Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lucban Longganiza, Part Two

That Monday morning was a bright and cheerful one, perfect weather on our last day in Lucban. D decided to sleep late that morning, so it was just Londonboy, Calvin and I who went to town to have breakfast and to have a look around.

My two companions have been to Lucban before, and they recommended a restaurant near the plaza for breakfast. Calvin warned us that the serving time takes a little longer than usual, as is customary in most provincial eateries.

While waiting for our food, I couldn’t contain my curiosity. “Teka lang, guys,” I said, “I’ll just go to the 7-11 and check and see if Marvin is on duty again this morning.”

Malamang,” Calvin said. “He was also on the morning shift yesterday.”

The convenience store was a short block away from the restaurant. I was there in no time. Even from the outside, I could see Marvin manning the counter.

I pushed the glass door in, and entered.

Without looking, I could tell a pair of eyes was following my every move. Instead of going towards the cashier, I turned right instead. I pretended to look for something on the shelves furthest from the counter. I also took that opportunity to check out the store. Aside from Marvin, there was the female supervisor behind the counter, but she was busy typing away at the store computer. At the small eating area near the microwave and the dispensers was a policeman having a snack. We four were the only ones inside.

I stopped in front of the toiletries, pretending I was looking for something. I bent over, looking at the bottommost shelf, curious what items were displayed there. When I stood up, Marvin was already beside me.

Aba! He left his station to approach me!

Ano po ang hanap ninyo, sir?” he asked.

For a split-second I was stumped. I really wasn’t looking for anything, and I hadn’t thought of getting any item as an excuse to be in the convenience store.

Hindi ko pa alam eh,” I decided to be truthful.

Marvin smiled. “Aaah,” he replied. “Hindi pa ninyo nahahanap” (truth be told, I’m not quite sure if the punctuation mark at the end of the word “nahahanap” should be a period or a question mark; the way he said it so softly, it sounded like something in between).

I’m impressed. He’s a sly one.

Anong oras matatapos ang shift mo?” I asked. Hey, two can play that game.

Ano, sir,” he replied. “Mga four, sir, ang tapos ko.”

Aaaah,” I nodded. I knew we would be on the road back to Manila by then. Still I smiled, then raised my eyebrows knowingly at him as I asked, “So, taga-rito ka lang ba?

Again Marvin had that shy smile on his lips. But his reply had a hint of a rueful tone. “Ay hindi po ako taga rito, sir. Ano po, taga-Majayjay po ako.” That was the next town after Lucban.

“Ah okay,” I replied. Then I walked away, pretending to continue browsing. He also decided it was best that he return to his post, lest his supervisor start wondering why he was taking so long with a customer.

I grabbed a small pack of Kleenex and walked to the counter to pay. Again, Marvin refused to break his eye-to-eye stare; again, I let my fingers brush his as I gave him my payment. And again, as I walked out the door I turned around and saw Marvin still staring at me.

I stepped out and never looked back again. The Lucban air was cool despite the bright morning sun, and a slight breeze caressed my cheeks as I smiled and walked back to my friends.


Mamon said...

That local sure did want you to taste his delicacy :)

joelmcvie said...

@JUSTIN C: Yes, quite. Hahaha. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Haba ng hair

Seriously Funny said...

Nice one! Hahaha!

Unknown said...

this made me smile today..umabot ang hair mo dito sa already LOL!!!