Friday, October 11, 2013

On cigarettes, floods, and pretentiousness

Coffee and a cigarette.

And these are Hope cigarettes. A dollar a pack, but so yum, especially if you're doing menthols. Apparently, these are what the carpenters smoke here; and everyone looks at you funny when you swing them out and you don't fit the mould. The grins on the cashier's faces when they double-take on what you just ordered. 

I don't know if I'm taking it too seriously but hello class-system.

Which is also apparent when it starts flooding here and while there are people dying from landslides, the other half of the population is whining about their cancelled plans at the mall or what have you. 

And the trend on the comments floating about speak of resilience and the weatherproof Filipino spirit. Is that really what it is? 

It flooded last night. It wasn't too bad on my street. Waters were about knee-high, and quickly subsided soon after the rain stopped. Everyone was handling it so casually. I stuck my head out the window and could hear people laughing, screaming, like they were at an amusement park.

Yan ang Pinoy. Sa dami ng problema, nakuha mo pang ngumiti - ika nga ni Bamboo!

Point being, I don't know if this is something to brag about. 

The TV was on and deaths were being counted, while I was reading on cancelled weekend plans of the "social elite". I began reflecting on what would be done in other countries I've lived in, because collectively, the thing I have going in my head would be the same for the majority, and things would be addressed. Generally speaking, an unhappy majority should equal change.

We're not talking about a raise, more holidays, or women's liberation here. It's the bloody drainage system. 

I said, "why not the get everyone to drop what they're doing and we each get a bit of the drainage system to work on!" - I thought that was pretty smart.

But apparently they're so used to the flooding here, it's become a part of daily routine. In some places, houses stock giant slabs of hollow concrete to elevate all their kitchen appliances when the waters start to rise. To which you could say, wow that's so clever! but it's unsettling. An issue shouldn't be manageable.  It's like an abusive relationship. We shouldn't be saying, "oh it's okay. We're ready for you! Come stay the night!" instead can somebody please be telling the the whole thing to fuck off!

Maybe they're right. Maybe help isn't just around the corner and if you raise your fist to the system, no one gives a damn. 10 billion pesos being spent on mansions, parties and cars, from the hard earned tax money of those who don't have that kind of money to spend. Seriously? This shouldn't have to go on. I want to vomit.

To the lavish and aspiring lavish I say: 

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines pretentious as:
Having or showing the unpleasant quality of people who want to be regarded as more impressive, successful, or important than they really are. 

Where are all the people with their feet on the ground?

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