Yesterday, after a very toxic day at work, I ran somewhere. I met up with a friend and we had a bowl of ramen for dinner. Because I was pretty much not myself anymore, I managed to spill a lot of sesame seeds in my ramen. Imagine what my tonkotsu ramen tasted like! It wasn’t very bad but it was definitely crunchy. Afterwards, we each bought a scoop of ice cream and walked around the streets talking about random things.
I told my friend, “This is possible, huh? Take a break in the middle of the week and let some steam out?”. She nodded and replied with a smile.
I frequent a massage shop called “Vibes” in a mall near my apartment. I usually go there twice a month to relieve myself from stress due to work and life, in general. One interesting aspect of Vibes is the massage therapists are blind. Unlike other regular customers though, I don’t favor a specific masseuse. I am fine with being assigned with the available masseuse because (1) I am generally impatient, and (2) it enables me to differentiate the massaging styles of the masseuses.
In the past three years of frequenting Vibes, I’ve observed a lot of things about their staff which often amazes me more than not. The massage therapists have very keen sense of touch and hearing. Even without saying a word and just by touching my back, they can tell if it’s me, if I lost or gained weight and if I am more stressed than usual. They also know my voice very well. They would say, “Oh! It’s Ma’am Melissa.” even if I just uttered, “Good evening”.
When they are in a light mood, some masseuse also share their interests. There is one instance when I had to wait for the masseuse for a while. When she arrived, she apologized profusely. She mentioned she was just replaying the episode of a drama she missed the previous night. I asked her how she replayed it. She replied she listened through the YouTube application in her smartphone. She further shared that sometimes she replays TV shows on her Acer laptop. I was simply dumbfounded.
Yesterday, I heard someone (a lady) tell another person (a middle-aged man), “Why do you even bother paying for her matriculation fees? She is not even your child. You should stop doing that.”
There could be several explanations why the lady said those words to that man. The man could be paying the matriculation fees of an ungrateful child. He could be borrowing money in her behalf. Or…it could even be as simple as he wishes to a help a person who is not even his own child.
I don’t know the whole story so I am not in position to judge. However, if the lady’s statement is related to the third scenario I mentioned, it’s so sad that she harbors such kind of beliefs. Since when there was a rule that we should only send someone to school if she/he is our child? It violates every value I know about education, and what does this make me, my siblings and every person out there who was able to study through the graciousness of other people?
The other night, I treated myself to dinner after a stressful day. While seating comfortably in the corner of the restaurant, a stranger sat in the next table and greeted me with a big smile. Not wanting to offend her, I just smiled back. After I finished my meal, I stood up and looked her way. She smiled again and said to me, “You’re done? Bye!”
I didn’t smile back, I just said to myself, “What an interesting person.”
It was not the first time I had an interesting encounter with a stranger. Way back in December, while walking towards the jeepney terminal of SM Bicutan, a car stopped beside me. The driver rolled the window down and shouted at me, “Hey miss, do you have an umbrella?”