Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Pandesal and the rest rooms at Gateway

AFTER SPENDING HALF an hour jogging around the blocks of Laguna Belair sporting a green sleeveless shirt and a baseball cap, I had a rare opportunity to bring home and eat pandesal bought from a typical belair house turned bakery. Decades ago, I used to consume this staple every morning when my mom still serves my breakfast before school. It got to the point that whenever I hear the word pandesal, I can already taste it in my tongue as if glucose are automatically induced in my mouth making me pass on the bread and prefer the coffee or milo instead.
I strutted back home carrying a package of 8 freshly baked hot pandesals and a sunday edition Inquirer.
Gently delighted by the combination of fried scrambled eggs, tomato ketchup and pinoy bread, I pondered whether I'll take Pizza to Gateway or not. I was scanning the broadsheet using my left hand and stuffing the bread in my big mouth using my right while sitting in my 2 year old couch in front of the tv patiently waiting for the Taylor-Hopkins rematch. I drained all the 5 pieces along with 2 glasses of bland iced tea and declared 12 pm as departure time.
The moment we arrived in the outskirts of the urban barrio called Cubao and stepped out of the van we paid for 60 bucks each, a rest room was urgently in need. I almost forgot that I have to pee when I felt dumbstrucked with the awesome sights of the mall's unorthodox architecture. It definitely outscores those box and square malls in style and fashionable structure. It took us a couple of minutes before finally embracing the atrium where a 40-50 feet christmas tree stands tall hanging with it-- basketball sized christmas balls. I took ample time figuring out its height, but that is the best guess I could get.
The stores are definitely cozy. Even their tiangge consists of expensive dwellers, such as papemelroti, chicco, gift gate, etc. The "tiangge" is definitely an understatement. The moviehouse is a grandeur. Ceilings seemed to have been a canvass for Michael Angelo wannabes carefully designed and painted with different themes of past and present blockbuster hits. The walls are covered with images of western type movie houses and phenomenal events such as the Thrilla in Manila: Ali vs. Frazier.
At last, we found the bathroom, a.k.a. CR, toilet, banyo, kubeta, kasilyas, whichever you want to call it. I walked past the ladies room and went straight to the men's like an eager battle-tired soldier hurrying for his homecoming. Before I was able to unzip everything that covers my being, someone from the back yelled and demanded with full clarity and discretion, "sir nagbayad na po ba kayo?"
Time suddenly stopped and my mind appeared stunned, it delayed the processing of words. All I could shot back was,"Magkano boss? San po magbabayad?"
I immediately followed his requirements and relief was such a good feeling. I stared in front of the mirror and asked myself, what should I do next. Should I wash my hands? Cleanse my face? Urinate again like there's no more tomorrow? Put on some lotion? Pamper my hands with alcohol? Bath with baby powder. I definitely would want my ten peso worth the service. The options were indeed very inviting. After several seconds of shaking up, I decided that all I need was a mouthwash.

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