Friday, November 09, 2007

What is your Beef or Chicken?

Dear insansapinas,

-Curious things, habits. People themselves never knew they had them.

Chicken it is.

With it were salad, bread, crackers, jam, butter, sliced fruit, water or soda, coffee or tea.There's also little sachets of salt, sugar and blackpepper and catsup.

I chose soda. A friend in the airline advised me not to drink water not unless it is served in a bottle still sealed. Didn't ask why. The reason is obvious. You do not know where water in the jug or bottle comes from.

I wrapped the bread, crackers and the jam in a plastic and put them inside my tote bag.Shame on me? Yeah. Babaw ko.

But if you have been stranded in a foreign country where you got cash just enough to buy you a bottled water, you may also do the same.

Got this bad experience in Singapore. The connecting flight was delayed for another eight hours because of the storm. My companion and I spent our last few dollars in helping the economy of Singapore; we shopped until we dropped. Cliche. Toink toink. The tourist guide was also partly to blame. He made us feel guilty of not buying from the stores with the blazing signs SALE in exchange of the free city tour with refreshments. It seemed that the tourist bus' GPS always led us to where we can drop a few or hundred dollars.

My lady lawyer/friend/companion in my trips abroad was fond of buying "pasalubong" for everyone in her big household, office and neighborhood. That included the security guards, the janitors and her manicurist/pedicurist. So thoughtful, so kind. Bless her soul.

We didn't expect the delay in the flight that long. We already missed our breakfast. And the time showed that it was already past noon. My stomach started to grumble.To forget the hungry pangs, I walked around the Changgi Airport. The beautiful jewelries, perfumes and books which I used to gloat over had no more effect on me. The jewelries looked more like asparagus or boiled "sitaw" with " sauteed bagoong in a kamatis as dip. The perfume's scent was more of the smell of the pork barbecue and the books looked like the green banana leaves
where steaming rice is spread all over.

Then she remembered the bread, the cracker and the butter and jam that she put away in her bag. She was a weightwatcher so she didn't eat everything served. We bought a bottled water and without thinking that we can come up with a miracle to multiply the single bread, we broke it into two, put a little butter and jam and hungrily devoured it. We were saved from " hunger" by that innocent bread hiding inside the bag saved by my friend instead of leaving it in the food tray to be recycled in the next flight?

Storm over, the flight was resumed. The stewardess barely finished the question, Beef or...?
we chorusedly answered Fish. Then we ate without much talking and burped. We asked each other if we ate like a glutton. The bland fish fillets tasted more delicious than they used to.

This habit could have started when I was a student. My classmates and I used to get extra sachets of sugar, catsup and soy sauce from the fastfood restaurants. They're handy whenever we ate our baon inside the classroom if we have no money to eat out.

My mother too was an influence. She berated us whenever we left something in our plates when we eat in restaurants. She said that every morsel of food was paid for. Even the extra soy sauce and catsup. So when you are invited to dine with us, don't be surprised to find catsup sachets with McDonald or Jolibee brands in the dining table.

Before 9/11, most airlines served food with stainless fork and spoon. Once used, they are sold to recycling companies. If you find some of them in household that means, they were kept as "souvenirs" of the flight.

A friend of mine was an executive in a company that manufactures the disposables and the give-aways of an airline. When it was rumored that the airlines was going to fold up its operation, the wife knelt praying in Quiapo Church.

After the meal, there was a long line to the washroom. I remember when I was a kid and was travelling by bus. The driver used to stop near grassy areas and shout. "O yong magbabawas, magbawas na." Men have advantage over women. They can do it anywhere-- standing. But I saw one lady also doing it--also standing with only the "tapis" as cover. nyahahah.

Time for sleep. It was a long trip. It was already evening but the sun was still shining outside.
The man by the window missed the beautiful sight. Gold rays penetrating the blue gray clouds.


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