Monday, April 13, 2009

Nesting Ground: The Manila Edition

I'm lounging in bed, pillows piled high, as Makati goes about its fevered business fifteen stories below me. We did our part earlier today, dragging our overheated children all over Greenbelt for lunch and shopping and ice cream. It could be my imagination, but I feel we draw a disproportionate number of stares from passers-by; I can't tell if they are friendly stares, curious stares, or disapproving stares, so I've decided to ignore them altogether.

As always, the customer service here is superlative and sometimes even sweet. Our lunch waiter today—named, quite memorably, "Edz"—has been the best so far. After the initial setting-down of our meals, Edz took his leave, but reassured with the following: "I'd like to inform you, Ma'am," he said, "that you can simply call my name, and I will be here." Lea thought that was the most hilarious thing ever. She kept saying, "Call him, Mom. Call him." Later, he addressed the spousal unit as "Sir Andrew," which is something I think I may do from now on.

The kids are not having the easiest time adjusting to the clock, that's for sure. Each night, at least one person's eyelids begin to flutter and she flat-out falls asleep at the dinner table. No combination of strategic napping or swimming pool time has provided much in the way of relief; in fact, an afternoon nap seems to make things worse. We'll see what happens tonight. "We'll be fine, Mom," Vida has just said. But I think we'll stick close to the apartment tonight, as we have an outing to Tagaytay tomorrow.


The first time I visited the Philippines was with my dear childhood friend Jodi, when we were both fourteen years old. Back then we stayed in Greenhills at the beautiful, stately home of her grandparents, where many of her relatives also lived. Many of the family live in Alabang now, and they kindly invited us to Easter lunch yesterday. I was grateful for the opportunity to show the girls...what? How a Filipino family lives, I guess? How a Filipino family lives in the Philippines? It sounds so stupid, but I really did want them to see this one simple thing. There were plenty of kids on hand (about a dozen, I think), and while I sat and ate lunch I kept an ear bent towards their table so I might catch scraps of their conversation. Vida, as usual, was talking non-stop, and later one of Jodi's aunts told me she heard Vida pause mid-sentence to say, "Wait. I don't even know your names." Hahahahaha!


Sure enough, the kids were asleep at 7:30, and Sir Andrew and I were forced to order room service. Such an absurd thing to do in Manila, but there you go.


Malbatron said...

Sir Andrew!!! I like it...!

Jill said...

If he is Sir Andrew, does that make you Lady Veronica??