Well, another Christmas season is coming to it’s mid-point. To think it was just last September when the stores started playing the same Xmas noise at full distortion for your shopping pleasure. Except at 6pm when the gong sounds and the prayer is mumbled and everyone does a Midwitch Shopper act and stands still for the daily brainwash. Great time to nip around and beat the pushers in.
Outside the streets will be full of those Xmas star light hang up things and everyone from Dong to Dai will be wishing you a Maayan Pasko (Visayas) and holding out their paw for their ‘christmas’. People you have never seen before will expect something for the courtesy they have extended to you of being on the street at the same time and place as you, the rich Kano. Carol mumblers will come along at the same time, every night for months and mangle one song then expect payment. They will be back the next night, same time, same song so if you don’t give tonight, no problem. As soon as they leave the next mob that always comes right after them, night after bleeding night will be there mumbling the same song and expecting payment. Every friggin night for months.
Fortunately the fire crackers will drown out a lot of their noise. Between the ongoing replication of a firefight in Uruzgan Province and the carol killers, the passing trikes with their modified brarrrp bikes will fade into a distant memory. If you are really lucky, the local effigy will be paraded through the streets accompanied by the banging of drums and the blowing of horns. Right past your street side bedroom window. At 4:45am. You will arise and greet them in the middle of the street with well chosen Anglo-Saxon words of welcome, encouragement and even helpful hints to improve their mono-sexual reproductive activities. With luck, they will return the next morning.
The mall will be especially crowded with people seeking to reduce the darker tones of their skin via the application of chilled air. After all, white people come from cold countries so….
In the store, once you pass the person pretending to have a clue what it is their stick has poked in your bag, you will be able to mingle with the locals and enjoy the antics of those who, more important than you or I, exercise their god given right to push in front of you, bump into you as if you are not there and generally enrich your retail experience, Pinoy style. Should you be caught short and need to use the rest room, be glad there will be no toilet paper to taint your tush. Instead you can wash it, soak your pants and really feel you are immersing yourself in local colour, if not crap. Oh frabjous joy, Noel! Noel!
The journey home will be either a chance to study in intricate detail the rear license plate of the vehicle in front of you for at least the hour it will take to leave the car park or you can explore the wide range of intricate scents given off by five hundred and thirty nine armpits in a 10 seater public utility vehicle. Once home, your helper will have helped herself to your cigarettes, booze, rice, kid’s clothes and of course, deny all knowledge despite the hidden security CCTV footage telling a different story. You won’t mind though as you are a rich kano.
By the time Christmas is over with, Chinese New Year has filled the hotels and St Valentine’s Day is upon us, in readiness for Holy Week. I love Holy Week. There is nothing like getting flicked with the blood of a flagellating penitent passing you on the street to really bring you oh that much closer to their imaginary being.