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A Classy Lady and a Foreigner

At the jeepney station in front of Rob just this evening, a young lady got into the jeepney I was in and sat on the vacant space right in front of me.

23 years old? 24? Certainly not more than 25!

She must have been either 5’ 3” or 5’ 4”. Morena complexion. Long eyelashes above round expressive eyes. Thin well-sculptured nose. Full lips painted red. Strong but feminine jaw.

She wore her hair shoulder-length, parted at the side of her head. She had on a striped flesh and brown blouse over a black mini-skirt. Her stockinged legs were firm and shapely all the way down to the black high-heeled shoes she wore.

A large striped handbag to match completed the classy look. But what was she doing in a jeepney? She would have been right at home in front of a five-star hotel and I would have expected a Mercedes-Benz, no less, to fetch her.

Then, she opened the handbag and drew out this tiny greasy supot from which she started to eat adobong mani… There was something SO not right about that…

She took a break from stuffing the peanuts into her mouth to hand a twenty peso bill to the driver. “Saan areh?” the driver asked. “Transbel (Transville) pô!” was the lady’s reply.

Ay… And classy lady was suddenly plebian…

The jeepney drove off but stopped right in front of school. “Batangas! Batangas!” the driver shouted at the small group of students waiting on the sidewalk.

A sallow-skilled student approached, stuck his head inside, and asked the driver, “Tankas?”

“Oo, Batangas!” the driver replied.

Unconvinced, the student, obviously either Chinese or Korean, asked again, “Tankas?”

“Batangas!” the driver hollered, obviously starting to get exasperated.

Still unconvinced, the student pulled his head out, looked at the sign-board hanging on the windshield, took all of three seconds deciphering the letters then almost reluctantly got on.

There was enough time while he walked the short distance to the jeepney’s rear entrance for the driver to utter an invective, “Putang-ina! Poreyner pala!”

Before getting on that jeepney, I went to the supermarket inside Rob for a few groceries before going home. I was at the dried fish section when I suddenly realized that the piped-in music being played were already Christmas carols.

Ah-ah… Nakakarumeh rin naman… Pagkakatagal pa!


There are those who sometimes do not read all the way through to the end of the page and fail to see the footnotes that say that the story was first published on Facebook, sometimes as much as three years back. Then when these people meet me in school, they talk to me about the story. I patiently tell each of them that the story they read was a recycle.

Truth be told, when I re-post these stories, the most common reason is that I am with a writer's block. Sometimes I can force myself to write; and sometimes I just plain cannot. When writing takes too much of an effort, I just give in and post an old story. After all, or at least to my mind, every one of the stories that I had written for Facebook also deserves its own little niche on Blogspot.

Many of my old Facebook posts will probably never get a spot here on Blogspot; they were too specific to the time when they were written and will not be relevant anymore. My primary criterium for selecting a story for recycle, therefore, is whether a reader can still identify with it or not. This story is one of those; and surprisingly while scanning through it I could not help but smirk at the story I myself once told.

This story was first published on Facebook on 11 September 2008.]

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