Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ponzi Got You Bad

ponzi

 

I don’t get it—this networking bullshit. And not because I’ve been a willing (I don’t know the word) victim. And not because I sat my butt through one of their infamous ‘business meetings’. OK—years ago, Abegail and I once sat halfway through one, but only for the snacks, which consisted of siopao and juice, but that was it; we didn’t even listen.

 

I mean, yes, it shouldn’t bother me because it doesn’t concern me. But how do you shed light to your friend who’s practically signing up for a ‘stupidity contract’ because she joined such a networking business. I honestly don’t know if you can call it a business. Ponzi scheme—don’t they call it that? Eventually, like every networking—fine!—business, it will crumble down like stale bread.

 

I know, I know—it’s not really my business. I’m just concerned. Perhaps some people do need to learn the hard way.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Table for One

alone

 

There’s nothing wrong with being alone. You learn things from being alone. You don’t have to worry if you’re eating too slow and that you’re making other people wait for you to swallow that last bite of burger or fries. You don’t have to change your pace when you walk—walk fast and you’re leaving no one behind, walk slow and you’re not pissing off someone who seems to be chasing time. No one will nag on you for looking at the same book for the longest time. No one’s going to pester you to get out of the music store. You get to do things at your own time, in your own way. You don’t have to put up a smile when you really want to frown. You don’t have to talk. You don’t have to answer questions. You can stay at the restroom for an entire day, looking at your reflection in the mirror. You have the time to yourself.

 

Sometimes you need to be by yourself. Sometimes. Oh, sometimes.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hungry at Night

canton
 
It’s raining. I was on my bed, a bit sleepy. But hunger came to visit. It was freezing in my room; I had to go out anyway. I opened the fridge but there were only yogurt, bottled pineapple juice, apples, raw eggs, canned sodas, and a box of brownies my friend from Manila, Willow, gave me. I was tempted to take another brownie out the box, but I remembered its sweetness. I needed real food, anyway—rice? And eggs? Probably. But I’m too lazy to fry or boil eggs. I opted for Pancit Canton—two packs of Chili-mansi Pancit Canton.
 
I am waiting for the water to boil, so I can cook the noodles. Now that I think about it, choosing eggs would have given me the same waiting time. But then again, the eggs needed to be in room temperature before I could boil them; because who eats Sunny Side Up at night? Oh yeah, sometimes I do.
 
I hear the water slowly bubbling. And I’ve checked my mobile for the nth time tonight for signal; it appears Globe signal is elusive tonight.
 
I just dropped the noodles into the casserole. Literally dropped—some water splashed into the stove surface. Damn, another cleaning up to do. The rain has faded into drizzle, but I bet my room is still ridiculously cold.
 
Tomorrow will be a long day. I have to accompany my grandmother to GSIS—great, I’m going to see the unfriendly, unaccommodating faces of those working there again. Gawd. But I have to go to the bank first. I pray there won’t be a long queue; I hate lining up for an hour or so only to do a transaction that takes only three minutes.
 
Bloody time. Now I can enjoy my Pancit Canton. I really should change my night habits. I should go to bed earlier so I hunger doesn’t come like a thief just when I’m about to start counting imaginary sheep jumping over an imaginary white fence. Somehow, this Pancit Canton doesn’t taste as delicious without salted fish on the side, and coffee.
 
After this, I guess I’m going to have to continue reading “Scarlet Feathers” by Maeve Binchy; everyone always tells me not to sleep immediately after eating—especially when stuffed. And with this much Pancit Canton, I’m certain somnolence will come even before I see the first imaginary sheep jump over the imaginary white fence.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Dark Hour

earthhour

 

I don’t think the Earth Hour this year has been promoted as well as last year. Not so many people participated; not so many houses turned their lights off, and I don’t think the establishments in the city did as well. Last year, it seemed there was a great deal of anticipation; a lot of people talked about it—even posted online about their willingness to take part. This time, however, even my friends weren’t talking about it. Even I wasn’t as excited about it as I was last year—still, instead of having beer with friends, I chose to go home, and nagged the household into turning off the lights and other appliances.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

War Against Ants

ants

 

I am waging war against ants—again. These tiny insects (more like pests) have once again returned to bring nuisance to our kitchen. They have conveniently distributed armies around the kitchen to gorge on food million times their size. These armies lined up on the wall, on the floor, on the cabinets, on the table.

 

I don’t care what any myrmecologist would say—I don’t care about the purpose of ants’ existence—because as far as I’m concerned, the world can live without ants. At least I’d like to think so.

 

I spent a huge part of my morning killing ants. Armed with that so-called ‘miracle chalk’ and an insect spray, I inspected every corner of the kitchen. I sprayed the places these tiny pests like to frequent—near plastic containers holding cupcakes, biscuits, and other sweets; the dining table. And after spraying—as if the smell of the chemical wasn’t enough to kill even the largest of ants—I marked the surfaces with the chalk.

 

They drew first blood when they took bits from the packs of Pancit Canton I kept in a plastic container. As if tearing one pack wasn’t enough, they had to tear most of the packs away. So much for airtight plastic containers, manufacturer. So yes, this is war. And this war I’m going to win.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Ings and Oops

cater
 
It has been a long day. Ask Cherry and she will say that’s an understatement.
 
This morning, I woke up ready to slice and dice onion, garlic, carrots, and other ingredients we will need for the food we were going to serve in the afternoon at a business opening. We had agreed to do a catering service—well, Cherry did, and she sort of just talked me into it. I was looking forward to it, and I was ecstatic about the thought of holding a very sharp knife and using it without harming any living thing. But I got a call from my lawyer, saying I needed to be at the Hall of Justice for a legal hearing regarding my adoption case. (And no, please don’t get me started.) So I had no other choice but to leave Cherry with all the slicing, dicing, drying, stirring, and all the other ings in the kitchen.
 
Much to my dismay, I wasted the entire morning listening to endless legal terms that came out from the mouths of the lawyers in the courtroom. Verbal diarrhoea. We had to wait for the other five legal cases to conclude before the attorney could present the fourth court hearing of my adoption case. We waited in vain, because as it turned out, the fiscal attorney for my case was not around. Damn it. I was like—oh, fuck the police!
 
I got home and found Cherry moving around in the dirty kitchen—slicing spices, opening cans, frying, stirring. See? All the ings in the kitchen. I felt guilty; I had promised her I would help her, and yet I spent the whole morning sitting my butt on a solid bench, listening to lawyers, witnesses, and the judge. I know, it’s not like it was my fault. But still. After I changed, I went straight to slicing carrots, onions, garlic. Then I did some frying. And more frying. And even more frying.
 
We were racing against time. We were expected to be at the event by two-thirty; and yet, at around two in the afternoon, we were still half-way done with the food—never mind the fact that we were serving finger foods. As if things weren’t bad enough, it rained. And when we started to bring trays of food to the venue, the parking was a major bitch. Double parking was the only option.
 
Cherry and I both looked like we needed a shower when we showed up at the event. But that didn’t really bother me, because I had another thing going on in my mind: I was going to leave for a moment and go to Globe Centre so I could get my BlackBerry back after having it brought in for repair. I had hoped it wasn’t too late. And despite my being such a sinner, the heavens still heard my prayer—I got my mobile back! (See: The Bold Comeback)
 
We were exhausted when we finally got home, screaming “Facebook!” the moment we stepped into the house. And yes, we did some Facebook-ing as if we weren’t drained. Cherry kept saying ‘thank you’ to us who helped her. She kept expressing gratitude that it started to sound phony, and so I told her. For her sake, thank gawd, she stopped.
 
We went to the mall to buy ice cream. Taking the longer route, we rolled the windows down; pumped up the speakers with Britney Spears’ “Oops! I Did It Again,” “Baby One More Time,” and “Sometimes”; and sang our lungs out, not giving a fig if people heard us and thought we were mad. It was Oops that we sang many times. And at a certain point—after what it seemed was the sixth time singing Oops—I complained about how painful it was doing a concert.
 
It was a long day. And yes, I can agree that that’s an understatement. But instead of whining—really, what’s there to whine about—I’m having a serving of Cookies and Cream ice cream, while checking recent events in Facebook.

The Bold Comeback

bb 2

 

“Hi. I have a query about the phone I brought in for repair last week,” I said to the tall guy behind the counter.

 

I just couldn’t bear not having my BBM with me; I was suffering from severe withdrawal syndrome. (Or was it separation anxiety?) So I decided to take the phone back, if it still was in their custody—if they had not sent it to Singapore for repair yet.

 

The customer care representative was kind enough to hear my concern. I think I was sort of babbling a bit, trying to scheme my way into getting the mobile back. After a few minutes of checking what I assumed was their stock room, he came back with my phone. And after a few more minutes of clearing it with their custodian, I was asked to sign a waiver. I was smiling like a kid who had just had three scoops of ice cream—instead of two—and I even said “thank you” to the security guard when he opened the door for me.

 

Sure I still can’t hear the other line when I make or receive calls, but that doesn’t really bother me. I guess I’ll just have to activate the speakerphone during calls—it works. Or maybe use a headset. What matters is I can do mobile tasks that have become a habit—taking pictures and blogging.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The End

end
 
With everything that’s been happening around the world, one can’t help but believe that the world really is going to end—soon. I believe the world is going to end soon. The turmoil in the Middle East, the earthquakes, tsunamis—I don’t know with you, but the signs are pretty conspicuous. It could be that I’ve read too many ‘prophecies’ about the end of the world and watched too many documentaries about it, too. If that’s the case, then blame History Channel, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic.
 
The uproar in the Middle East, I’m certain can be avoided. If only people were more open to reforms, and amicable settlements. But no—they resort to violence. As with what happened in Japan, one can only cringe and feel helpless. Because, really, what can one do when nature decides to unleash its wrath? Except maybe be prepared—but that’s a whole different issue.
 
I don’t want to watch the news these days—especially when it’s ABS-CBN that’s reporting. There’s too much wretchedness on TV. Sure, the footage of how the tsunami washed away buildings, houses, and cars could have Hollywood a run for its money in visual effects—after all, nothing could get more real than the tsunami that happened in Japan—but it’s not a movie. You can’t go saying, ‘whoa—cool!’ while watching.
 
The images on TV are way too ghastly for anyone to take. One can’t help but wonder—were the Mayans right in predicting that the world is going to end in 2012? Does the last letter of Fatima to the three kids really foretell how the world is going to end? Is judgment day really near? Are the seven seals true—and has the seventh and final seal been opened?
 
Are we going to live in fear—thinking that the world is really going to end sooner than anyone ever predicted—or are we going to live our lives to the fullest? Will we make each day count or will we just throw it away?
 
But you know me, I’d like to think the world will end—in a scenario where a huge part of civilization gets wiped out with some virus, and zombies roam the planet. And I’d like to think that I’ll survive so that I’ll be a part on an elite team that’ll kick major zombie-ass. Ah, zombies. The world would be far more entertaining with zombies.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Speed Racer

speed 1
It’s official, my friend Stephen is a speed maniac.
This morning, he was kind enough to accompany me in checking out possible properties for acquisition. It was a thirty-minute drive from the city, but it took us half the time in going there. I screamed “Oh my gawd,” “Shit,” and he only laughed—hysterically, I might add. I couldn’t even see the speed at which we were going since the odometer of his motorbike was broken.
He overtakes other vehicles in a way that really scares me; I had to slap him in the shoulder every time. He even takes a curve without hitting the brakes. Gawd. Each time we passed a church, I would make the sign of the Cross, praying we wouldn’t meet any harm on the way.

When we got to the location, I took pictures of the area, and some other things. Like this huge, creepy tree and mushrooms. Shitake mushrooms? I don't know.
speed 2                         speed 3

When we got back home to the city, you can only imagine the sigh of relief I let out.

Mocha Butter Cheese Lack of Sleep

mocha butter cheese sleep
I’m tired and sleepy. But I shouldn’t be sleeping because it’s four in the afternoon. If I sleep, I’ll probably be up four hours later than my usual bedtime—that would be five a.m. Do I want to risk being up way past midnight—when everyone else, the mosquitoes even, will have already drooled pails in dreamland? No. And besides, I’m certain my mum would yell at me again for sleeping this late in the afternoon.
 
So instead of sleeping, I ate a bar of Quake Overload Mocha Butter and Lemon Square Cheese Cake in under a minute. I’m not kidding. I even surprised myself. Damn. I’m getting good at this—eating. And oh, my mum’s cereal tastes way better than any cereal I’ve tasted. I’m hoping she doesn’t mind my eating it like junk food. I’m tempted to grab a bowl of my brother’s cereal as well.
 
Now, I’m eating coleslaw, which I made earlier, and drinking instant coffee. And I’m no longer sleepy. Oh, wait, it’s coming back again. Now it’s gone—for good this time, I think.

Damn, I miss my BlackBerry.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Coming Un-bold moments

bb
 
“So, sir, are you going to have this repaired?” the customer care representative asked with a sympathetic look, waving the mobile at my face. It took me a good fraction of a minute before I could answer, “Yes, I don’t think I have any other option.”
 
“Yes, sir,” she said, and went on to explain—for the second time—why having the mobile repaired was the only solution to my problem. My heart sank.
 
The problem is: I can receive and make calls, but I can’t hear the party on the other end. I just can’t; there is complete silence. No buzzing or noise whatsoever. I have searched online about the problem—its possible cause and solution—but after tabs and tabs opened, I got the same response from people who had experienced my dilemma: bring the mobile to the network carrier centre and have it repaired.
 
That would not have been a big deal if Globe Telecom could fix the unit immediately—and by themselves. But as it turned out, Globe doesn’t do repairs for BlackBerry mobiles; they have to send it to Singapore and have it fixed. Oh my freaking gawd, I know. And I have to wait at least six freaking months before I get my mobile back, which confused me because upon purchase of the BlackBerry, I was told that in case there was a need for repair, the phone had to be sent to Singapore, and it would take at least two months. When I expressed my confusion, the customer care representative insisted on six months waiting period. I resigned.
 
So now, I am grieving terribly not having my BB. No more mobile blogging. No more taking snapshots of food and candid moments with friends, among other things. No more mobile chatting on Yahoo! Messenger. No more checking Facebook when I’m out with my friends, which might make them happy since they will now have all my attention.
 
I can’t get over the fact that in just five months—just when I’ve gotten the hang of it—that thing bailed out on me. I wasn’t an abusive owner; in fact, I took really, really good care of it. Now, what am I supposed to do when my family’s out for grocery shopping? What am I supposed to do when I’m waiting for someone or something? What am I supposed to do when I arrive early at a social gathering and it’ll probably—try certainly—take most of my friends an hour or so before they arrive? What am I supposed to do when someone is annoying me and I have no other choice but to stay in the same place with him? It used to be that I would busy myself with my mobile—and it would appear so—so I had an excuse to ignore the person. I can’t do any of the stuff I do with my BB with my Nokia. For starters, the latter has no Wi-Fi connectivity, its keys are extremely hard to type with, and it has a crappy camera.
About an hour after I brought in my BB for repair, I heard a distinct message tone from a BlackBerry Curve clutched by a woman. I began to miss clutching my Bold.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Picking Up Magazines

mags

 

National Bookstore—“Nice shirt,” a voice cut me from staring at the rack of magazines. I turned to look at the direction where the voice came from. I was startled—a man in his late twenties-early thirties, I reckoned, was smiling at me.

 

I raised a brow. “Excuse me?”

 

He motioned his lips to my shirt. I completely forgot.

 

I was wearing the shirt my friend Mel gave me—semi-fit brown, with huge print on the front that says ‘Do you hear that? It’s the sound of no one caring’.

 

I forced a half-baked smile. “Thanks.”

 

A quick once-over—airborne head, pointed nose, pasty skin, ridiculously red lips. The eyes? They didn’t sparkle. He was slightly taller than I was. He was wearing a plain red Lacoste polo shirt—the alligator was distinct and detailed so I knew it was genuine—matched with dark blue jeans and a pair of blue Chuck Taylor.

 

“Nice—” I couldn’t tell him he had nice lips; it would be flirting. I completely got a queer vibe from him, but I didn’t want to flirt. He may just have found my shirt cool, and so he had to comment. “Nice shirt.”

 

A puzzled expression crossed his face.

 

OK. End of conversation.

 

I turned my attention back to the magazines—OK, Cosmopolitan, Pulp, Garage, Preview, Men’s Health, Good Housekeeping, FHM, Top Gear.

 

“I take it taga rito ka lang?”

 

Well, well, well. If it isn’t my lucky day.

 

I turned to him and flashed a genuine smile. “Yup. And I take it you’re not.”

 

He smiled. “How can you say that?”

 

“You asked if I was from around here. That usually means the person inquiring isn’t from the place.”

 

“Eric,” he extended his hand.

 

I shook it. “Is that with a C or a K?” Was I on drugs that I actually pursued a conversation with a stranger—notwithstanding that he was a handsome stranger? I wasn’t usually that easy. Even if it was a really cute guy who starts a conversation, I usually put on an intimidating fa├žade. It wouldn’t be until I was certain the guy really wanted a run for his flirting money that I’d reciprocate interest.

 

He shifted his weight on his other leg. “C.”

 

“I thought so,” I maintained a smile. “So taga saan ka?”

 

“Manila. I’m here on a short vacation with some relatives.”

 

“I see,” was all I could say. My wit had abandoned me—yet again—when I needed it. This has happened before—many times. A guy comes up to start a conversation to me, and when I start to converse, my mind goes blank—as if I ran out of things to say. But what was I supposed to say then? I didn’t know this person. I don’t know this person. Were we to converse about shirts? He’s from Manila—was I to ask exactly where in Manila he was from? Then—“So, um—” I rolled my eyes.

 

Baka naman pwede malaman ang name mo,” he winked.

 

After I told him my name, he straightened his shoulders—as if he was trying to appear confident—even more confident than I found him to be, that is.

 

I took a magazine from the rack. What it was, I can no longer recall. All I remember is that I took it just to appear as if I wasn’t really interested. It wasn’t like I could I actually flip the pages.

 

Pero aalis na rin ako tomorrow morning—” he paused, looking at me with that same look guys always give when they— “I’m staying Bohol Tropics. Baka you want to have lunch?”

 

OK. No doubt. This is heading where I think it is.

 

“Actually, I was um— I’m meeting someone for lunch.”

 

Eh dinner?” he flashed a smile, which I have to admit was charming.

 

“Seriously?”

 

“Huh? Just a quick dinner.”

 

“Are you sure you’re asking me out for dinner?”

 

He smiled. I had to stifle a laugh.

 

“As I thought.”

 

“I have my own room,” he moved closer so as the young girl who had just arrived to grab a magazine wouldn’t hear.

 

“Ha!” I shook my head. “You could have at least asked me out for coffee. I could have said yes.”

 

“So coffee?” he leaned closer this time, I could smell his baby powder cologne.

 

“Besides the point. I have to go,” I returned the magazine.

 

“Quick coffee,” he said as I turned around.

 

I turned to face him, “Seriously? I don’t do those things.”

 

Sige na,” his cockiness was beginning to annoy and intimidate me at the same time.

 

“Listen, Eric, or whatever your real name is. I doubt it’s even Eric. I am not like any other boy you pick up on the street—or the mall. This isn’t Manila, not that location has anything to do with—” this guy was seriously digging on me. I was certain by the way he was looking at me. “Mapilit ka,” I told him.

 

Uuwi na naman ako bukas. It’s not like magkikita pa tayo ulit.”

 

I would have punch him in the face had I been high on booze. But for the sake of not stooping to his level, which I was sure couldn’t get any lower, I walked away cursing. What it boils down to is—I may not be a saint, but I’m not a whore either. He can very much drool on his own tool because he ain’t getting in my 501.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Wrong Parking

beer boy
Stop looking at me. Sure a friend of mine asked your number on—and in—my behalf the last time we were here, but that was it. We’ve had too much beer on empty stomach. I didn’t personally ask for your number because—what good would it do? If I sent you a message, would you have replied? Nah, I didn’t think so.
 
Yes, I admit—you’re hot. Even in your work clothes—white shirt under a tad oversized Jersey and basketball shorts. You have pretty eyes—didn’t you know I’m a sucker for pretty eyes. And sweat trickling down your temples—very sexy. No, don’t wipe them off!
 
Now, my friend here beside me—he’s surprised I find you attractive. He says you’re unlike the boys I fancy; you’re taller than I am. I replied that I’m trying to leave short boys behind. You know, not really short like hobbit-short, but fair-enough short. See, that doesn’t make sense. So does your staring at me. You’re making me blush under these yellow lights. And now I can’t stop looking at you.
 
What’s that? Did you just look at me again—and smiled? Someone must have spiked my drink. The way you carry those beers in your hand got me thinking what else your hands are good for.
 
You expected that I’d text, didn’t you? I was tempted to. But at the risk of making a fool out of myself, I decided not to. But you’re the bigger fool for thinking I’m that into you.
 
Oh no. Did you just put your hand in your shorts? What’s the matter—parked it the wrong way? Now, you’re smiling. Why is that? Because you saw me looking at you when you fondled your tool? I didn’t mean to. Besides, you should have done it in the restroom. Why did you do it on a corner where I could clearly see you, anyway? You’re teasing me, aren’t you?
 
There’s that smile again. Now, now, don’t be shy. We boys all commit parking mistakes sometimes. Now, before I leave—you might want to attend to other customers. It’s not like I’m going to go out-of-character and ask you out. Nuh-uh. Not this boy.

The No Secret

secret

 
Someone asked me to watch The Secret: 1st 20 minutes clip on YouTube. I had thought it was about that book Oprah yapped about some years ago which didn’t get my attention, and it was indeed. The Secret, written by Rhonda Byrne, is a sort of self-help material that attempts to demonstrate the law of attraction—you attract what you constantly think of, something that sort.

 
The Secret aside, the reason why I’m not into self-help books is that I find it too vicarious. I find it—here it comes—a load of crap. I mean, sure, it’s a matter of perspective, but—come on!—it is mostly about how other people have turned their lives around for the better amidst whatever dilemma it was that they encountered. Are we so desperate and hopeless that we pattern our lives after others’ in hopes that whatever improvement they have made in their lives will somehow happen to ours?
 
Self-help books delude us. It draws us far from reality that we are faced with. It’s a matter of perspective, really, how one must deal with life and all the troubles attached to it. Life should be lived as raw as one possibly can—those who patronize self-help books don’t seem to realize that. It’s good when we learn from other people’s experience, but it’s better when we learn from our own. You know, make our own path; deal with our lives in our own way.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Something In the Waters

beach 1

Between stories of how Stephen’s heart was broken by his ex-lover—plus all the side comments which revealed he still had bitterness towards her—and his plans of tying the knot next year, Cherry and I took turns in pleading him to take us to the beach. We have done it a number of times before—go to the beach without any preparation. I was not one who pleaded for things, but lately it seemed I need to relax, all three of us needed to relax—“forget the world,” as Stephen put it.
 
The whole beach thing seemed to be going nowhere as Stephen got caught up in cyber-stalking his ex-lover on Facebook. Ah, much thanks to Facebook, stalking has become a breeze. So I put a compromise on the table: it was OK if we didn't go to the beach so long as we at least go to the nearest pool.  I just really needed to be in water. And no, I don't have any fantasies of being a water creature, if that's what you're  thinking. But, thankfully, after maybe realizing that his looking at his ex’s photos won’t do him any good and would only cause him major chest pain, Stephen gave in. Cherry and I practically cheered our way to my room to grab extra shirts and a camera.
 
So off we headed to the beach, stopping by a convenience store to buy a pack of cigarettes. As before, Stephen drove his motorbike like a speed maniac, overtaking other motorists. Cherry and I kept complaining, but it only amused him, who I then realized has a fondness for screaming—literally screaming, “Oh my god! Shit!”—passengers. It would have been a total adrenaline ride of some sort if it wasn’t for fear of being thrown off across the other side of the road.
 
As we drew nearer to the beach—the sort of secret beach my friends and I would like to consider our own, what with sentiments and memories—I couldn’t help but feel a little giddy. This is it!
 
The narrow road that led to the beach was a sight for my sore eyes. The tiny trees, grasses, and flowers—even the rocks—gave me that old familiar feeling of childhood, and more especially that feeling of being with my dear friends. If only Melanie and Abegail were with us.
 
beach 2
 
The place was empty except for some two people sitting on a makeshift cottage. Fallen leaves that had dried over the days were scattered on the ground. The ocean breeze was fairly cold and the sky was clear. Everything looked perfect. Everything felt good. Somehow I felt light, like I was floating on water—and I haven’t even taken my shirt off yet.
 
After some admiration for the sight that lay before us, we decided it was time to hit the waters. And we took some pictures—it wouldn’t be complete without taking pictures—like it was our first time in that place. The sand was fine and white; the water was pristine. And as a sort of recognition that prime-time show ‘Mutya,’ we made some jokes about mermaids—jokes we’ve made before but had forgotten—and laughed like crazy-crazy. While Stephen swam farther away from what I deemed ‘the safe swimming zone,’ C and I talked about how much we love the beach. There’s something in the water, so to speak.
 
There’s something in being at the beach, especially with people you love. There’s something liberating about slicing the calm waters with your body. There’s something about opening your eyes under the water. There’s something about being able to look at a ‘vast’ horizon—a feeling of life without limits.
 
Personally, when I am at the beach, I feel like nothing could go wrong. Like my life, however messy and twisted, is what it should be. I feel like I can face a falling meteor and I won’t be harmed. I feel like I have a place in this wild world. There’s something—
 
I don’t even mind the burning feeling on my skin.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Market, Market

market 1
 
I am in the car, parked outside the city market. In preparation for my grandfather’s first year death anniversary, my mum has taken me and my cousin to the market. Yes—but I refused to leave the car. It is only up to my cousin to carry everything my mum is buying.
 
Here I am inside the car—windows open. Faint stench of fishes and garbage brush my nose. I observe people at the terminal which is next to the market. So why am I here—why am I in the car while my mum and my cousin sweat themselves through huge crowds of people? There—there goes your answer. I don’t like huge crowds of people, especially not at the market. And besides, other than carrying bought items—which I’m not in the mood for, not today anyway—I’d be completely of no use to my mum.
 
market 2
 
I can’t identify which fish is best for which dish. This may be due to the fact that I am not a huge fan of fish. But I eat fish, needless to say—especially when it’s kinilaw. And I can’t, for the life of all the sea creatures, tell if a fish is rotten aside from looking at its eyes. But then again, those vendors use some sort of trick with the light bulb so the fish looks fresh, correct?
 
I don’t know which spices to buy for kare-kare or afritada or for anything. But I’m certain onion and garlic are basic. I can’t even make guess of how much spices to buy.
 
I don’t like the smell of markets, especially not the dirty ones. And honestly, our city market is filthy. Filthy in the sense that there is no proper drainage system—the floor is muddy. Garbage is at every corner. The smell is just foul, I can’t help but cringe from where I sit.
 
I don’t like buying with vendors yelling at my face, trying to convince me their products are fresh or that the price is just. I mean, let me buy in peace! This is the same reason I sometimes snap at sales representatives at the mall—they can be really annoying, following you to every rack you go to.
 
I think that although the items are more expensive at the grocery, when you’re lucky, you can get the same fresh items like the ones in the market.
 
So here I am, listening to Ingrid Michaelson, while sighing a breath of relief that I am done typing on my mobile. I just hope my mum doesn’t forget to buy carrots and lettuce for my vegetable fix.