Every day little things happen that seem to have no real meaning until you learn to translate them. Example I sit on my wall in the morning and have a cup of coffee and watch life meander by. Depending on the day the meanings can differ. A Jeepney coming down the hill, the roof rack overflowing with plastic bags flapping in the wind and the interior overflowing with people, So what could that mean? Knowing that Jeepney’s seldom ply our small road it could only be a trip to the beach or somewhere exciting as everyone was smiling and waving at me.
Johnny my Trike driving buddy, was rolling by at the same time and informed me that was exactly what was happening. Lucky guess on my part or after all these years do I finally have the finger on the pulse of my purok (Neighborhood)? I’ll stick with lucky guess.
But things that I do know: A Jeepney loaded with furniture and household goods coming up my road in the bright sunlight, someone is moving in. But if you see the same sight after dark, someone is moving out and avoiding the landlord.
School is out so I miss all the mothers leading the wee ones to school in the morning, and they all wave to the old Kano (Americano) and say good morning “Kuya Kano” there is some that, like in our family call me “Daddy Paul” but either way it’s nice to hear. And I always smile and return the greeting.
Week days are full of vendors and service people carrying their wears or tools up and down the road. I could buy furniture mattresses and stoves on credit sitting right on my wall and never moving. The term is Ambulant Vendors, I really don’t know the meaning but their license (If they have one) says that’s what they are. I’ll Google it) It could save you a lot in gas by not having to drive to town.
We also receive more than our fair share of solicitors collecting for the sick or deceased. One lady had a Barangay letter issued in Iba, which is a three hour drive away. I’ll assume she wasn’t going to quit until she hit Manila, the door to door salesman selling a never-ending array of stuff, items that they’ll explain that you can’t live without. Then the Bible folks who are trying to convert me to something or other who start off; “Sir, are you born again?” Which I can only respond; “I’ve not died yet so we’ll just have to wait and see.” The vendors and salesmen/women understand the simple no thank you, but the religious folks will drive me to the safety zone behind my gate. And yes I’m polite, but they aren’t at all, so why would I join them?
Then will come the food, chickens, pork, fish and vegetables all delivered to your door, then the arrival of the kid selling the sticky rice off his shoulder. Next the rice salesman in his work Trike (The kind of Trike that carries pigs and stuff) will stop every other day and ask if we need rice, I can’t imagine how much rice he thinks we can consume in two days after we just bought a Kaban (50 Kilos) from him. But I respond with a grin and tell him we’ll text him. Yes I have a “Rice Guy” on speed dial” doesn’t everyone?
The most revered of all the delivery guys is always going to be the “San Miguel Guy”, that sainted gentleman who insures a never ending supply of the Nectar of the God’s SMB or San Mig (Which ever you prefer) This man may arrive in different forms, he could show up in that truck full of happiness driving that Semi-truck with the sliding doors on the side or the local wholesaler guy that I keep on speed dial also, and yes again I have a :Beer Guy” Beer Guys require planning and a REF, as all beer is delivered warm, unless like me you also have the number to the “Ice Guy.” I learned that beer on ice is far better than warm beer so throw stones at me if you must.
Once a month my hero comes by, and sets up shop in my car port, I’ll move my car back open the gate and the “Knife Sharpener Guy” will set up and hold court for an hour or two. His hand carried sharpening stone connected to his bicycle is then ready to sharpen any and all tools plus bolos and household knives or is that knifes? But no matter it is a time I look forward to, as all the neighbors gather and I’m not obligated to feed them like when I host all the Pacman fights on Pay-Per-View at my house every year.
And yeah I’ll be hosting the Mayweather Pacquiao fight in May again this year, but the PPV is now PHP 2,500.00 for the fight. Damn that greedy Mayweather and why does he get 60% and Manny 40% win or lose? A subject for much later on…
Then the highlight of the vending season is the day when the horse drawn Kalesa chuck full of wicker product, plastic pails and gadgets galore, hammocks wooden folding tables and other wondrous sundries and notions all there for a few pesos each. I point but am wise enough to let my darling wife Mayang haggle the price. (She calls it “Fight the Price”) But to me it’s like the circus has come to town. Wow I am easy to please.
I get all this enjoyment and excitement by just sitting on my wall and enjoying a cup of coffee so I guess it’s not that inconsequential after all.