After an extremely stressful weekend (Our cat Saffy was at the vet to have some teeth extracted; she’s fine, we’re exhausted) we decompressed by visiting Uniqlo in MOA. There’s no therapy like thin Merino wool sweaters at Php990. Feeling pleased with ourselves, we lugged our purchases to the taxi queue and jumped in the first cab.
The driver was courteous and genial—he outlined the route he intended to take, for our approval. As we drove out of MOA that Korean song came on the radio and he noted the popularity of dancing Gangnam-style.
Typical weeknight on Edsa
At the traffic light we noticed that the driver was eating. Not popping snacks in his mouth, but eating a meal with a spoon and fork. Ordinarily we’d worry about the driver taking his mind off the road but traffic was moving slowly and he seemed alert enough. Then that song by No Doubt started playing on the radio and he started singing along.
To recap: Our driver was driving, eating, and singing at the same time. As we had been de-stressed by shopping we didn’t mind at all. If you recall that song from the 90s it goes, “Don’t speak…dadadada…Don’t tell me cause it hurts.”
Cheerfully the driver sang, “Don’t speak…dadadada…Don’t tell me cause it’s hurt.” Suddenly we remembered an entry in our collection of eccentric old lady stories.
Some years ago, our friend and his sisters were spending the weekend with their aunt at her farm. His sisters wanted to get pedicures. “Tita,” they asked their aunt, “May nagma-manicure ho ba dito?”
“Ah oo,” said Tita, “si Cely. Andiyan siya…andiyan. Sa phonebooks ko.”
The girls looked in the notebook next to the telephone. They looked under “C” for “Cely”. Nothing. They looked under “M” for “manicure”. Nothing.
“Tita, wala ho dito,” they reported.
“Andiyan yan,” their Tita insisted. “Hanapin ninyo diyan sa phonesbook.”
They looked under “P” for “pedicure” and “parlor”. No such listings. They tried “S” for “salon”. Nothing. “B” for “beauty parlor”. Wala talaga.
“Sigurado akong nariyan sa ponebooks,” said Tita, who was instructing the maids to prepare lunch. “Ilabas niyo na yung srim (shrimps).”
After going through all the possible listings they found Cely’s number at last. She was listed under “K” for “kuko” (nails).