werry wishwash 2: coming home

It has been a long day. I haven’t had a single wink of sleep, real sleep after almost 24 hours. This might as well be the most tiring Christmas of my entire adult life to date, and to think that I was only planning to get some decent shut-eye and god-forbid amounts of food for my wishlist today. Not that I am complaining though, I’m just saying.
I went straight home after my shift, there was nothing done during the shift really, some sort of training for a few handful tpoics and then some report drills and that’s it. Pretty much the most of the day was consumed by states of half-sleep and gossip among peers. That was that, I just have no idea why they didn’t let us get home early in the first place if they already anticipated this level of idleness. Save for the wasted time, I couldn’t care less, they were paying us for the holiday rates anyway so that must be some good takeaway from it all.
I was already hungry when I got home, thanks to that shameful Christmas buffet they served in the office, in the spirit of the Christmas eve. It was “in the spirit” of the eve alright, I felt like a depraved spirit after eating. I do appreciate the effort of the company setting up the buffet and all, well it is already a tradition, but come on, you know you could do better. Better, meaning I don’t mind if it’s not from some socialite restaurant or even if the centerpiece ain’t that posh, as long as there’s great food and more than enough of it for actual seconds. I don’t think a buffet is a buffet if no one can come back for seconds, that’s what you call blue plate in line. So as soon as I got home, I whipped up a simple breakfast of scrambled eggs, ham and fried rice in less than 20 minutes. Amazing how much you can do with leftovers and then some basics in the kitchen. I got it down pretty easy, didn’t I mention I was already starving when I got home, so I had time to laze around for the next hour or two. That was nice, playing loud music much to the annoyance of our neighbor, payback is such a bitch, I know.
I left for my parent’s place then, lugging my slightly massive mountain pack, with my netbook in it. I was a bit concerned that something might happen to my netbook in transit, this being the second most expensive thing I ever bought on my own, after the E71 phone I got about a year ago and lost just last month. But as I am able to do this right now, everything turned out okay.
I got to Morong, Rizal at around 2:00 pm, way after lunch, an with me way too hungry already. I’ve been chewing gum all through the 1.5 hour ride getting here, and I think my jaws already consumed pretty much everything I ate already for breakfast. I went straight to my aunt’s house since my mother sent me a message that they were alreay there. My mother kinda did mention the other week that we would have some of our cousins from the US flying in Christmas Eve so that’s why. I got there and saw my uncles and aunts. I guess they were quite concerned why I was the thinnest among us siblings. I got inside and grabbed a plate and went straight to the dining table. And there they were, my cousins, EJ and JD. I guess it had been about six years since they actually came here, and now they’re just… massive people, of course I meant that in no derogatory terms or anything. I guess they’re just that, big people. JD is 19 and EJ is already 18 but they could pass for at least mid-mid-twenties. And they look good, these girls, by most lcoal standards I suppose. Anyone reading this must understand, I couldn’t explain it in any other way without any disrespect, they are my cousins afterall, and doing so would just be not right.
As soon as I sat down to eat, my brother Al came to me and told me that we were actually going out Saturday night with my ex-pat cousins. Seriously? I felt a bit excited and pressured at the same time. These were cousins that we only see at least once every decade and now we’re actually planning to go out and party in some “disco-bar”, like my brother describes it (personally, the word “club” would have sufficed). Come to think of it, we never really had gone out as cousins in the first place like ever, athough we do know that every one of us do party and how. Just the thought of it makes my head spin. And now they’re asking me where we should go. Like, as if I’m that kind of person? Okay, don’t even comment.
The rest of the day was all laid-back and nice. After I’ve had my fill, my other cousins invited everyone for some drinks. The poison of choice was orange-flavored and apple-flavored vodka and lemon lime-flavored gin. I never tried the apple vodka before so that was what I picked first. Turned out it tasted something like scented ballpen ink for some reason, reminiscent of those ballpens that we kinda sucked the end of way back our grade school days. I know it’s odd but my brother, Doy, agreed. So there we were sitting around the table with our alccohol of choice, picking on unripe mangoes and bagoong, some chips and some duck dish that one of my autn’s neighbors ,or some distant cousin I suppose, brought over. I that was one of the rare moments that we actaully sat down to drink as cousins, as adults. We were not complete of course but almost everyone was there: Reluel, and his wife Kristine, JD and sister EJ, Joan and her dog Cholo, Gerald, my brothers Doy and Al, and his wife Jen, and then me. I learn later that my brother Ryan was actually coming back from overseas again, and he’s going to spend the New Year in the country. I think this will be the first time in a long time that we’ll all be together as a family for the New Year, which is good, at least for my mother and father, just in case something does happen, hopefully not.
We got a bit buzzed, JD was at least and it was also some thrity minutes into the drinking that they did finally open up. I was telling my brother Al that these two girls seemed like really quiet people, but I guess the language barrier was a bit of the issue. Although JD does understand and speak some Filipino, her younger sister EJ doesn’t speak, unless she “wants to” she said, so while me and my other cousins were exchanging banter, it was hard to read their faces if the really understood what the joke was about or were they just smiling politely for the sake of it. I started talking to JD and they both slowly opened up. Turns out that JD was a party animal after all, despite being a good girl. She’s got into the dean’s list and is a straight A student but still has a wild side to her. The other sister, EJ was more of a laidback person I guess. She was really quiet still, I think it’s either she thinks we’re already too old for her to relate with or she just doesn’t care at all. I’d prefer the latter to be true though, I act kinda the same way with my other cousins sometimes too.
Later in the afternoon, we visited one of our grandmothers across town, Lola Cela. I guess from being the most hardworking and bitch of all our grandmothers, she still can’t believe that she’s now confined to her room at my mother’s cousin’s place, tied up to an IV and an oxygen tank. We got there with my cousins half-half-buzzed. JD was mostly sleepy. We had to endure the lecture that Lola Cela had to offer, I guess that was understandable, by most of everyone’s calculations, she really wouldn’t last that long anymore. But I guess we can never really tell since she’d been such a workhorse for the longest time, alone in her massive house, we couldn’t tell what else would actually kill her anymore. There was this incident that happened in her house before, I think she slipped on the floor and eventually broke one of her wrists. Since she was all alone in the house, no one was there to help her out, and the old lasy, I guess reeling from the shock of it all and the sight of blood, tried to fix her own arm and put the bone back into place. It was kinda cool if you think of it, she’s almost a hundered and still she’s tough enough to attempt to put her arm back together on her own.
After visiting our Lola Cela, we headed off home. with just enough buzz still in my system, that was enough to get me off to sleep after a quick dinner. There goes Christmas Day.

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