Saturday, August 09, 2008

The street where I live
Due to dad's career, I have lived in various places around the world. Most of our residences have been in high rise buildings. In short, condo style.
In Brussels, our place was on the 2nd floor of a nine story apartment building located on a major avenue. During winters, my view consisted of a picturesque snow filled avenue. In Singapore we were on the 12th floor of a HBD (government housing complex) with a clear view of the MRT snaking in and out of our area. In Dubai, our cosy residence was on the 5th floor of a centrally air conditioned building nicely situated at the corner spot of a major street. I could see rows of cars caught in heavy traffic during the rush hour from my bedroom window. When we returned to jolly old Pinas, my sister and I ensconced ourselves in a loft located on the 12th floor of a condominium. Fortunately our unit was located at the back side of the building so we were spared the endless traffic noise emanating from the front street. Instead we settled for a view of the Pasig area environs and the majestic Pasig river.

So clearly I was used to being 'isolated'. It was just me and my little corner spot, safe from the prying eyes of nosy neighbors and from ambient background noise. Everything I ever needed was contained in the unit. Trash were disposed through garbage chutes. Newspapers were at the front desk lobby ready to be picked up at my own time. Mail were neatly tucked into mail boxes. It was all such an organized and orderly lifestyle for me for several years.

Then I got married. Teehee!

Now I live in a 2 bedroom, up and down apartment with my nurturing husband in the heart of a city named after a former president. It is a four door compound. Our place is the first door located nearest the gate and the street level. The area is mostly residential but far from the quiet neighborhood I expected it to be.

You have vendors peddling all sort of items. From taho, balot, dirty ice cream, vegetables, fish (bangus, tilapia and even talangka), pizza to people selling appliances on an installment basis (I kid you not!) My favorite vendor is this ingenious fellow who sells pails, basins and tabo. He pedals his wares around on a pedicab with a clever marketing strategy. He has this microphone which loudly announces his items.

Then you have all sort of vehicular traffic. The taxis and tricycles which ferry people to and from their houses. The occasional PUJ which for some reason passes by our street when his route is clearly out of the way. The pick up trucks which deliver LPG and the filtered water supply all competing with the handy pedicabs which pick up people's laundry. Every Mondays and Thursdays, you are awaken by the loud horn of the garbage truck doing its rounds to pick up the trash. The mailman also drops by and knocks incessantly on the gate to deliver your snail mail.

Plus lately there have been diggings courtesy of Maynilad drilling ferociously into the paved road. It would create muddy puddles on the street which stick to my newly bought shoes like glue so I am relegated to wearing flip flops and bear the agony of having mud on my toes.

Most of all you have n-e-i-g-h-b-o-r-s!!! Gosh this topic merits a separate long rambling post to be composed as soon as I gather my thoughts amidst this noise.

So yes my isolated, cushy pampered lifestyle has turned into a chaotic but I like to say still tolerable existence. Because sometimes on a rare day like today, a Saturday - a certain calmness reigns throughout the neighborhood. Nothing but the sound of the wind ruffling my curtains can be heard. So even for a very few minutes, my mind settles down enough for me to compose a blog entry before I ransack the pantry to prepare tonight's dinner.

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