Yesterday, a taxi driver tried to take advantage of self by pretending he didn’t understand the directions she gave him, and ended up taking her in the opposite direction than the one she wanted to go.
He took her to a street with no residences, no restaurants, only warehouses, and self berated the man for pretending he didn’t understand when he knew very well that Imay’s, the restaurant she wanted to go to, was on 6th street.
She stormed out of the cab and jumped into another cab, but the man was quick and chased her down and yanked open the door of the second cab and began yelling at her that she owed him 50 pesos. The second cab driver looked completely ashen-faced and sat there, as if under a spell.
Self noticed that the first cab driver had a very ruddy face, and hair that wasn’t combed, and she wondered if maybe he was high or something, and she tried to look back at his cab to see if she could make out the license plate. Then, when she saw that the second cab driver wanted her to get out of his cab, and because she was afraid of being alone on the street with this maniac, she ended up giving him 100 pesos, the smallest bill she had.
After that, she got to a cousin’s place, and then to another cousin’s place, and it was at the second cousin’s place that she found herself speaking Ilonggo for the first time in decades: “Waay sang suga,” she said, and she doesn’t know why she remembered that particular phrase, which means, “There are no lights.”
She can understand Ilonggo very well, and in fact she understood every word of what Joel the driver said when he was chatting on the phone (and he was always chatting on the phone — perhaps to his Master, Ida, though perhaps it was not Ida but his wife. Or perhaps it wasn’t his wife but his girlfriend). But speaking — she was always hesitant to speak. She’d end up speaking Tagalog, usually (and this astonished her as well, because she doesn’t get to practice her Tagalog at all, when in California, but in Bacolod she can speak it with some degree of fluency)
Just because you have money doesn’t mean you have power. You have to be deeply rooted in a place to be able to exercise power. At least, this is so here in Negros.
Today, the people in the hotel let her substitute something else in place of the usual longaniza, tapa, tocino, danggit, corned beef with eggs and/or plain or fried rice. She had breakfast rather late, as first she had to go to Munsterrific to get more “load” for her cell, and get a copy of today’s Visayan Daily Star. She got to the restaurant just as the breakfast crowd was thinning, and she was able to have sliced fresh manggo, two pieces of hot pan de sal, and eggs. Of course, she also had brewed coffee. She began reading a travel magazine she’d borrowed from Café Uma, and read an article about the wonders of Bohol.
The first time self visited Bohol was with Ying. Sole fruit of her loins was just starting high school. We were with Niece G and Ying’s son, Franco. It was a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful time in self’s life. On the boat to the resort (which was on a small island, just a short distance from Bohol), son was so excited: we saw pods of dolphins. It was the first time son had seen dolphins that were not swimming in a tank at Sea World. Ying, observing son’s delight, turned to self and said, “I think Andrew loves water.”
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.