The other day, I was having my rather late lunch at a nearby korean-deria, what we fondly call our usual haunts to alleviate the incessant hunger for shabbily cooked food, when I noticed the group of merrymakers next door. I’m barely into my third spoon of rice and yesterday’s lechon kawali, now conveniently recooked into adobo, when a burst of shouts and overall revelry came out of that videoke open-all-day-and-all-night part of the strip. Sipping some nilaga broth, I could tell these guys were singing and boozing since last night. And it was Tuesday 12 noon that I happened to have taken my lunch.
Now, don’t get me wrong.
I don’t look down on people. I don’t want to be looked down on, so I try not to be as judgmental. But on a Tuesday, the sun is scorching hot, the usual diners were just trying to ease through their food so that they could go back to their own work fearing the minutes late would take off some amount on their take home pay, but lo and behold, there’s this group of individuals, probably closer to my age than the rest of the diners, are still at it. And judging from the number of bottles on the table (and the case under the table) it has been one long night.
There are stereotypes. People who tell you otherwise are in denial. These guys will probably spend their off day sleeping off the booze and waking up with a banging hangover and their weekly wages spent. And they will be bitching.
We all need some respite. We all need some R&R. But working in the city as long as I have, I learned to limit the debauchery to manageable levels so I can work the next day, barring lack of sleep, hangovers or lack of bus fares.
Working works as long as you work on it.
In my animation days, we literally close down bars with our booze binges. Strip clubs, live bands, we took ’em all in, and we got shitfaced. And the next morning we’ll still be sober and red eyed but working efficiently. These guys, I know the type, believe me, will be looking for someone to borrow money , after getting into some mean arguments with their wives, girlfriends or parents.
And all because they can’t control the real-men-drink attitude.
After I consumed a serving of rice (at least it was hot) pork adobo (at least it was tastier) and bowls of nilaga broth, I was paying for my food, when a case of unopened pale pilsen came to the table visible to me. I shook my head and added a couple of sticks of Fortune Menthol to my bill. Took a puff while waiting for change, and left the area, my ears still ringing from the usual “Zombie” videoke staple.
I walked back to the office with thoughts of why people bitch about their government, the politicians, the system and the world in general. And look, they can’t even implement a system for themselves where they can have fun and maintain a job. It’s hard work. But it comes with the territory. It will be harder if you are out of work.
I’m not saying I’m better. But through all the slides and slips, the hard falls and bumps, I have not blamed anybody but myself should I find my ass whupped by life.
So I got back to the office, my current task still need a lot of work, so I get on with it. Thinking I should buy myself a bottle of brandy when this is over.