Sunday, April 29, 2007

We Should Walk More Often

I need to come up with a short story by Monday. I decided it would do me good to go on another one of my nightly walks around the city.

I passed by C.M. Recto and walked past a throng of black-shirted and sleek-haired punks outside Frissan's, and rolled my eyes. I snorted at them, too. Also saw some cute commercial sex workers outside Apo View. I'm not sure if they were CSW's, since some of the girls spoke Tagalog, but I didn't care to ask since I was walking too briskly to avoid being mistaken as one by passing drivers (as if!). I then stopped by TaTuTs at Duterte street to have a late dessert. I initially thought of going to McDonald's nearby but then I only have contempt for that outlet since they offered me the worst-tasting Chicken and Beef McRice Burger ever (and I haven't eaten one since--sorry Ronald).

They didn't have much of a dessert line-up--only the usual leche flan, buko pandan, and whattelse--but there was no turning back--I had already settled in my seat and the door was too far behind me--so I settled for a full dinner. I ordered SaKaNaDon(P75), which, I read from the menu, is an oriental rice dish of fish and swish cheesh. Okay, I was pushing it with the Swissh Cheesh, wasn't I? And a glass of iced tea(P25). And french fries too, but the waiter told me they had already run out of potatoes.

TaTuTs interiors is country-themed; to give you a clue, the walls are filled with ceramic cows and ornaments. Painted aluminum milk pails,ingeniously used as lamp shades, hang from the ceilings. I also found it very cute how my iced tea came in a reused jelly jar(5 points for being environmentally-friendly!), and the spoon and fork were wrapped inside a tiny brown supot--the kind you buy 5-peso peanuts in.

My dinner arrived in a ceramic bowl the size of a medium flower pot. The servings are huge in this restaurant, so huge that I swore then and there never to waste my money on Chowking or Mandarin ever again.

With the arrival of my order, I learned that SaKaNaDon isn't just plain breaded fish fillet and rice. It's the whole thing with minced cabbages, carrots and onions sauteed in egg (by now you should know I'm no cook, so I'm only wingin' it with my cooking terms here),and splashed with a sweetish brown sauce, whose taste, again I second-guess, reminds me of Worcestershire sauce, or barbecue marinade.

The first bite gave me that Cooking Master Boy/Yakittate Japan moment: my eyes suddenly lit up as a thin streak of electricity shot from one ear to another; and then, a blinding, powerful ray of light shot from my mouth, the bench I was sitting on turned into the head of a bearded blue dragon, and it carried me up to the sky and set me gently on a puffy white cloud. "Huwaaaah, How Deliciooooous!!!"

But the impression quickly wore off. I wonder what happened? I guess my sissyful appetite ruined it for me; I wasn't really that hungry, so after a couple more bites I already felt like opening the button on my pants to give me enough breathing room. Still, I swear I'll return to this place. I'll just ready my stomach by starving myself 12 hours beforehand.

After the meal, I paid P100--plus a P10 tip, haha, and surreptitiously left a note thanking them for the meal and an apology for not cleaning-up my plate. I'm not really that kind; I just felt like leaving a note since I had my handy-dandy notebook out there on the table.

I hurriedly scuttled out of the place, and continued walking to burn off the calories. At Bankerohan, outside Metro Circle, I saw kids peeling red onions on the sidewalk, while their mothers and aunts transformed carts and pulleys into makeshift vegetable stalls beside the street. I was moved with pity, but I scolded myself because I should reserve my pity for lowlifes and criminals and soul-less politicians, and not for helpful kids earning an honest living (*feel free to question my logic*).

Moving on, I then traversed the remaining operational Generoso bridge. There was nothing much to see of Davao river at night. Crossing the bridge, I actually realized that the river is wider than it appears when you're going over it by foot. I went past the bridge, overcame suicidal thoughts, and saw a billboard in the distance. "Boni Lami," it said. A political ad for Bonifacio Militar and Peter LaviƱa. However, it sounded somewhat obscene to me.

I made a short stop at MTS to buy Modess Cottony Soft Sanitary Napkins(with wings) and pantyshields. I also stopped by the comfort room, and saw that after walking more than four kilometers, I had begun to look like someone who had walked more than ten kilometers.

I walked some more to NCCC mall to take a jeepney ride home. By this time, I had adopted the unstable swagger and carefree disposition of a drunken sot, because it was the best excuse I could find for the flushed cheeks, the wind-ravaged hair, and the oil-slick face. And I smiled at the passengers with droopy eyes as I slumped in my seat. And they averted their eyes and pretended to be sleepy from the trip. Meanies.

And I guess I forgot about the short story.