there i was sitting on one of the many vacant bus seats, nervous of whats going to happen on my first day of work. still without a descent sleep, i took the earliest trip to olonggapo city with the plan of dropping off in lubao, pampanga as my first destination. surprisingly, i didn't feel the one and half hour trip, probably because i busied myself in rehearsing the lines i have in mind. for if there is one thing that is scarier than talking to your supervisors, that is talking to other people.
people can be very unpredictable. they may throw out behaviors, words, and actions that may be way beyond what you can imagine. thus, you need to be very careful in talking and relating to them especially if you are the one who needs something important from them. believe me, i know this, for i have lived with it for almost three years from my past work.
i have already passed my first site. but it was just then when i stepped out of the bus that i've felt bad for the leather shoes that i am wearing. i was almost two kilometers away from the site, walking underneath the scourching heat, sweeping lahar dust and literally without any shade in sight. i should have brought an umbrella or atleast wore sunblock that day, instead of shining my leather shoes the entire night.
when i reached the sight and greeted the manager, i literally ate the words of the lines i have rehearsed earlier. i even noticed the slight smirked on her face and the suspicions inside her eyes. i was already on the verge of stepping outside and quit the job because i messed it up. but fortunately, i was able to push it when i had the chance to composed myself for the second try. then eventually the nervousness just gradually subsided when i felt that we were already joking around. i stepped out and waved them goodbye with the first set of information i needed. they even wished me goodluck for the so called "thesis" that i am doing.
then from there, i started hopping from one site to another and felt i am already having the hang of the project. but then again, i still reminded myself once in a while, not to be very lax about it for i am still dealing with different people. until finally, i met ana, the cashier-bitch from hell. she was probably younger than me and already whiter than me by that time. though i must admit she was pretty, which i believe is common in the gene pool of pampanga, i noticed their was something different from the way she looked at me. i already knew she knows she's pretty and that i was up into something unexpected.
like her stare, the tone of her voice was also way different from the other people i have talked to. she didn't even notice that she was already raising her left brow at me. despite the my extreme politeness. i was already beyond the limits of my patience. but i still held the remaining of it, for the hope that i'll still be able to get what i needed. until she finally dropped the bomb, "tingin ko hindi namin pwedeng ibigay yan, kasi PRIVATE (with much stress in the word) kami e. PRIVATE (darn, she even repeated the word)..
thats it, she was already into my nerves. i looked at her with a very innocent but annoying look and said,
"ay ganun po ba? bakit? saan po ba may PUBLIC (exagerrately stressing the word too) gas station?"
i felt and saw the sudden silence and change in her face. she was already red when she saw that her co-employees were looking at us. then she softly said, " saka na lang kayo bumalik kapag nandito na boss namin."
i gave her my contact details, asked her to hand it to her boss and walked out of the room with my head up and with a slight smile on my face. i never received any message from them. nonetheless, it was still fine for i knew she deserved such embarassment from a person who also know what a bad customer service is all about.
luckily, from the 22 outlets i have interviewed in pampanga, they were only two people, who refused to participate. but the second one was still politer in giving me the bad news.
it was already getting dark and i have to look for a place to stay. until i saw myself standing infront of a popular motel aka hotel. seriously, i was smiling while standing infront of it. it was my first time to enter this hotel, which is known for... you know. but still, i pushed myself to believe that such establishments are not only for that reason, that they are also for motorist/ wanderers like me.
i asked the cheapest but longest room rate. then jolly hopped my way to my room. checking if there are any people i could bumped into. but it seemed like privacy was really the thing that people are paying here for. though the place was fully booked, i didnt see a single shadow along the motel's correigdors, aside from the hotel's staffs who chose not to notice you at all. perhaps its still part of the privacy thing. then here came my room, i gently turned the knob and looked for the main switch.
an eye-aching bright red light greeted me. it felt like i was flashblinded and entered a dark room. when i have already settled myself inside, i then noticed the channel guides on the top of the small tv set. at the top most of the list, channel 108 asian porn and 110 US/European porn. oh okay, so much for being openminded, i thought.
then i tried checking it out. i turned into the said channels. 108: oh okay, japanese. then turned to 110: OH OKAY EUROPEANS! then i suddenly noticed something in the upper right part of the screen, it was a timer counting.
WAAAAH! i was really alarmed with that thing at the top of it. i thought that they may charge me for this. that they are actually monitoring it, that i am actually watching these instead of the reasons i told them, that i am doing a research. what if they charge me for these? what if its separately? i don't have enough cash that moment and only have enough for my next trip the next day. but what alarmed me the most was the fact that they might know that it was very pathetic for a first timer like me, checking in alone just to watch porn and gratify his pathetic sexual life.
the next day, it was a relief when they cleared me out without any additional bill. embarassed with myself for thinking of such things. but hey, atleast i learned something knew: that watching porn in motels are actually free. i bet some of you also don't know this (O! huwag gaya-gaya! huwag ka'ng pa-virgin!).
i continued the remaining sites to be covered. and at the end of the day, i bumped into sussie's restaurant in the heart of angeles city, near nepo mall. as advised of one of my friends, i tried their pancit luglog, which was to die for. there local version of halo-halo, which was definitely special even without the ice cream, gulaman and sago. i ordered dinuguan and relyenong bangus to go for my relatives which i thought of paying a visit. and just like the other two, i was not disappointed at all. all for 240 pesos! (pictures to follow)
att he end of the trip, there are 4 things i have realized.
top 4 signs, na malayo ang pupuntahan mo.
4. kapag ang sakayan ay may terminal at kung may dumaan man asahan mong sabit ka o topload.
3. kapag may electric fan sa harap ng entrance ng jeep.
2. kapag puro matatandang may dalang sako, karton, bayong etc at mga batang uhugin ang kasabay mo.... BATA! TUTULO NA SIYA SA BAG KO!
1. kung may babaeng nagfrofrontal exposure sa tabi o harap mo... nagpapadede ng bata!
now, off to tarlac...