By: Jalex Xanders
Jan 18 2007, 12:14
Three days ago, I was writing about the same topic as this, yet after some few paragraphs, my pc logged and restarted. Darn I forgot to save…
So, now, I would want to retell what I was supposed to share. Yes, it happened three days ago – the day when I got some pay to spare after several days of contenting myself with skipping breakfast, taking brunches, and limited supper.
It was actually a cash advance, 500 bucks from the tutorial center i was working part time at. I felt filthy rich for I never had that much money for days already… So I decided to treat myself with some grilled seafood for supper…
I went to the grillers by the side of UPV Iloilo where i bought my grilled medium-sized whole bangus for only P30 the last payday. The grilled squid was my target. Two unfortunate medium-sized queued squids, only P40. Really a cheap offer, I can recall that much will cost around P200 in Tatoy’s Manokan…
Due to my frugality, I go for just one squid, P25. I secured the P500 bill in my hands, for it’s the only paper money I had. Everything else were coins which I only don’t know some maybe a fake. While I was waiting for my squid, I looked around. The grill on that unrented little space was manned by a family of four, a husband and a wife, and their two teenage children, a girl and a boy. The girl is kinda the typical type. (i just felt i must describe the chics when my writings are to be submitted to hifi). I saw the improvised trisikad they are using to transport their goods, and some other grillers just in the adjacent spaces. In my mind, I saw a picture of a happy family, helping one another… but not long until I heard them talk. There seems to be one thing lacking – manners.
When my squid was cooked, I gave the man my P500. He said “Uyati anay!” (hold this!) referring to my order. It lacks courtesy and it’s more of a command. Yet, I nevermind. “Duha dayon kan-on ‘Nong.” (Plus two serves rice, Manong) I added. I thought he would hesitate to take the P500 for loose change reasons, but he accepted it casually. In their cash box, I saw some more paper bills, and I deemed it could exceed a grand. “Four hundred seventy-five, o!” He counted and gave me my change. “Bayari lng sa ila kan-on.” (Just pay them for your rice) he added.
I was already hungry by that time, and I felt I was shaking at times. I was about to pay her wife for the rice, but I recounted my change first, a thing I’ll never do if I’m only richer. P375. I might be dizzy. I rechecked, three P100 bills, a P50, a P20, and a P5 coin. One P100 is folded (intentionally i think) to make it appear like two bills. I complained with her wife about the matter. “Kulang sensilyo ‘Nang.” I only said. “Kulang kuno ho.” she said to her husband. “P475 ‘na… bayari lng to sa ila kan-on ho.” He responded and he seemed to be irritated. I showed him the money, and he reluctantly gave me the lacking P100 bill without looking my eyes, and goes back fanning his grill, somewhat tensed. In my mind, “…Abot ko na yan…”
I bought a half liter refreshing drink and I enjoyed my meal that night. One of my fullest moments in days I think. But still, what happened at the grill keeps bothering my mind. Why, why does he need to do it? It is stealing… And I think of other people who also steals, the politicians, the tax evaders… then I started checking on myself. One, two, three, or four hours per day of my work was wasted (forgive the term) on hifi. I only laughed. I stole money too.