You know how very close friends sometimes quarrel over the most trivial things? The other night we were recalling how two of our friends had had a spat over a comment one of them made about the other’s outfit. Eventually they forgot what they had quarreled about and resumed being good friends.
“An insult over fashion?” we said. “Wala yan. Naaalala niyo noong nilait ako ng taong-grasa?” (That’s nothing. Remember when we were insulted by the homeless?)
We have these funny earrings we’re very fond of, made of empty super-glue tubes. One day we wore them to lunch with Chus at a cafe near Burgos. After the lunch, we were waiting for a taxi when we were approached by a homeless person completely covered in soot and grime. She walked up to us, stared at our earrings and said, with great concern, “Ate, bakit ganyan ang hikaw mo?” (Why are your earrings like that?) Yes, our fashion accessories were dissed by a street person.
After he had finished laughing, Leo suggested that we wear the super-glue earrings to a formal function or someplace where people are really dressed-up. As luck would have it, we had a lunch appointment with Toni and Martha the following day at Terraz in the new Zuellig Building on Makati Avenue.
We have been curious about the Zuellig Building, which not only has an arresting facade but is a certified Green building. It’s their corporate headquarters so we figured the people in it would be in business attire, i.e. not likely to be wearing earrings made of empty super-glue tubes.
So we found our super-glue earrings, which we haven’t worn since we were doing rugby coverage (They were an in-joke: rugby? super-glue?).
We were having coffee and dessert when the European man at the next table approached us. “I just want to say that I like your earrings!”
The moral of the story is—Well, there is no moral in this story. File under Differences in Taste/Cultural Differences: What may seem quirky/interesting to a foreigner can look like garbage to a street person. This is also true for cinema.