The Hunt For Gold
I mentioned a blog ago that I finally ran out of cigs and now I’m smoke-free for two solid days. That would’ve been awesome except I’m driving myself crazy thinking where I can buy smokes without being recognized.
Now, before you think I have an inflated sense of self-importance (contrary to popular belief, I don’t.), hear me out. Coming from a long line of first settlers here in this quaint little province, a small town where virtually everybody knows almost everyone, it’s impossible for people not to know who my mother is, where I live and unfortunately, find out what I choose to inhale.
Buying cigs here is not as easy as it looks and the last thing I want to hear is my mom asking why this tindera from this store said I bought two kaha of yosi when I promised that I already quit smoking two years ago.
Do I sound like I’m exagerrating? Trust me, I am so not. My mom, being one of the first to open an Auto parts shop here in Paniqui, is known by pretty much most townfolks, especially in parts of town where a lot of mechanic and tinderas hang out. I don’t want news reaching my mom how her darling daughter spent her intarnet time buying smokes in a little sari-sari store which as it turns out, is owned by someone she happens to know very well.
Here’s a great example, there are two big grocery stores here in Paniqui, Tan Hok and Red Camia. Now, you might think I can just waltz in and buy me the stuff I need in any of there store but hold up, both shop owners are friends of my mom and her dad. And they know me. Their kaheras also knows me and my two other siblings. The former, she knows way back as my grandad and their grandad are chummies in WWII while the latter, my mom does business with them (incidentally, he peddles fake cigs which makes me a bit wary of buying from him). So no. There are also a lot of little sari-sari stores here that I could go except my mom knows these people as well. So there. This town is too small for comfort. Waaaaahhhh!!!
The fact that that I look so chinay doesn’t help my cause. I stick out like a sore thumb which make being total incognito hard to pull. I’ve spent two days rubber-necking for the perfect place to buy a new stash, spent two days figuring out when and how to buy cigs (my disguise would be me scratching my nose a lot while buying things so that manong tindero won’t regocnize my mug and say “Ay, anak ito ni ______ and say, does your mom know you smoke? Kababae mong tao, ineng.”) This sucks so bad.
I know I could just ditch the habit from here. After all, it’s hard to stop smoking and this might be a good opportunity to do so. But the thing is, smoking brings me a little comfort. I know it’s a filthy habit, that it kills, that one stick alone has about gazillions of chemicals bad for the health, blahblahblah, whatever. One stick a day is good enough for me. Just one. I will quit someday, just… not now.
P.S. A couple of friends of mine (they happens to be one of the few who knows this blog site exists) said something really nice about the content of this site. I just wanted to say thanks for the kind words 🙂 I really appreciate it.