Mrs. Thompson and I had a discussion or if I stated it clearer Mayang told me that our bedroom needed re-painting. She explained that the car was fine and Christmas (And yes in the Philippines we can still say that word, even on the TV and in Newspapers.) was 3 months away. According to her math there was an ample amount in the budget for painting. Well I couldn’t refute her argument, nor would I dare too. Because when she makes up her mind about something, it’s “Katie Bar the Door” it’s going to happen.
She left after gaining my approval (What a joke). But I thought about one of the parts of her plan was to repaint all our bedroom furniture. This is the set we had hand built 15 years ago and it had stood the test of time. I pondered the situation, and then decided to stick my nose into her plan and that often is a very bad idea. But I foolishly did it anyway.
Tuesday morning she wanted to go to town to Ace Hardware and pick the paint for just the bedroom set. I popped up with I’ll go with you my Mahal! Because phase one of my sneaky plan was now in effect. (Rubbing my hands in glee) I park the car at the mall, but didn’t enter, I walked out the gate of the Subic Free Port and we boarded a Yellow Jeepney, to go to a better Hardware store that I knew of. I took her look of suspicion in stride and boldly sallied forth.
We debarked said Yellow Jeepney by the Savers Mart in beautiful downtown Olongapo and she pointed out there were no hardware stores within that part of town. I told her no, hardware stores but 4 furniture stores were there and that I wanted her to pick out a new bedroom suite. Both her feet started tapping, but not in anger but in happiness.
Go forth and find a set you like! Now here is an oddity I found in the Philippines, they don’t group any rooms’ furniture together, so you can see it all at once and make your selection. Oh let the fun begin. New bed with mattress one section, look test look test pick. Move to adjacent building to find her vanity with mirror. Look back to the bed see if it’s a match, back to look at the vanity. Me being a worldly man, quickly figured how the rest of this day was going to go, still a dresser and two bed stands to pick out. Get the picture?
I turn to my bride and explained that it would go so much smoother if only she and the saleswoman were involved and that I would go out front and sit at the patio table on the sidewalk in the shade and await her wonderful selection. Off they went both happy to be shed of me.
I noted that the manager of the store seemed worried that the Kano left; whereas I told him my plan and that the ladies were busy spending copious amounts of my money. He liked that and asked if I needed anything. Hmmm, a frosty cold San Miguel would be a taste sensation and would please me to no end. All I wanted were directions to where one could be acquired. His hand clapped, a young man appeared, who dashed off and returned within a New York minute with my prize. Ah so refreshing on a sunny afternoon. I was happy.
Soon out the door came the sales lady and Mayang, they were on the way to another store (Same Company) where the dressers and bed tables were located. I smiled sipped some of my nectar of the gods and went on with life. My beer was empty, and that’s when I noticed that the young man named “Boyet” was assigned to keep me in beer while my wife enriched the store coffers. Oh and the store was paying for the beer. Shop on fair lady shop on, I’m doing just fine.
Time passed, and beer was consumed when the ladies returned and Mayang was beaming for she had found all that she wanted and in the style that pleased her. The free beer ended, Boyet was tipped by the grateful Kano,
Honey it’s time to pay the bill, she told me, I said, my love you have a Visa Debit card, you pay it! The saleslady now looked at her in a different light, a lady of means. The truth is I seldom have more than a couple of hundred pesos in my pocket at anytime.
Oh free beer and a free fan also because we were preferred customers. The Bedroom painting started today, the furniture will be delivered Saturday, my wife is happy,(As a what?? A clam of course) and so my life is happy so far. But I’m going to milk this into a two part article, for no other reason than I’m lazy!
On the way out the manager introduced me to the store owner who had just arrived, I pointed out what a great job the manager was doing, and not to forget Boyet! Then I was carrying the free fan and told the owner that we’d only come to buy a new fan but the sales lady talked us into a new bedroom suite. He started laughing, and thanked me for coming.
I know someone will ask what I paid for the new furniture but all I’ll say is, was a bit less than a rebuilt engine for my New Ole Honda.