problem getting your needs met and that is a plus. Housekeeping maid did a really thorough job and fixed all my laundry and ironed shirts perfect.
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Old 08-27-2010, 03:07 AM   #1423
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blinnd View Post
Does anyone know if Salcedo Village is a good area? HI found me an apartment there for 30,000 a month. Looks ok from the pictures. Any idea if is it far from shops and bars?

thanks
Dan
I am in Salcedo Village and have been enjoying it for the most part, but my office is also here. taxi ride to greenbelt is 50pesos or walkable.. I don't do the clubs so much so i wouldn't really know but taxi to the fort/marketmarket area shouldn't be more than 100pesos. You could walk to burgos or again less than 50pesos.

Depending on the building and size of the condo 30,000 might be good or too pricey. I am paying 20k, furnished -studio...
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Old 08-27-2010, 03:45 PM   #1424
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

random thoughts about philippines from me regarding recent post:

i hate going to makati and i wouldn't consider living there. it's just too much traffic.

i went to manor at eastwood recently and if i was single i think it's a pretty good club. there had to be like an 8:1 girl to guy ratio.

anyone willing to trade my ftp for stars? about 1k worth? will take pesos as well at 44.

i've been scammed for $1800 from a travel agency lady and i'm not seeing much i can do about it. be careful with your money in this country. i also got scammed from another unrelated issue. had these items supposed to be delivered months ago, supposed to be penalized 500 php per day, but i don't think that's gonna take into effect.

stuff isn't as cheap here as it seems. i mean monthly expenses add up. and general stuff that isn't fake a lot of the time is more expensive here then in america because of import/export w/e. examples like branded candy and appliances.

also taxis have batingtings, they can raise the rate in which the metro rises without you even knowing. and it's pretty common. i'm a taxi owner, so i know of this and be weary. if you know how much it cost, and the metro is way above the amount, just pay what ur supposed to and walk away. threaten to call ltrfb. don't fall asleep in the taxi obviously.
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Old 08-27-2010, 08:04 PM   #1425
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

Quote:
Originally Posted by geo8o2 View Post
also taxis have batingtings, they can raise the rate in which the metro rises without you even knowing. and it's pretty common. i'm a taxi owner, so i know of this and be weary. if you know how much it cost, and the metro is way above the amount, just pay what ur supposed to and walk away. threaten to call ltrfb. don't fall asleep in the taxi obviously.
I've only had this happen to me twice in the tons of times I've taken taxis. Once I just paid being a noob, and the other time the guy asked me early in the thing "what do you normally pay?" I told him, and he said "ok just give me that." However he left the meter on and it was 2 1/2 times what he agreed on, but I just gave him what we agreed on and he didnt' argue.
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