Shortly after I arrived back at Fred's he asked me to run an errand. I was to go to the nearest town to collect some stuff. Take the motorbike he says. I haven't
driven a motorbike for years, but what the heck. It's a half hour drive and as I pull in to town I get a rear tyre blowout. A guy points to it "Oh" he says, "You have a
flat tyre"........mmm........helpfull. Seriously though, this guy is good, He organises a motor trike driver ( resting nearby ) to remove the wheel, and a pedal trike
driver to take the wheel to the repair shop, "Give him 50p for the repair" he says. He comes back one hour later with the repaired wheel. " give him 50p for his fare"
the guy says. The motor trike driver replaces the wheel and I ask him "how much?" "No worries mate, forget it" he says. Well he doesn't say that exactly but
the message is the same. I press 50p into his hand. I get on the bike, thank everyone, wave goodbye, and I'm on my way. I'm thinking One hundred and fifty
pesos. Three dollars. I couldn't buy a cup of coffee for that where I come from.
The next day I go with Fred in the car to order some things from the hardware store. Fred is known here. Behind the counter is a woman and a young girl.
Right out of the blue Fred says to the woman "My friend here is looking for a girlfriend. Do you know anyone?" The woman flings her arm round the girl next to her.
The girl turns bright red and bends to concentrate more fully on whatever she is writing. The next day Freds helper goes to collect the material from the hardware store. When he gets back he reports to Fred, "Oh, the girl in the hardware store," we look at him, "She's interested." Fred turns to me "And that's how easy it is"
he says. I never did get back there and and left for home a couple of days later.
When I get back to the Philippines I'm going to the mall. I'm going to walk up to the most attractive girl working there. "Hi" I'm going to say. "I'm looking for a
girlfriend, do you know anyone who might be interested?" I'll smile. "Maybe you?" I'll say. At this point I may do the Groucho Marx eyebrow thing......Portrait
of me as a ladies man.
These days, here in Australia, when I walk through the shopping centres and malls, I'm invisible,
In the towns near to where Fred lives I'm surprised by the number of young girls who hold my eye, and smile as they pass by.
It may not mean much, but it sure beats the hell out of being invisible.
At some point in my trip I have to take a ferry. This is a big boat and full, and I think I'm the only caucasian on it. Soon I become aware of a group of kids,
smiling and peering at me from behind things. I go out for a breath of air and they follow me. A little girl about 5yrs old approaches me. She is so full of energy
she can't stand still. She has big eyes full of laughter and mischief, and a huge smile to match. "Hello" she says. "Hello" I answer. Encouraged, her smile
grew even wider. "Whats your name?" I tell her. "How old are you?" I tell her. An older girl about 12yrs bends down to whisper in her ear. The little one bounces
up. "Do you have a wife?" "No" I say. More whispering. "Do you have a ladyfriend?" "No" I say. "What about you? Would you like to marry me?"
Her face turns instantly to thunder. "NO !" she exclaims, and storms off. My mirth was off the scale.......Those Filippino kids.
Next time I go to the Philippines I'll wear baggy boardshorts, baggy singlet and thongs, and that's probably all Ill take. Maybe 7 kilos in a backpack.
In fact It's packed already :thumbsup: