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That Garlicky Smell

Malou at the MCD knows that I’m absolutely crazy about longganisa and tapang Taal. So, the other day, she sent me a text message saying she was doing her annual marketing talk at the Our Lady of Caysasay Academy, and would I want her to get me some tapa?

But of course! A kilo, please…

At midmorning today, Von handed me a plastic bag with the much anticipated tapa. There were a few pieces of longganisa, too. Hiling daw, Malou later told me by IM.

Damn! I don’t normally play Thursdays, so did not have my backpack with me. So, I asked Von to find me a second plastic bag.

And a lot of good that did!

For those who have never seen nor tasted longganisa or tapang Taal, it is cured with salt, soy sauce, black pepper and cloves upon cloves of garlic. Similar in taste when cooked to those that Vigan and Lucban are known for, but without the food color and twice as big.

And you can smell the garlic from a mile away…

Back when I worked with Malou in the now-defunct IES, whenever I asked her to get me longganisa or tapa, I would wrap it in newspaper, stuff it into two plastic bags and then hide everything inside my bag. But the smell of garlic would still flood the office…

Today, the tapa sat atop the low cabinet just behind my swivel chair. After just a few minutes, the garlicky smell filled the whole room. Not really offensive, but strong and definitely not what one would expect in an air-conditioned office.

‘Yae na! May tapsilog naman ako tomorrow!

I had a surprise for that pretty girl who served me at the KFC counter this evening. “Good evening, Sir! Kamusta po kayo?”

Wow… bagong script

“Good evening!” I answered her brightly, albeit with a naughty glint in my eyes. “Mabuti naman! At kamusta naman ikaw?”

She just stood there smiling at me, obviously at a loss as to how to deal with my unexpected rejoinder. My guess is that most customers simply ignore the obviously scripted welcome, and she was taken totally by surprise na pinatulan ko siya

[This story was first published on Facebook on 4 September 2008.]

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