Saturday, July 19, 2008

Getting Lost isn't Hard to Do

I had a great time getting lost today.

It was almost 9 PM when I alighted at the Orchard station all by myself. I have very little clue where to exit. Although I consulted two to three maps, I decided to go with my treacherous instincts only to get lost.

But I didn’t mind. At least I saw for myself the mall called Wisma Atria.

The clue I was working around with was Ate’s tip that Wisma is opposite Lucky Plaza, the home of the Pinoys, and Paragon, the mall where I found Jude Law. So at the MRT station, when I saw the sign pointing to an exit that led to Paragon, by virtue of common sense, I took a 180-degree turn and headed to MY exit.

So there I was, walking around in circles at Wisma when I finally decided to get help from the nearest security guy. With crossed fingers, I approached him to ask how I could get to Takashimaya, my desired destination where I was meeting Kate. It was a mall known for its expensive stores.

I was hoping that the guy’s English would pass my standards of “intelligible.” Otherwise I would be more confused than I already was. Then what do know? Security guy speaks in a nasal manner! We call the likes of him, ngongo. But necessity overpowered language barrier wrapped with a speech impediment. I got to decipher this, “Enter second level, go up (soon I learned he said DOWN, not UP), turn right.”

I said thank you to the guy.

I entered the second level, went down the escalator and turned right after exiting the mall. At that point, I saw a more familiar mallscape. That was where I needed to be. At Orchard Road, not Orchard Boulevard where I initially brought myself to.

I entered Takashimaya. With stores like Louis Vuitton, Channel and what-have-you, I knew I was at the right place. The right place to meet Kate, the right place not to shop.

I guess I did find my way. At 10:44 PM I managed to get back in the house in one piece.

I said, “thank God.”

* * *
A quick flashback.

When I was around six to seven years old, I went with our kasambahay to visit her friend a few streets away from our home. I roughly recall banderitas hanging everywhere so I assume that it was during a fiesta.

At home no one knew I went with her. Everyone thought I was lost. I think they went crazy looking for me.

When our kasambahay and I got home a few hours later, I saw on my parents’ face a mixture of fear and panic. They told me not to do that again, not to leave without telling anyone where I was. That’s how, at a young age, I developed the habit of informing people (mostly my parents) of my whereabouts—where I am, when I’d be home.

Although I did not have to do much of that when I was in LB, I went back into the habit once I moved back home on a 24/7 basis.

Somehow I miss that.

Hollering my version of “Hey, I’m alive!” and getting an “Ingat anak.” or a “Tekker 14344eva!” in return.


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