My pathetic little electric stove

25 Feb

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My pathetic little electric stove that my grandma bought me on my first weekend in the province from Legazpi City just gave up, only 55 days to the end. It kinda went on fire, spat out a few slivers of sneaky garlic and made a horrendous popping sound before i quickly unplugged it and left it to just look pathetic and cold.

I didn’t cry which was quite the miracle (“stop getting attached to inanimate objects!!!” said a certain someone right now). Obviously if I had cried it wouldn’t have been because I was emotionally attached but because I could have looked at it as another blow I didn’t need at this tumultuous time in my adventure. Like when my ukelele broke or when I missed the Gubat bus from Naga.

But while it couldn’t have been a worse time to have a stove you use everyday break when you were just about to make a curry laksa, it also couldn’t have come at a better time because last night I intentionally made a resolve to look at things in a different way.

As you know, I have been freaking out a lot lately about coming home. The usual stuff that I won’t bother getting into now. But in a nutshell, after a couple of weeks of crying more nights than I would like to admit about leaving here and going home anxieties, I decided to just enjoy everything I have here while I can.

It sounds totally obvious I know now that I say it…

So after my pathetic little electric stove gave up, I texted my counterpart sir Junie, the best man in the Philippines, to see if he knew of someone selling a second hand or just cheap stove that could see me through the next few weeks. He texted me not 5 minutes later saying he was downstairs and would take me to find either a new stove or someone to fix my stove. I jumped on the back of his motorbike, side saddle, and just watched everybody in the street wave or call out to him and he would occasionally yell out to someone something about my stove…

When the stores were closed and the man who some other man who some other man told us to go and find said it couldn’t be fixed, he told me he would text everybody he knows to see if I could borrow one so I don’t have to buy a new one with so little time left. He will do it you know. Because that is the sort of kindness I am surrounded by everyday.

Like when he drove me to find this local man who makes guitars when my ukelele broke and asked him to fix it. Or when the coconut donut man (yes coconut donut – the most amazing dessert ever) got yelled at by the other snack sellers at the terminal for selling us the donuts from the doorway of the bus, holding up the whole Philippine National Highway in the process, just cos I am his suki (regular customer).

Or when my landlady gave me a rose and some hersheys on valentines day. Or when a tricy driver kept driving around checking on Carrie and I just to make sure we didn’t change our minds about walking in the rain. Or all those times when somebody I have met once, and who often I don’t even remember meeting, sees me in the street or on public transport and asks me how I am or reminds me of something I said when I first met them.

I was crying yesterday (of course) about saying goodbye to people like this in a few weeks. But since my resolve, I have decided to save the tears for the actual goodbye and just enjoy them now while I can. It is an unfortunate symptom of our modern life that all too often people who don’t know you aren’t kind and so refreshing to live among people for whom kindness is first nature.

I am also going to get me a fresh young coconut, Philippines gatorade, for P10 while I still can, since crying as much as I have been is totally useless and is also incredibly dehydrating.

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