PHEW it’s been a busy week. Anyway my parents came on Monday and left early yesterday. I am very sad now, and I feel lonely all over again. Sigh.
On Monday, I brought them to Chinatown and we ate at this vegetarian place there called Happy Veggie.
I read the reviews about it on a blog (and by the way, that highly suspicious blog had only ONE FOOD REVIEW. No more blog entries after that. Might it have been written by the owner himself?!?!? HMMM!) We tried the much raved about (at least, on that blog itself) mushroom with sesame sauce or something.
The mushrooms were coated in some starchy ingredient. They looked like rubber, tasted like rubber, and smelled like rubber. Thinking back, they probably were rubber. Then we had dumplings which had very thick tasteless skin and stinky fillings. Everything we ordered was either unexceptional, or just plain bad. I imagine that’s the kind of food they serve at prisons to punish criminals for their crime. I felt very sorry for all the customers there, including us, of course.
After the stomach-churning lunch, we went to Qiuapo Church, where there were lots of fortune tellers and palm readers around. I got myself a palm-reading session at $3 with an old woman with bright red painted cheeks, and whose wet fingers circled my wrist tightly while she looked at me earnestly for twenty minutes.
She couldn’t speak English, and I couldn’t speak Tagalog, so it was very exasperating. As nessa would’ve put it, she might as well have been talking in Wingding or igloo-speak. Finally, some kind passerby offered to translate, and told me that I’ll live a long life, be successful in business, have three husbands and five children, including two sons, and I’ll spend whatever money I earn, so I won’t be rich. I looked at my palm-reader with great doubt.
First, I don’t intend to get married, let alone three times. Please lor, my parents will kill me, assuming I’m not first killed by shame and embarrassment. Second, I don’t intend to give birth. Maybe she’s talking about adopted kids. Maybe I’ll have two boys from Zimbabwe and three girls from Korea?
So I tested my fortune teller and said, “Do I like pork? Do I like fish? Am I marrying a girl?” and she said “YES”, AND THAT WAS WHEN I KNEW SHE WAS A FRAUD. But then…… maybe she just didn’t understand my English. I left feeling kinda unsettled. Then we walked around the area and bought touristy stuff like handicrafts and crap. Haha. There was a shop selling wooden snakes that looked and moved like real ones. SUPER COOL!!! I haggled very hard over the price with the girl there.
Haha it took me about five minutes to realise that the girl actually is a transgendered boy. He had painted lips and plucked eyebrows. I was like, “Please lah, give me a discount, you are very pretty!! Discount, please!!!” And he was very flattered. Hehe. Check out his coquettish pose and come-hither look. So sexy~
I wanted to bring the snake back and scare Benazir with it. Haha. I was entertaining fantasies of how she would run screaming frantically from the apartment, never to return again. Then peace and cleanliness would reign and I would be a happy person… BUT I FORGOT TO BRING THE SNAKE BACK TO MY PLACE. Sobsob.
Anyway, I was SUPER SUPER pissed with her on Thursday. I woke up and went to the kitchen and saw my PRECIOUS, BELOVED blender lying on the rack and I knew she had used it cos normally it’s on the table. I was going to put it back on the table when I saw pieces of mango still inside, and an entire colony of ants swarming over it. OMG. I was hopping mad. Firstly, she didn’t even ask me if she could use it, and secondly, at least have the decency to wash it instead of dirtying it and leaving it there overnight!!!!! I felt really sick and angry. ANTS ARE GROSS. Yeah, I know I’m in P3TA, but I don’t love animals to death, or go all weak-kneed when I see a cute, endearing cockroach.
I wrote her a furious, scathing letter stating that I’m not her cleaning servant, that we both share this house and can she please wash all utensils well before sleeping every night. She leaves dishes in the sink for DAYS and all the knives and forks she uses are encrusted with some dubious brown shit. Also, she never thanks me for washing her utensils, taking out the garbage and mopping the house. Luckily my dear parents brought me my own knife, fork and spoon and bowl.
Benazir wrote me back a note which I found at night, saying she didn’t know the blender was mine and that she didn’t ask me to clean her stuff. OMGGGGGGGG. She enclosed me a packet of MSG-laden maggi mee as a peace offering, and I wrote back with a short and terse “Thanks”. As you can see, the communication between us two room-mates is very good indeed. No need for verbal exchange at all.
GRRR!! I was so pissed, I took out my anger on cab drivers that night. By the way, I really really really HATE the manila cab drivers. They all have an IQ of approximately -5, do not know where they are going, and also move very slowly. Seriously. It’s like any Dicky, Toby or Harry here can be a cab driver. It’s not like in Sg where you have to have a license and pass an exam and know all the main streets and roads well. The people here don’t know ANY street or road.
Thursday after work, I dashed out and waited in the pouring rain (cos I still haven’t bought an umbrella) for half an hour for a cab. When one finally deigned to stop for me, I got in hurriedly and the asshole turned off the taxi meter and said “No meter.” I ordered him to turn on the meter, and he kept refusing cos he saw that I was a soaking wet female foreigner who looked like she had deep pockets for him to rob. Finally, he ordered me to get out and I was damnnn pissed cos I didn’t know when the next cab would come. And really, why does he wanna cheat me? I’m just as poor as he is!
So I scrambled out and told him “PUTANG YI NAMO” before I slammed the door. Which means “Die, you sonofabitch!” (Vera’s maid taught me this four years ago, and it’s the only Tagalog phrase I know. Haha. Good thing it came in handy that night!) He flew into a fury and asked me to go F myself, and I was half-afraid he’d come out and beat me to a pulp, but he drove away. PHEW.
The next cab driver was just as bad. He didn’t know where Jupiter St was and asked me to look out for it while he drove around. WTH?!?!?! He drove in circles for about fifty years, during which I aged and grew white hair and whiskers. Finally, he stopped (in the middle of the road with cars honking behind him) and asked me to spell out the cafe’s name to him. He said, very slowly, at a pace of one syllable per minute, “C-O-R-N-E-R, T-R-E-E- Cafe?” Wah lao eh, I was bursting at that moment cos my parents were already waiting 40minutes for me. And you know what the next best thing he did was?
The cafe was just about 50metres away when he decided that it was the most perfect, ideal time to get a refuel at a petrol station while the taxi meter ticked away. I said as calmly as I could, “I’m in a rush!!!!!!!!!!!” and pulled out my hair. He gazed at me placidly as though I was a mild, irritating fly whom he had to endure. I glared at him with great hatred. Finally, I reached the cafe full of angst and anger against my disgusting room-mate and cab drivers in Manila. I normally don’t lose my cool at anyone, but I was in a FREAKING rotten mood that day.
But well, the food cheered me up immensely! I love Corner Tree Cafe!! It’s vegetarian and very vegan-friendly. You can opt to have no cheese in your meals, and to have your smoothie in soymilk, not cow’s milk. LOVE THEM TO BITS!!!!!!!!! And it’s very cosy inside, too. I had a peanut butter banana smoothie. Oh my mama, it was so rich and thick and creamy, and sweet and salty at the same time. Freaking GOOD. PLEASE GO AND TRY BLENDING A BANANA, A TABLESPOON OF PEANUT BUTTER AND SOYMILK. NOW!! NOW!!