Well i paid a visit to the old homeland this past month. On arrival there i started noting some things in my mind.
Just the other day I tried dredging the depths of my memory for what i can recall of my visit home and came up with a list. It is of course subject to revisions and visions and sights and sighs and -
my power of recall is well and truly vastly diminished.
I call my list thus:
You know you’re home (in the Philippines) when:
- about a half-hour before landing the airplane becomes like a marketplace with noisy chatter from passengers expectant to seeing home and family again. The atmosphere brightens when the pilot announces that the plane’s about to land.
- as the airplane touches down, there’s a burst of applause from the mostly Filipino passengers (i saw this clapping happen at the moviehouses but it’s the first time i see it in an airplane)
- at the baggage claim, the coded padlock on your suitcase has disappeared and unknown items taken from your luggage.
- The number of people (N), who are picking up and/or dropping off at the airport, is an exponential function or multiple factor (F) of the number of people travelling (T). N = FT, where 1≤F≤100.
- Driving along busy night-time roads you see ‘KTV’ signs on the fronts and facades of buildings and somehow know it’s not the popular pay TV channel Kids TV.
- The bus you’re in and all the other vehicles around, transform a 3-lane highway into a 6-lane racecourse. The one with its nose in front claims pole position or right-of-way.
- The in-flight movie in the airplane is 12 months old, but the in-house movie in the bus is the latest blockbuster.
- At a restaurant and in various places and establishments you are addressed as sir or ma’am, but you’re not quite sure if it’s sincere.
- You are expected to know where to go and what to do even though you ain’t ‘been there and done that' yet, since it’s your first time to do and go.
- Campaign posters are everywhere and so now you know there’s an upcoming election without reading or listening to the news.
- You suddenly realise you’re taller than you thought, or at least you’re not smaller than most – for now.
- There’s a sari-sari store at every corner.
- At almost every opportunity, you’re reminded of the glory days of the Philippines – oh about 60 to100 years ago.
- You look at your fellow Filipinos and see such a beautiful and wonderful people. You look at them again and wonder what they’ve done to deserve such great political leaders. You smile in sadness and then look once more at them and are thankful that you’re one of them, and that you wouldn’t have it any other way.
- The crowing of roosters heralds the dawn, even in the city.
There was another list somewhere in my memory. It's called:
you know you're getting old when...
- first on that list is.... right on the tip of my tongue... i know, i know - i must be getting old...