Last Post (Probably) Before Getting on the Plane

Self looked up tickets to Manila in September.  The reason she focuses on September is:  that is when the last class she has agreed to teach ends.

Then, she has to be back in San Francisco by Oct. 1.  Since September is many months away, the tickets were pretty cheap, cheaper than the ones she bought in December and January.  But she decided to wait until she got home before purchasing.

She feels, somehow, tricked:  she is still reading Sepharad.  It is the one and only book she has read in the last couple of weeks.

Here is the author, on Read the rest of this entry »

Last Day in the Islands

She bought fresh nangka from the Salcedo Market.  She hasn’t tasted fresh nangka in aaages!  When she lived in Manila, it was her favorite fruit.

She attended a family lunch hosted by Dearest Mum at Peking Garden in Greenbelt 5.

She saw Dear Cuz Maitoni, who self persuaded to attend today’s lunch at Peking Garden. Because if it were just self and her three brothers and Dearest Mum, she would have run out of conversation in about 15 minutes.

She saw Niece Blanca, who has grown into a poised young woman, and who next year will begin applying to colleges, one of which will be Oxford.

She saw Blanca’s younger brother Luis, who looks remarkably like his sister.

She saw sister-in-law Myla.

She saw brother Tommy and his wife Mia.

She saw Tommy’s son Jaime, who is sprouting a small goatee, wears glasses, and is very tall.  Jaime brought along his girlfriend, Amanda.

The worst part is:  self ate like a veritable pig.  All throughout her almost three weeks in Bacolod (“Why’d you stay there so long?” everyone wanted to know.  Self merely shrugged.  She knows that any answer she might concoct would never adequately persuade the listener of the sincerity of her motives), she managed to lose weight.  Yes, in spite of having access to 24-hour room service in L’Fisher Chalet, and being in such close proximity to the chorizo and the dangguit, the pinasugbu and the piyaya.

During lunch today, however, self had two (no, make that three) servings of Peking Duck. She had some crispy fried beef strips that you stuffed into a sesame seed dough pocket (vaguely reminiscent of one of Dear Departed Dad’s favorite merienda items:  kwapao).  She had some egg whites stirred in with who-knows-what and soy sauce.  She had Shanghai dumplings.  She had mango sago.

After the lunch, self persuaded Dear Cuz to go shopping for clothes at Landmark.  Ever since lunch yesterday (with old friends Carla P and Judy B), to which Judy B had worn a simply elegant rust-colored sheath dress (Only 300 pesos from Landmark, according to Judy), self had been itching to go.  What really helped self to make up her mind was a conversation she had with a young woman in the comfort room of Peking Garden.  The exceedingly slender woman was wearing a grey sheath dress and a bright red cardigan.  She was waiting patiently while a yaya tried to make a little boy pee into the toilet.  Self told the woman that she very much admired her cardigan:  where did she buy it?  When the young woman answered, “Landmark,” self made up her mind to head to the store forthwith.

Dear Cuz was kind enough to humor her.  Self must have tried on a dozen different items.  Cuz herself adamantly refused to try on anything:  instead, she stood just outside the fitting room cubicle and told self she wanted to see everything that self tried on.  Then she would say things like, “That looks great on you!”  or, “No, that’s too baggy.”  Self ended up buying two items:  a purple top (“The color of the year!” Dearest Mum exclaimed, when self returned home and showed her the purchases) and a summery, black and white print dress.  The top cost 425 pesos (approximately $10) and the dress cost 1,695 pesos (approximately $39).  For the life of her, self simply could not find any dresses that were similar to the one Judy B had worn to lunch yesterday.  At check-out, self realized she didn’t have enough pesos in her wallet.  Luckily, she could still use a credit card.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Iain Kelly

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