Day Twenty-Seven: A wedding.
A favorite among the weddings I have been in was one where we blew bubbles as the newlyweds went out of the church. In most weddings, the guests would be throwing rice or flower petals. This couple thought of a nod to wedding tradition that was more environment-friendly.
The couple then both rode in bicycles — one for the bride, one for the groom — instead of taking a car to the wedding reception. It must have been a sight, seeing the bride still in her gown, riding a bicycle along the streets of Makati. People who saw them thought that it was a scene from a movie shoot.
Sadly, it was also a marriage that did not last. The couple separated a few years later, possibly breaking many of the former couple’s friends’ hearts. Some love stories just do not end up in an ever after.
Meeting up with him tonight was a bad idea.
He talked about red flags from the other guy he dated — warnings against getting further involved with the guy which he should have heeded sooner.
What I should have realized were his recent red flags. The abruptly ended online conversations. The evasion when asked when will we see each other. I was the only one who tried to keep our communication open.
We talked of former flames who left us damaged. We talked of our many personal dysfunctions. We talked of why he didn’t want me back to his life.
I see his reason and I understand it. But it hurts whenever he drives me away.
When the other guy told him that he stayed with the former because he didn’t think anyone else would want him I wanted to break the other guy’s nose.
I want him.
I love him.
I am not no one.
Three in the morning and we were walking along the empty street. I tried to hold his hand but he moved away. He crossed the street and walked away quicker.
And I realized how tired I am of running after him.
I let him turn at a corner until he was out of sight. I walked away slowly to give him time to get a cab and drive away.
He doesn’t want me anymore. I should have seen the red flags sooner.
Day Twelve: A friend.
Some of the fondest memories I have of Mumbai were of going out of the office at two in the morning to get a small cup of chai from a street vendor from across the street. Harry was pleased to learn that the Filipino trainer sent to their team liked tea.
And beer. Indians and Filipinos would get along fine as long as there is beer. It helps that the local beer in Mumbai is good and that we have similar habits when it comes to drinking: Drinking is best shared with friends. Drinking is a time to unwind and bond. Food and beer go well together.
Tea breaks and after-work drinking were times for talking about things outside work. And Harry has a lot of stories to share. Life while growing up. Family and children. Music listened to. Fishing. Many of the things I learned about India, I learned from Harry.
Harry left Sitel on the day I left Mumbai to return to Manila. Like him, I was also about to leave Sitel a few weeks after that training. We were both old timers among the outsourced employees of our account, lasting longer than many of the in-house employees, and many of the managers were reluctant to see us go.
It wasn’t strange that we got along quite well. But it was lucky that I met and worked with him when I did.
This was a dream I had yesterday afternoon. While walking along a street, I sent a tweet through my phone: I want siopao.
It was around dusk. The street had four lanes without an island, lined with what appeared to be pet shops. Ahead of me was an intersection to what looked like a rotonda. If it weren’t for the lack of island, the place reminded me of Boni Avenue intersecting with Maysilo Street (I could see a structure similar to Mandaluyong’s “Dambana ng mga Ala-ala” in front of me), but with the pet shops of Cartimar thrown in.
There weren’t that many people out walking, there were very few vehicles about. As soon as I sent the tweet, I looked ahead and there by the intersection passed a large car. When it passed, it left a large siopao in the middle of the street.
I ran towards the siopao, looked around if anyone else would pick it up, took it, then walked back to the sidewalk. The siopao was pretty big, with a shiny beige bun, unlike the typical white. It reminded me of the siopao sold in Mr. Poon’s along Quezon Avenue.
I didn’t get to know what the siopao tasted like. I woke up by then and thought, “wow, magic siopao!”
[Image: “Siopao (steam buns)” by Oooway on Flickr.]
This is actually a detail of the fountain at Plaza Calderon dela Barca (now called Plaza San Lorenzo Ruiz), in front of the Binondo Church (officially the Minor Basilica of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz). The photo was taken on Good Friday, probably in 2005, using my Minolta film SLR.
If not for the electric wire that invaded the upper left corner of the photo, it does have an old European appeal, no? That shouldn’t be surprising since the Plaza has been around during the late 1800s (Google won’t give me info on when it was actually constructed), hence the Spanish influence.
A few years later, this fountain was repainted. Instead of cream with charming rusty splotches, it’s now a boring light gray that seems to remove highlighting shadows, giving the fountain statues a rather flat appearance.
While I support the revival and restoration of old structures in Manila (and Dog knows we should put more effort into the preservation of our architectural heritage), it’s disappointing to see how people who actually do these things don’t seem to bother thinking things through. Yes, it’s merely a choice of paint. But choosing the right kind of paint could turn an otherwise beautiful European-style fountain into a drab hunk of concrete where water pours out of.