December 2007


Popping in to say hi and to thank y’all for your kind words and wishes.

Still here in Manila. The trip back was a butt numbing 27 hours. Internet access has been sporadic because my dad’s place is a technological wasteland. This is after all, the very same dad who refuses to learn how to use email and still prides himself on owning a working rotary phone. I have taken to hanging out at the local Burger King when I can for the wifi access. Hee.

Angkong was laid to rest this past week. During the wake, I discovered many awesome things about him. Like how he used to be hotshot basketball player, and how he was an apprentice Chinese medicine herbalist. The wake was a rather long one, because even in things like death, there is feng shui to be considered. And Buddhist rituals to be performed. Some of which made us seem like crockpots to the untrained eye (and ear). Like the non-stop chanting and the paper house and airplane. Details will have to wait until later, I’m afraid.

Most common things said to me so far – (Chinese in italics, as usual) –
“My, you look fat!”
“You’re a PT? I’ve got a pain right here! What do you think it is?”
“I’m surprised you still know how to speak Chinese! I thought maybe you’d become an American idiot!?”

It’s been good to see the fam and catch up with old friends though. It feels like everything has changed and nothing has changed.

My Angkong (grandfather) passed away the other day. I’m flying back to Manila tomorrow morning – the soonest I could wrap up work odds and ends. He was the only grandparent I had left. He tolerated all of my quirks and sarcasm with an affectionate shrug when everyone else in the family were raising their collective eyebrows. When I was younger, we spent many happy hours watching basketball on TV, screaming at the referees for real and imagined bad calls. I will miss him so much. I’d already planned to spend the holidays in Manila anyway (where many members of my itinerant family still live), but this homecoming will be bittersweet.

Usually for Thanksgiving, I get to stay in the home of one of Nana’s awesome friends who happen to be out of town for Turkey Day. In exchange for a soft, warm bed, their pets get fed, the plants get watered and the mail gets brought in.

This year, I trudge up to our usual sleeping place, open the door, and lo! A gigantor cage is sitting in the middle of the living room. A cage that pretty much blocked the way into the rest of the house. Turns out, the lovely lady who graciously shared her home with us recently adopted a retired racing greyhound. The greyhound was being boarded while the homeowner was out of town. Soo….an empty gigantor cage + handy digital camera + bored “kids”…

look at those sad doggie eyes!

stalking the cage