The New Old Honda update: it’s still in the shop, awaiting parts from Mega Manila, maybe next week, or a good chance not. I rented a car this week for a few days to accomplish a few of the mundane tasks required for day to day living here on the mountain.
So what’s new with you Paul? Well again with a days notice I was informed that I would be attending a wedding on Wednesday 22 May. I would be more than happy to fill you all in on the particulars of this union, but I have no clue as to who these two people are. Mayang is honored to be a nenang but I wasn’t even asked to be a ding dong. I’m thinking, I don’t know who they are, nor do I even know their names, I’m not a nenong, so using my cagy brain I’m thinking; “Hey I don’t have to go.”
How can one man be so wrong so often? Of course I’m going, my wife has a new dress and requires an escort or “Plus One” and I’m the one to be the one to be that! But without me bothering to explain that, you all knew that was going to be the case. Paul being a glass half full, kinda’ guy, (Why don’t people, purchase the correct sized glasses?) I’m thinking; “hey there might be cocktails involved.”
I lovingly look to my bride and foolishly ask; “What time will the nuptials take place?” To which she told me 1500 and we will be there at 1430. Listen, this is not my first rodeo, I did not just hop down from the turnip truck, and the priest won’t even show up until 1700, we all know that. But I have my marching orders, and as a good former sailor I just said; “Aye-aye my love, I’ll just follow your lead and mill around smartly.”
I had (Read wife) purchased a present for the young couple, and I can’t wait until they open it, so I’ll know what I bought. In deference to Paul Keating article of last week, I’ll be wearing a dress shirt and slacks plus my shined pair of Dexter Boat Shoes, fit for meeting kings and royalty. But sans socks, because there are limits as to how far I’ll go.
Saint Jerome’s church is a 15 minute walk, a 5 minute Trike ride, but Mrs. Thompson insisted we the car, albeit a rental and she hated the idea of the car just sitting at home while we’re paying for it. Cecil and Ymir Thea went to Manila to register my grandson Jayden’s birth with the US Embassy and to apply for his blue passport; the little Dude becomes a documented, Kano today. I’m so proud.
One would think; okay it was me that thought, that all I’d have to do is shower shave dress and go, nope, Mayang took me to Mon-Gil’s barber shop for my ears to be lowered and mustache and eye brows trimmed, at 0830 this morning. Who are these people and what power do they hold over us? I dug my feet in and demanded (Okay I asked nicely) to know just who they are. They live in the new house across the newly fenced in empty lot beside my house. Armed with this new information I can now absolutely say; “I still don’t know who they are.
Paul it’s time to go! I’m reading a book and it’s 1500, I’m not dressed and Mayang is in panic mode, I walked her out on our roof patio and pointed to the bridal possession parked in front of the brides house next door and said; “Honey Ko, when they are ready I’ll be ready, and went back to my book. My predictions as to the timing of this wedding are all coming true, how do I do that? Mayang is back, “They are all out in the street now.” She informed me, okay I’ll put my R2D2 (Rechargeable book) down and take a shower now. Thirty minutes later and guess what? The wedding party is still outside on the street but now “they” are the ones who are milling around smartly. The knowledge of who is getting married I gleaned by osmosis, and the fact the car with the flowers on the grill was parked next door to my house in plain view. I could have been a detective if I’d not been a seaman.
Off to the church we go, where we all get to become part of that grand Filipino scam called the “WEDDING” Okay call me a cynic, call me a doubter call me anything but late to last call. You’ve been there, you know what I’m talking about if you have ever attended a wedding here.
It’s called “The Photo Guy Scam” (May be used at a Baptismal too), this is where the official Photog guy, has a partner who will skulk around the church snapping pictures of everyone there. When the service starts he will slide out and return to his lair, normally on a 90 cc moped with a taped up seat. The plan is for him to return at the end of the service and sell at PNP 100.00 a picture of everyone one who attended. If for any reason he is delayed the official photog guy will take pictures by the thousands until his partner shows up with the money shots and starts hawking them to the crowd outside the church, Ah now you remember don’t you, yes I know he got me once also, but only that once, Mayang every time!
Please note I tried not to bore you with any details of the service, I figure that you’ve all been through it too. But once more I will brag that I got the whole schedule right, that I predicted above. It’s just too easy, like shooting fish in a barrel.
The party, next-door I had doffed my Sunday-go-to-meeting outfit and moved to shorts and a shirt, or the same outfit that most of the people at church were wearing. The food was being served; some idiot was pumping rap noise at 110 decibels into the ear of the guests, and the foul language seemed to fire up the younger crowd. My host (Father of the bride) walked over and shut it down, and I saw the beginning of a beautiful friendship blooming.
The food was plentiful and good, the Lechon; well need I say more? But there was no beer! Why do parties here omit the fluid that lubricates a festive mood? I took a 45 second walk to my beer ref at home and returned smiling. But now other party goers are coming up and asking me where I got that sweet nectar of the gods, I pointed with my lips in all directions of the compass that seemed to placate them. But a few minutes later a case of warm SMB appeared that calmed the crowd.
Anytime in the Philippines you can help a man save face you will be performing an act of kindness that will never be forgotten, and returned tenfold. I noticed two very well dressed and distinguish looking gentleman sitting by themselves, our host was offing them things to drink that they declined each time. I once more took that 45 second (one way) trip to my house to get a cold SMB and thought that a small act of kindness could help out my soon to be new friend. In a brown paper bag (So reminding me of my youth) I slid a new bottle of (still in the box) Johnny Walker Black Label, when I returned I caught my host off to the side and said; “A gift from my house to your house.” Then I just walked away to rejoin my bride.
Then I noticed on the “High Person’s” table glasses, ice and a bottle of Johnny Black sitting there, my host was beaming, and turned in my direction and smiled. He’s my new friend, whom BTW I now know all the names of his family. I went home and the party roared on until very late or early depending on your point of view.
My father had taught his five sons that it was the small acts of kindness that were not requested, that had the most meaning.
Okay; Fearless Leader Bob, since this one is so long, do I get next week off? (LOL)