Fourth Day After Arriving From Manila

Today, self had interaction with the following Americans:

  • AT & T technician, who looked at the mess of wires that had been draped over the roof of self’s house for the last 16 years and cut, cut, cut, somehow transforming the nest of wires into one thick cable.  Result:  internet access restored, don’t ask self to explain how he did it.
  • Mauricio the housecleaner:  self convinced herself that he broke her iMac, for it refused to start after Mauricio unplugged it (without first turning it off) so that he could plug in the vacuum cleaner.  Self nearly went bananas, Mauricio refused to take her money.  15 minutes after he left, sorrow and woe on his countenance, self managed to coax the computer back to life.
  • Nice man at Redwood City Nursery, who sold self three calla lily bulbs (“These are yellow with beautiful silver stippling on the petals,” he told self.  Sold!)

In addition, self had phone interaction with the following people in Manila:

  • Mildred, Dearest Mum’s other maid, who answered the phone sounding extremely glum.  Self asked her, “Paano ka na?” (Rough translation:  How are you doing?)  Mildred said:  “Mabuti.”  (Rough translation:  “I am well.”  Self knows that the translation is three words, and the Tagalog word is only one.  But you see how absolutely great Tagalog is?  Whole worlds of meaning can be contained in one word!)   Then self made small talk for about five minutes.  But Mildred sounded very un-enthusiastic, so self gave up.
  • The maid of Mrs. M. Bautista:  Self was looking for Dearest Mum so that Dearest Mum could confirm whether B-flat was her favorite piano key.  Self realizes this sounds extremely lame.  But, at 10:10 p.m. this evening, self was suddenly consumed with the burning desire to have the answer to this question.  And Mildred told self that Dearest Mum was not at home, she was visiting a Mrs. Bautista.  So self called there.  And her call caused, apparently, a tremendous commotion, for everyone in the kitchen (Mrs. Bautista must have at least three maids) wanted to know who she was, and why she was calling Mrs. Bautista when it was self’s Mum self needed to talk to, and then, after long explanation (“I am the daughter of N___; I am calling from San Francisco;  I was just there last week; I know Mrs. Bautista; I am an honest person; I will not steal her valuables; I am a legitimate member of the jewelry-owning class”  —  well, OK, perhaps self is guilty of stretching things a bit, especially when so purpose-driven), mayordoma came on the line and gave self yet another number to call, this one belonging to a Mrs. Maramba.  And this person kept telling self:  It-oh-pour, pour-pour-ser-o, payb-o-pour, sex-sex-sex —  !!!  (Wait a minute, self thought:  Why does this woman have sex on the brain?  It took a further five minutes to sort out the numbers, then the woman insisted on giving self two more numbers, and on went the charade, for about 10 more minutes)

Now, having gotten so many numbers written on her pad, self is quite exhausted and decides she really doesn’t need to know right this minute whether B-flat really is Dearest Mum’s favorite piano key.  Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

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