A Day

As usual, as it is the season where you don't know exactly what to wear, I rummaged through my closet realizing I don't have clothes for the "inbetween" seasons, which in turn made me running again to catch the train. Arriving the station, I was panting & already sweating like a pig - why did I even wear this sweater over a long sleeved blouse? The sun was beaming & people around me have removed their jackets. Autumn. The season I hate has started & it's going to last for six months. Can you actually get used to the cold? I only like the cold because you get to wear "porma" clothes only up to a point where putting on & removing about 8 layers of clothes in a day makes you want to stay warm at home. Since we live in the south, there's not a lot of those trees that turn red, orange & yellow that mark the fall season. Are the trees where you live start to have colors?

I had lunch at the Chinese resto by the prefecture & the server from Laos has now considered me a regular. One time we talked about the employees of the resto. I asked her if there were any Filipinos in their crew & she hesitated a bit before answering. As it turns out, they don't really hire Filipinos because they find them a little too lax & that they work a little carelessly. I really didn't know what to say since in one point, she was right & on the other hand, it seemed a low degree of discrimination - the crew is made up of Asians from Laos, Vietnam, Thailand (apparently no Chinese I know of). Not all Filipinos are lax & careless in the workplace. Here in Europe, they have names for each nationality, say frog legs for the French, and I wondered if we also have this in Asia - I do remember Chinese & Indian jokes though.

Wandering in the Centre Bourse & rue Saint Ferriol had me running for the metro this time. After about 10 minutes, I noticed that the metro still hasn't arrived & I asked the security why is this so. He told me that the metro will be passing after 40 minutes & pointing on the board that announces it before entering the station. As I understood, it was about opening line 2, etc. I have a rendez-vous with my OB in 10 minutes & I thought of starting my 45 minute walk to Prado. Why did I even wear this sweater over a long sleeved blouse? It was just after 25 minutes of walk that I saw another board by the metro that says " in the spirit of being on strike, line 1 will stop operation for 20 minutes & line 2 for 30 minutes." France & it's never-ending strikes. Why can't people go on strike for everybody's good, say being on strike by not buying gasoline for a day in a week to maybe call on lowering the price of gasoline? It is amazing what we can all do together.

Then in some street of my long walk, I was like warped back into time - I was suddenly in the middle of students - boys that sproinged from a 70's highschool yearbook somewhere in England - sneakers, khaki curduroy pants, plaid long sleeved polo shirts, brown or green V-neck sweaters topped with those shoulder-length wavey blond hair - you know, the typical English get-up. Man, it was really strange.

Arriving the clinic, it is jampacked by pregnant women, trying to get pregnant, husbands & boyfriends, routine check-ups, the air in the waiting room has become so stale. It's the usual ultrasound & I talked to my OB into giving me a prescription for an inhibin B blood test to check the quality of my eggs & she did together with another FSH & estrogen tests by adding " for your peace of mind." I am really now convinced that we are all not totally equal, but that's a story of its own. As I marched out of the clinic, the sun is gone, there's more wind - weather has now radically changed & it's cold - now, why didn't I bring my jacket?

Gare St. Charles - I have spent too much time here, the train is my car & the station my garage. In one area, people have been watching a girl with her cat on a leash. I don't know which is better - a leash or in a cage. Then the phone booth woman arrives in her usual yellow jacket, roaming the phone booths, trying each & every phone talking & complaining about something. Train stations.

In the train, a woman sat in front of me with her indian effect outfit & braided hair - she's probably around late 40's or 50ish - you'll really never know anyway - she started to tell me how people can leave the toilet's door open & letting the unsanitary smell out. She repeated it to the person on my right & we both realized how serious this is for her as she stood up & closed the door, now like a vulture watching the toilet door. Then she now tells me how unethical people are when they smoke in the station when it is clearly a non-smoking area - actually, only on the center waiting area where there are a lot of people - and she didn't stop ranting about it as I tried sulking hard in my book. She's the kind that likes to talk to people & apparently complain about the things around her. The kind I try to avoid on train rides & now that I don't smoke, I wonder if it's better to be in a smoking cabin or beside this woman. I can see in the side of my eye that she's looking at me & that she will grab the opportunity to speak if I just give her a glance. Getting off the train is always a happy thing.

And finally, I reach home sweet home. My purring cat, the silence & solitude - cataloging yet just another day.


From Manila to Paris, then to Marseille & to the Côte d'Azur, now in Singapore, clinging to a map of three worlds, where everything becomes all relative.


  1. Hi makis, this post is so autumn somehow, lots of subdued colours and hesitant tones.

    Sun won't shine and outside the colours of the trees are starting to change. I think September, October are the months of withdrawal.

    Btw, is that chinese resto called Miam Miam? In front of the store Graphico (or something like that)? I used to eat there every lunch when I was working in marseille, I had a laotian friend there too called hang (or huang)... I wonder if he's still there...

    Don't you feel that we all keep getting on and getting off different trains, so many stops and starts ---

    Have a nice day!


  2. Gettin on, getting off - do seems like life. I also like trains because of the motion, the moving.

    The one I know from Laos is a she & you're also a regular there??? I had siomai soup yesterday :)

    Ahh, yes autumn - the sleep, the hybernation, the purity. I doubt we'll have good snow this winter though.

    Good luck for your assedic tomorrow, Kala!!!

  3. Makis, there is a laotian resto near our place in Madison named Lao Xiang. Sarap, but we don't go there often because it's too pricey for us na.

    I like this piece. I can really picture your day-to-day commute and the people around you.I espcially like the gists of conversations with the locals. Talaga, autum there is 6 months? What about winter? Ako I would rather have our autumn than winter.

    Hanggang ngayon I still haven't taken down my winter/cold weather clothes from its boxes. Isip-isip ko, ganito na ba talaga ang buhay ko d2 fprever? Parang ganun na nga. :)

  4. hi there makis. love how you detail your journey, you're a very observant person. hmm, so what's with that check-up with the OB? any plans soon?

    yep, autumn! love the colors (the leaves start to spread a crunchy carpet here), not the weather, as you said, you will never know what to wear...and for me, you dont expect me to buy warmer clothes 36 days before jour j, non?

  5. balik ako mamaya girl, haba eh..
    papahinga ko lang ang aking antok na mata

  6. Geri:For some reason, the train station seems to make people want to speak with anybody probably because of the waiting & it is a little community of characters. Autumn for me is the start of winter as spring is the beginning of summer - I consider winter to be 6 months but just cannot say the same about summer :)

    analyse:Waiting sometimes makes you "look" at some things :) Baby plans that just won't get accomplished - you can read Monthly Ordeal if you have time!

    Nao:Hi girl!! Haba ko kasi talaga magsulat eh no??? Just take your time, andito lang ako :)

  7. hi Makis! it is very autumn here in my place already, I always love this season. looking at the trees with colorful leaves is just simply dramatic. I don't like much the cold though. =)

    the train commute reminded me of HK. I had a lot of it when I was working there, it's actually everyday. I just hated it when it's too crowded, yon bang hindi ka na makagalaw pa dahil ipit na ipit ka. plus mabibingi ka sa ingay ng mga ibang Intsik, magkatabi lang eh ang lakas-lakas ng mga boses nila pag nagsalita. well, I missed those days though. =)

    take care always and happy weekend. kisses from Ninev! =o)

  8. Hello, Makis! Nice to see a new post from you. A good piece too! When I started my current hospital job, I tried commuting but after a few months, decided to drive to work instead. I just love the freedom it gives me (could fart if I need to heheheh) and I do belt out like a rock star in my car. I doubt if fellow commuters would appreciate my antics ;-)Have a great one... hugs...

  9. Ligaya:It's true that the colors of autumn is really dramatic - been trying to find a tree that will do exactly that but to no avail :( In France, people don't talk during commute & they look at the people who do. I didn't mind at first but now I don't like sitting beside noisy people - damn, I'm getting old!

    sister salvation: It's freedom in every sense of the word! Sometimes they cancel my usual train trip & I have to wait for another hour! I can imagine how good it feels to sing out loud in the car :)