...And That Night, My Arteries Wept

Before I went to the dentist, Ate took me to Mongolian Quick Stop in Festival Mall, where I filled my bowl with rice, noodles, lettuce, cabbage, bean sprouts, red bell peppers, and carrots. Then I handed it over to Meat Lady, who dutifully added squid, chicken, beef, and Unidentified Sea Product. Finally, Sauce Guy read my mind ("Spicy, mam?") and topped the overflowing bowl with spicy goodness before handing it to the Grill Man who would ensure that I did not get salmonella from eating raw foodstuff. Here's a picture of the finished product. It always gets smaller after it's cooked, which is why we all make sure the contents of our bowls resemble a small mountain before passing it on for grilling/frying.

I then went to the dentist's office, and almost stormed out of there after being made to wait for an hour and a half ("Mam, naipit siya eh." Hah!!! Although, must remember to be like my dentist's assistants and use the phrase "lunch meeting" more often, as it sounds like a legitimate excuse.). It's not a good sign when the assistant is frantically whispering on the phone: "Yes, sir, it was a 1:30 appointment," and it's already almost 2 pm. Anyway, long story short, I waited a little more, got my teeth cleaned and two "incipient" cavities filled. The dentist said, "Nicole, you have great teeth!" and all was forgiven. Hey, the whole shebang only cost US$70! Last time, Harvard Dental gave me a special discount package of $175 (plus tax), and that didn't include the fillings! Yowwwwch.

After I got home, I hopped on my bike to get some dried mangoes for my Japanese colleague K, who says "Mangoes!" every time I say, "Philippines." I believe it's a conditioned response from when she spent time here. As always, the little grocery store near the park was full of mommys and yayas and their charges. I had a brief "uh-oh" moment when I realized that I didn't have a bike chain, then I remembered where I was and I just parked my lovely pink transportation near some kids. Naturally, it was still outside when I finished buying.

Then I wandered over to the church. Here's St. James Parish. Someday I and all my siblings will be married there.

Ha! Ha! Ha!!!

In the evening, I had a craving for dinuguan, so Ate took me to Kanin Club at Westgate. We ordered crispy dinuguan (a speciality), garlic rice, lumpiang hubad, and turon. I had bottomless lemon iced tea with the food, and Ate had ripe mango shake. I attacked the lumpia first, with the vague notion that vegetables must be destroyed instantly. And then I bit into the crispy dinuguan. It was yummy. It was deep fried pork in blood. It was like eating sin. I had a second helping, at which point my arteries began crying softly. I ignored them and soldiered on. And then, when I finished, I had the turon, which had saba, ube and langka inside a crepe-like wrap that was itself coated with melted brown sugar. While I was eating the turon, the singing of my soul overcame the weeping of my arteries.

We took whatever we couldn't finish home with us. Ate remembered that she wanted to give me some Filipiniana outfits, so here I am modeling the one that DOESN'T make me look like the victim of an attack by mutant flowers and butterflies.

Gosh, look how thin I am. It must be the lack of beer from the past two months. No fears, I will be back to being pleasantly plump after I get back. Wow, how repetitive. Also redundant. All the fat from dinner must be constricting the blood flow to my brain already... can't... type...

(thud)