Thursday, September 30, 2004

reality bites ... and makes you look like a damn fool

(disclaimer: this is a boring entry. don't say i didn't warn you. no dinner = no glucose = hungry brain.)

i should've informed a network about this trip: i am, i now realize, an unpaid reality show star.

(if you'll just let that sink in a bit, you'll realize how stupid that phrase was. because really, i'm just an unpaid reality show lead.)

just how many embarrassing moments can one have in a day? apparently, there is no clumsiness limit in other countries. it doesn't matter that in your country, you are a respectable, poised, calm professional. as soon as you step out of your comfort zone, you turn into a bumbling idiot.

to illustrate:

i made sure the luggage i packed was lighter than the last time i went to hong kong. it was the same bag for a trip that is more than twice the length of the first stay. and YET i wanted it to be lighter this time. i tried, i really did.

apparently, the bag itself is heavy, so no matter how 'lightly' i packed (if you consider bringing 5 shoes 'packing lightly') (in my defense, i'll be here for 5 weeks!), it was still bound to give me problems. and by 'problems', i mean it was out to get me (look up 'resistentialism.' now.).

(anyone bothered by the periods before and after the parenthesis? anyone? anyone?) (name that movie.)

where was i??? oh.

airport: in an awkward attempt to quickly roll the bag across the (and you'll have to help me here because i don't know what those things are called ... the things you put the ticket into and it lets you pass by opening up the jaws of death) ... thing, i managed to fall over the balance-challenged luggage because my hand was clutching its handle while the bag fell on its side. fortunately, hong kong is the land of 'i-don't-care-about-you' so no one gave a rat's ass.

hotel (eherm, serviced apartment) entrance: i had checked in. innocently, i waited by the door, expecting someone to bring the bag to my room. instead, the receptionist said "you can go up now" ... and that was that. i had to drag the monster of a bag into the elevator, which, to my dismay, was carpeted. ergo, it was not roller-friendly. i tripped my way into the lift, which, incidentally, had just enough space for the bag and one of my thighs.

there. i've successfully bored myself with my story. time to shut down.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

flying the notsofriendly skies

i get cold easily. it's a fact. i don't know what all this body fat is for if it can't keep me warm. my fat is purely decorative in some places and just plain extraneous in others.

so, on the plane to hong kong, just as we were gaining altitude, i decided to ask the flight attendant for a blanket. the stewardess (do they still call them that?) nearest to me was a stern-looking woman who looked at me (and my fat) with such disdain that i quickly reviewed my request to check if i had mistakenly asked her to strip while serving the ham-and-egg breakfast. she huffed off towards the back of the plane, leaving me wondering if she was really going to give me my much-needed protection.

a few minutes later, while i was intently eavesdropping on my seatmate's conversation (i couldn't help it! she spoke in spanish, english, filipino and a bit of gayspeak!), i felt a finger annoyingly clawing at my shoulder. the last time i felt a true-blue kalabit, i was in gradeschool, and even then it wasn't pleasant.

i turned to see who was irritating me. it was she. the woman who probably trained for months and months just to become good at her job had just called my attention by tapping ... no, make that "intentionally scraping" my shoulder. apparently, that is in section 5.2.4 of the flight attendant handbook circa 1942.

she did that only to say that she was still looking for the cursed blanket.

this entry would've ended on a bitter note if not for the SECOND flight attendant, the one with a smile that should be reserved for beauty pageant triumphs and lottery victories, the one who asked me, with all the sincerity in asia, if i wanted more water. she could've looked like dirt, and i would've still felt grateful for her warmth, which stood out especially after ms nasty finger. flight attendant no. 2 singlehandedly saved the reputation of PAL, in my opinion.

if, some time in my future, i would be asked if i could remember exactly when i turned lesbian, this would have to be it.

(note to the curious: no, i'm not and have no inclinations of that sort.)

strange conversations beget strange trips

i should have known, when i found out i was going to hong kong again, that i would experience another out-of-body conversation just prior to the trip, much like one of my favorite phone conversations with a customer care representative, or whatever you call them these days.

two days before my departure, i was at the eye center, waiting to have my eyes refracted. i wanted to bring fresh disposable contacts to hong kong, ya see, and i wanted to make sure i was getting the correct ones. so i wouldn't have to remove my lens prior to having my eyes checked (if you have never tried wearing contacts, take my word for it: taking them out is a bit of a hassle -- a downright pain if you have eyestrain and spent most of the day in an airconditioned environment that can make your eyes as dry as the sahara at noon: it's like tearing off your corneas), i wore my glasses. if you somehow missed that, let me reiterate -- i wore my glasses.

the lady from the eye center got my record sheet from the files and proceeded to ask me her routine questions: "are you the 'de guzman' from pasig?" "are you going to have your eyes checked today (ok, that was strange already)?" and ...

"are you wearing your contact lens right now?"

i answered by blankly staring at her through my fingerprint-stained glasses. so she followed up with another amazing question: "... or are you wearing glasses?"

hong kong is going to be great, i can tell.

hello hong kong

surprise, surprise: i'm back in hong kong.

the bad news is i'll be living alone for 5 weeks. the good news is that, in theory, i can blog every day -- much like the last time, which prompted a whole slew of entries, starting with this one.

for day 1 this time around though, i ate ... vegetable dumplings. only because the woman beside the steamer knew how to speak english.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

a dash of evil and a pinch of fat

today, someone pinched my back fat and asked me (rhetorically, i suppose): "WHAT'S THIS???"

back fat: the folds of fat on your (where else?) back that are extra-obvious in people (especially females who choose to wear brassieres) with bad posture (when your back is hunched, your clothes cling tightly to every fat fold).

in some countries, this may be considered the height of rudeness, but here it's somehow acceptable to touch others' adipose reserves. apparently, it is also ok to ask the victim if s/he knows about the fat in question. ergo: "what's this?" (to which i should have replied, "that is proof that I am a cranky woman who finds comfort in stuffing her face with junk food, so please let go of my fat" but all i could muster was a semi-muffled squeal of shock)

i'd go into my theories on the uniquely filipino attitude toward fat and the concept of beauty, but i'm too lazy to get into it. all this extra fat (on the back and in other not-so-obvious places) is making me sleepy.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

hail topi

it hailed yesterday, according to our roving reporter/permanent house fixture/pseudo-nanny/intrigue queen who goes by the name topi.

it can mean only one of two things:
1. it really did hail yesterday.
2. it did not hail yesterday.

i'm tending to lean towards option 2 because topi has a tendency to exaggerate. also because topi is the same person who cannot, after 40+ years of existence, make the s sound when it comes at the end of a word. of course, that has nothing to do with credibility; i just wanted to share it. more topi-isms later.

according to topi, hail melts longer than normal ice (although i doubt if she has basis for that observation) and is shaped differently. that my father corroborated the story bears no weight on the report. being retired, he has to coexist with topi and this may have affected all sense of reality.

regardless of precipitation type, i wish i stayed home to see whatever it was that drove topi to a frenzy. or maybe i just really want any excuse to stay home.


chips ahoy -> chipahoy
taster's choice -> taster choi
foil -> foiled ("Balutin ko ng foiled ang sandwich?")
sprite -> sprike
clark -> clart


spooky discovery c/o ana (aka the president of my fans club with a membership of, give or take, three) :

click this -- -- and see what you get. note that this url is almost exactly the same as mine, minus an 's'. THE HORROR!!!

am just grateful it's not some porno site (although i'm sure a certain pasig raver would've been pleased to no end).

now i'm thinking about changing my blog's url. am also thinking about why that site even HAD that url. is the orange a biblical fruit?

don't answer that.

Monday, September 13, 2004

titanic tearfest

i didn't read the book when it was just lying around the house years ago because it looked sappy and i didn't want sap.* i watched the movie because everybody told me it was sappy and these days, i'd rather cry because of movie sap than because of real life sap.

so i set a movie date to watch The Notebook, in spite of dire warnings ("do not watch it. you will die crying.") from well-meaning friends who know about me and sobbing at movies.

short of giving away the ending, let me just say that it was predictable (read this review. wish i had written it myself). and let me just say that even if it was, i was also predictably affected. it reminded me of the time i watched Pay it Forward (NOT that predictable) with two girlfriends. the credits were over and the cleaning people had gone through the whole theater and we were still sobbing our eyes out.

the horrible thing about watching a movie during the final stretch of its run is having fewer people inside the theater. fewer people = more silence. more silence = hearing every little sniffle. this is why i almost suffered a laryngeal spasm from trying to hold back the deluge of tears i wanted to release. more than anything, i wanted to let out one of those noisy sobs of despair reserved only for funerals and American Idol finals. i didn't, because i didn't want to hear any comments from the teenagers just a few rows back (the same teenagers who went "AWWWW" at every other scene).

instead i let the tears flow silently all throughout the credits, all the way down the stairs, inside the toilet booth, while retouching my powder and whenever my movie friend wasn't looking. the good news is i was prepared this time; i brought travel tissue (something i didn't have on hand when i watched Titanic -- yes, that movie. i like leo. so sue me -- which explains why half of my friend's jacket was a deeper shade of green when we left the theater).

another problem with holding back tears is crying at every other excuse to cry after the incident in question. after watching The Notebook, i cried during America's Next Top Model, was teary eyed after the Sex and the City rerun, and shed a tear for the Amazing Race (ok, i usually do). when i saw I Am Sam on HBO, i frantically changed the channel. sometimes you just have to say no.

*i'm not sure if 'sap' is an official noun. i'm hope you know i'm not referring to the sticky goo from plants. although i'm sure if you get some of that kind of sap into your eye, you'd tear up like there were no tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

google, the tease

google. it's starting to get on my nerves. am starting to think it's just trying the limits of my patience.

it's out to get us.

for instance, if you enter Hwai-Jeng Lin Professor Department Education, you will get this question --

"Did you mean: Hwai-Jong Lin Professor Department Education"

so, silly you, you agree. "yes, maybe i did mean 'jong'! maybe i got the name wrong," you think, while silently thanking the internet gods. "thank you google!"

then you click on the seemingly great suggestion, and you get --

"Your search - Hwai-Jong Lin Professor Department Education - did not match any documents."

and this is why i am slowly being pushed into subclinical psychosis.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

he's going to do well in school, i can tell

juancho (the 2-year-old boy wonder/nephew) came from the house of his lola baby (that phrase looks strange, now that i look at it). here is the only thing you need to know to understand this entry: lola baby looks exactly like lola mina (the mom of juancho's mufasa aka tatay).

interviewer: juancho, who does lola baby look like?

juancho the whiz: lola baby looks like ... a sofa.

(according to reliable sources, his previous answer was "a house" -- which is equally funny, but more politically incorrect.)

the evil elevator eye

setting: a typical monday morning.

it was a full hour and a half before i officially had to be at the office and i was sauntering through the lobby towards the elevator. i received the usual strange looks and forced greetings from the building security guards who must have noticed by now that i always enter the building with uncombed, damp hair (believe me, it's easier to comb when dry).

as the elevator doors were opening, my peripheral vision caught the image of a lady briskly walking toward me but thought nothing of it. in a half-awake state, i slowly got inside the lift (ha! am turning bloody british!) without thinking about the stranger. as the doors started to close, i heard her shout "UPPP!!!" and with a jolt i pressed the open button (note to elevator manufacturers: those arrows? they are indistinguishable in moments of extreme stress. best to put "OPEN", "CLOSE" or even "PRESS THIS TO OPEN THE DOORS, YOU BLIND NINNY" on the buttons. our society is plagued by way too many icons).

the lady entered the elevator and out of habit i looked up and met her stare. if there is one thing i regret in my life, that would have to be it. ok, that and the time i ate a whole bag of chewy chips ahoy in one sitting. but i digress.

instead of thanking me, little miss buildingmate glared at me with as much anger as she could muster at such an ungodly hour (maybe that's where the term 'ungodly' comes from). with one cold, piercing look, she managed to tell me how mean i was for even considering not holding the elevator for her. i might have prevented a no-nonsense yuppie from logging in at 6:30 am! i have affected her daily productivity! how dare me! i am evil elevator scum with disheveled (albeit clean) hair!

hello monday.