AFTER A hectic week, Mahal deserved her Saturday sleep-in, and had a birthday brunch planned with her posse of provincemates (no kanoodling, cuddling and snuggling for you Noel) and so I expected an uneventful Saturday for myself, mixed a bit depressingly with temp work at 7 in the a.m.
Although I’ve got regular worker status with my employer, because it was with a different department I was asked to work extra hours on, and because I was working with other temps, I preferred to think of it as temp work.
It was a bit tedious and tiresome, but I made a new friend, yup I did. He was quite an atypical temp, because (1) he was a working holiday visa holder, and (2) he was from South America, Chile to be exact.
He knew next to nothing about the Philippines, and was quite surprised when I told him that, as was the case with his country, there was a fiesta-load of Spanish influence in Philippine history and culture. He was astounded by the number of Spanish words in our language, like mesa, nobya, ventana, etc. that had either root words in Spanish or were bastardized versions of the original. I was eager to regurgitate my basic college Spanish with him, so when we were to switch posts on the flour packer, I blurted vamos a cambiar Samuel, and when it was teatime I ventured vamos a comer 😉 He smiled at that, and began jabbering in Spanish. I said I didn’t know much more than that.
Everytime during the shift I remembered a Filipino word or phrase I was sure originated from the Spanish, I confirmed it with him. He also said that in general, South Americans like himself spoke Spanish at a pace much faster than Central Americans like the Mexicans.
He and his girlfriend were staying at a backpackers motel in town and, as their visa policy allowed, were both working to augment their pocket money as they were seeing all the available sights in New Zealand.
I wished him well and additionally, told him that Panganay had an Argentine and Paraguayan flatmate and might know other South Americans in town. This pricked his interest, naturally, and got Panganay‘s cellphone number. I’m hoping Panganay can show them around town.
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I confess that I’m a loyal Salvation Army store regular, not just because of the very reasonable prices, and not just because the Sallies help everyone, especially those down and out (without being judgmental, as their ads show), but also because you never know what you’ll find. It’s so darn interesting, and I end up staying longer than I should.
But today was especially memorable, even for a certified bargain-hunter like me. Look at the picture below and see if you can find a common theme among the books I found :
You’d be either a genius or psychic to know the answer : they’re all free, let’s spell that, capital F-R-E-E, and all books on subjects I find terribly interesting : a sports biography on Andre Agassi that’s still on the bestseller lists in NZ; George Martin’s A Clash of Kings (Bunso recommended Martin’s A Game of Thrones and I haven’t put it down since); an all-time favorite of mine, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude; Jonathan Franzen‘s Freedom; two books on running, and other gems.
The store staff deemed that there would be so little interest in the books that they didn’t even bother pricing them, and unceremoniously dumped them in a bin that practically screamed please go knock yourself out and take as much as you can.
I immediately registered my (happy) disagreement with their book rating by picking up as many books as my little knapsack could carry and skipped all the way home. 😉
I strongly suspect that a single person owns (now used to own) all those books and needed to dispose of them right away. A person with impeccable literary taste enjoying a staple diet of Nobel and Booker Prize winners, with occasional attempts at reading quality fantasy novels, dabbling in autobiographies of 1990s sports icons, who is also into running. Not the smartest of guesses, but I simply can’t believe my luck!
By the way, the books aren’t in the best condition, but when you’re a bargain-hunting book lover, looks aren’t that important to you. Literally (pun intended), it’s the inside story and story inside that counts!
And as it turns out, the uneventful Saturday wasn’t so uneventful after all.
- Spanish is Second Most Used Language on Twitter (hispanicallyspeakingnews.com)
- The Impossible: How Important Is Ethnicity in “True Story” Films? (LINK) (anthropologyoffilm.wordpress.com)
- uneventful Saturday not so after all (ylbnoel.wordpress.com)
- Books I Wish I Finished (organisedclutter.wordpress.com)