I have every intention of making “Pulling An American” an actual phrase. I’m not going to pretend that everything is great in paradise. Yes, just yesterday I swam in crystal clear sea blue green beautiful water. Yes, I did discover a sea animal that I have never seen before. Yes, I watched a school of small silver fish jump out of the ocean as if only to say hello to us passengers of our bangka. Yes, yes indeed I did explore a cave that the Japanese during WWII would not enter because they were so strongly superstitious. The historic site is now a place for people to throw trash. The irony is only compounded by the fact that Mary and the Christ Child watch people do this. (There are two tiny figurines watching over the cave) Yes, I swam in the center of the center (the epicenter) of marine biodiversity. Yes, I am officially (as one other volunteer so deftly put it) living in a Corona Light commercial. And yes, I am more depressed and homesick than I have ever believed myself to become.
I have never found myself to be very sentimental, but I find the slightest things making me long for home. I heard this song called “18 Days” and the “sound” of the song reminded me of Oklahoma. I don’t get into that type of music, but it still sparked a desire to be back in the states. I thought of eating frozen yogurt and sushi. Instant stomach pain. I thought of being with my family watching the apparent 14inch snowfall that hit my state. I thought of how Christmas would have been so magical to me at that time. So many things remind me of home. Though this is all just prologue.
You see, I am not feeling great at the moment. Thus, I took a long walk outside. I immediately began sweating profusely which did nothing to soothe my troubled state of mind. I then bought load for my family’s internet card (which is another very different and frustrating story)* and began walking back home. I live in a big city. Something I actually loathe. Luckily, I am moving out of my house in a couple of months and I will be living in a bamboo or concrete house in a village that has no cars whatsoever. Anyway, I passed by a gas station. Feeling a bit down. I decided that, “Dammit! I am going to get some chips and a drink”
I did just that. I was walking down the street when the reality of what I was doing hit me. I was holding my juice and a bag of chips in one hand and with my other hand I was filling my face with chips from said bag. I must have looked like a glutton (despite the fact that I have most certainly lost weight) and TOTALLY American. This is a scene you will rarely if ever see by a Filipino. I have seen the kids eat chips, but not juggle a drink and chips whilst walking down the side of the road. I couldn’t help, but think to myself, “You are acting like SUCH an American right now”
In my defense I totally pulled a Filipino yesterday!!! I was riding my bike away from the beach, the scene of which I described for you a little earlier in this blog. I noticed that my sandal (tsinelas) had broken. I completely took the sandal off of my foot, put the strap back in its rightful place, replaced the tsinelas (yes that’s singular) back upon my foot, AND sent a text message! If that’s not Filipino I do not know what is! I think that completely and totally restores my street cred.
*I bought a bunch of internet load to find that my host sister has crashed our computer and thus I basically just gave a way the equivalent of 10 dollars. When your living allowance is about 40 dollars a week . . . that’s QUITE a bit of money to just be giving away.
I have been reading Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. It is a very good novel, but she makes extensive use of footnotes and I believe I might do the same when appropriate. Mine will be more utilitarian than hers which seems to be for amusement only.
Well, my internet time has come to an end. I hate that I can never really proofread these.
– Brandon Holly –