Over the past few days, the discussion here on the LiP Blog has really turned toward Filipino time, patience, and adjustment to the Filipino way of handling our lives. I said in comments and in my posts over the last couple of days that it is my goal to learn how to be more patient, give up on strict scheduling, and generally live a more stress free life because of these changes. Yesterday, I decided to make a first step on the effort.
As you all know, I’ve lived in the Philippines for over 7 years now. In that time, I have only gone grocery shopping maybe 2 or 3 times. It didn’t take long for me to realize that grocery shopping was quite stressful for me here, and I simply did not have the patience needed for it. The lines are long. The cashiers are slow. It just never was for me. When I went grocery shopping, I would get aggrevated, angry…. generally just downright mad! For my own well being, and for the sanity of Feyma, I decided not to ever go grocery shopping again. I just let her handle it.
Well, as part of my stated goal of gaining more patience and understanding, I decided to go the grocery store yesterday. I went alone, just to see if I could do it without getting bent out of shape. I went to SM Grocery Store here in Davao. I decided to shop for fruits there. I went to the produce area, and found lots of fruits there that I had honestly never seen before. I picked up some Longon, Golden Dragon Fruit, Lychee, Ponkan (Mandarin Oranges), Lemons and Granny Smith Apples. I was wanting to buy some Guyabano Fruit that I saw there. I didn’t know how to choose a good Guyabano, though, so I asked the clerk to help me. He looked over the fruit, and told me that it was not yet ripe, and would be ready in about two days. I chose not to buy any.
When I went to the checkout to pay, there were many people waiting in line at all the lanes. I finally found one lane that had only two customers ahead of me, so I got in line. The cashier was indeed slow, as I remembered from my previous shopping experiences, but I was OK! I guess it took about 15 minutes before it was my turn to checkout. I stood there waiting patiently, just watching the other customers, and seeing the different items that others were buying. I actually found it entertaining to watch to see what others were buying, because it was a new cultural experience for me. Even though I’ve been living here for some time, I had not been shopping much, so I didn’t take that part of the culture in.
After I finished paying for my purchase, I wished the checkout girl a good afternoon, and went on my way! I felt good. I made it through the shopping experience without blowing my top. I didn’t yell at anybody. I actually had a good time!
Maybe I can make the adjustment to being patient and appreciate life a little more!