Last week on Friday Mayang asked me to take her to town to take care of some errands and have lunch with her, just the two of us, no friends or family and no beer. I could see that this was a request for something she really wanted and being the kind of man that would never spit into the wind, I smiled and said; “Darling, I’d love to!” That my friends, was absolutely the best answer I could’ve given.
Our first stop as always is our bank’s ATM machine, I don’t believe we really needed the money, but my wife does love to have her picture taken. One funny or odd aspect of the trip off the mountain was that during the drive the rain poured like there was no end to it. Yet, when we reached the main shopping area the sun broke out in all its glory, like an omen from the heavens; “Go forth and spend!” How do those Malls control the weather like that?
Our second stop was to Mac’s Auto parts out in the city, where we had to replace the tinted strip across the top of the New Old Honda’s windshield, hey, that was Mayang’s idea. Twenty minutes later we were pulling into the Ayala Harbor Point Mall on Subic Freeport and parking the car (FOR FREE). We left the car there and took the ten minute walk to the main gate of the Free Port as the SM Mall was just across the bridge. I know I was at one mall, and you could wonder why we walked to the other mall. Parking on the Free Port is simple and easy, and at the SM Mall you must drive into the building, then ride a circular narrow drive pointed straight up to the roof and pay to park. No parking validation in Olongapo City. Besides SM Mall is where the Globe Center is now located.
Ah, my Globe dongle, that rascal in the past three weeks has become sluggish and very slow. Thursday It was so slow I couldn’t log onto Yahoo, or Lip. Did you hear that? I couldn’t log on to LiP! Oh the humanity! You know what a major-major malfunction that is and must be looked into without delay.
I explained my problem to the very attentive young lady there at the Globe Center named Rina; she attached my dongle to her computer and proclaimed that I was right. She then went into hyper thought mode to solve this problem. I stood by with my mouth shut and my eyes open and watched this young lady’s fingers dance across the key board at the speed of light. When I heard her softly mutter; “YES!” I knew she had found the problem. Now this is the part where you’ll groan and shout; “Paul, you’re making this stuff up!” But that’s not true, young Rina looked and me and explained that my SIM card inside my Globe Tattoo Dongle was cluttered with unanswered SMS’s or texts. I looked at Rina and asked whom could be texting my dongle, as I, didn’t even know the number? She shocked me by smiling and explaining that the mad texting culprit was the Globe Company itself. With a few “Do you need fast cash requests thrown in for good measure?
But the part that pleased me most was that Rina caught the irony of the situation at the same time as I did. Without a word we both started laughing and Mayang and the other employees could not understand what we both found so funny. (Note to Harry the Horse, I didn’t make this up, I’m not smart enough) Now the Dongle is fixed, I’ve been educated on how to solve the problem in the future, so it was back to the Ayala Harbor Point Mall we went.
Being this was my wife’s day, I followed her everywhere she wanted to go in the mall, I stopped without complaint anywhere she wanted to look, touch and or buy any item that fell within her preview. I was being Paul, the dutiful husband, and was enjoying my day out with my bride. She was smiling and enjoying herself, and I was pleased just to be a part of her day.
My wife decided that lunch was now in order, and she wanted to eat at T.G.I.F. or “Thank God it’s Friday” restaurant (Hey, it really was a Friday.) As we sat down, we were greeted by an extremely flamboyant waiter named Jhun, (I know the senior must be so proud of him.) He pranced and danced getting us drinks and menus. Jhun was also very proud of his working outfit, as his suspenders were covered with bright buttons with not so funny saying printed on them. As we bonded I asked him why he wore both a belt and suspenders at the same time? And didn’t he know what that tells the world about him? He was perplexed and asked me to explain. I told him that it means you trust nothing or no one. I saw the hand moving up to his head and I just said; “Jhun, think about it.) Ten minutes later he caught on and had a good laugh, and spread the joke among his co-workers. Ah, sadly, they all can’t be as sharp as Rina at the Globe Center!
I ordered Chicken Fajitas, and Mayang had Chicken and Shrimps of course with dirty rice (Rice Pillar). The food was excellent and the service was great. But I’m so glad of my meal choice, as the Kano at the next table ordered Chicken Wings, and part of the preparation required Jhun, to pour the hot sauce onto the wings and then he started to gyrate while shaking up the mixture and singing “Shake your Booty” with backup vocals from the other servers. Did you know that at TGIF’s without any prompting the entire wait staff will break into song and dance for no particular reason. Quite odd, But entertaining!
I very much enjoyed my meal; until I receive the check, P 1,540.00, for two people to eat lunch in a mall in the Philippines? Plus they added a P 1.40 service charge, which I normally would refuse to pay, but Jhun said he did get a share along with the other waiters. Wow’ what a liberal socialist l idea, to remove the incentive to work harder than the rest. The person, who goofs off and refuses to pull their weight, gets paid the same as the person who hustled their butt off. I will return every few months to eat there again, as I said the food was good. But the rest of the time I can eat at Texas Joe’s for one half that price and I’ll dare say, have a great meal.
After lunch we then spent some more time in the mall, and then Mayang announced that she had a pleasant day and wanted to get back to the house to perform her YaYa duties for Jaden our new grandson.
The reason I brought up the name of LiP contributor Harry the Horse (I think that’s his name) is because he accused me a while back of making my articles up. I then asked if I also photo shopped the pictures I post with them. The ability that I’ve been blessed with for my entire life is the way I can find the humor in most of life’s situations. The only thing I do is point them out. So to Harry I say; “Yup, this Friday was exactly as I presented it to you. Some things in life you just can’t make up, and I don’t know how to photo shop.”
Paul Thompson; Resides in the Philippines, close to Subic Bay. He is married to the wonderful girl named Maria (AKA Mayang). Our to daughters are both grown up and have left the nest, the eldest married to a wonderful guy named Chris, and they have blessed us with our granddaughter Heather Colleen (AKA Ling-ling). Our youngest is living in Singapore, enjoying her life's adventure. I'm a retired Senior Chief from the U.S. Navy after 21 years. Post Navy he lived 7 years in Puerto Rico as a Night Club owner. After Hurricane Hugo told him to find a new line of work, he was hired by Military Sealift Command and went back to sea in Asia as a Merchant Seaman for 10 years. Then after 30 years at sea he buried his anchor in the Philippines residing now in Dinalupihan (or DinBat for short), Roosevelt Bataan where he build his home. And last but not least, anything he writes will be pure "Tongue in Cheek" if anybody is offended, He'll lose no sleep over it, but here's a quick Mea Culpa in advance!