Thursday, 28 October 2010

The Report that Pwned

This doesn’t feel right.

As Gene, Tina, Art, and I entered the classroom after a quick break, our classmates just kept on staring at the four of us.

It was the second half of the Managerial Communication group reports. The four of us were among the first ones who presented. I thought it was just a normal reporting day, but I just realised that it was more than that.

Before we went for the break, a lot of my classmates circled around me.

“Hey, you sound like a lecturer… Excellent,” said one black guy.

“Wow, you were really good. You will be a good manager someday,” said another Indian girl.

I really am confused. I just did the report the normal way I would’ve done back home. I might get a C+ back in college based on my performance a while ago. But here, a distinction can be probable, based on my classmates’ comments.

“You Filipinos sound really assertive. Your friend’s English is excellent!” a classmate said to Art.

Now I understand. Since Filipinos were taught in English ever since kindergarten, we naturally have the grasp of the language unlike other nationalities It became more prominent as Gene reported with her pure American accent, while I did mine with a British American accent.

Only Art and Tina reported with their very thick promdi accents. Nakakahiya.

Yeah, I know, I am so mean.

It was the second half of reporting, and it was Akhal’s group turn to report.

See, in our class full of Africans and Indians, there’s not much good-looking blokes to choose from, really. But the Turkish are another thing. Especially him.

I’ve been eyeing him ever since class started. With his rugged look, short David Archuleta-ish hair, matangos na nose, and bluish grey eyes, and his excellent taste for fashion, he is an item.

Not to mention his intellectual ability’s fairly high after he answered a very hard accounting question on the board one time.

The way he spoke in his report was outstanding for an Eastern European. He has a good command of the language. His voice was crystal clear and soothing to one’s ear. It really got me hooked up.

I can say that he’s my class crush. Now, if only he were gay as well.

As if.


“Where are we going again?” I asked Art.

We had just alighted at Embankment Station. It was already half 5.

“Let’s just go to Starbucks first. Your work starts at 6, yeah?” he said.

“But…“ I don’t really have the time and money to have another cup of coffee.

“Come on, just accompany me… Please?” Damn it… if it weren’t for his unusual infectious smile, I wouldn’t have given in.

“Here’s your Caramel Macchiato, mate.” Art gave me the tall cup I ordered.

I was reading the front page of the Evening Standard today. Another Tube strike coming soon. Oh great.

“Finally, the reports are over,” Art exclaimed. “I hope we get to pwn our other classmates who do nothing but blabber.”

“Of course, we pwned them. Did you notice the way they looked at us after the break? They can’t believe that we have The Voices.” Well, normally, since they are the ones who recite frequently, we just let them be keeping our mouths shut. That’s why it’s practically the first time our classmates heard us speak.

“Haha. But well, you and Gene were the best ones, I think. Your accent was wicked, but you still shift to the American one from time to time. Hahaha!” I think I blushed a bit when he said that.

“You’re not bad as well,” I said half-heartedly. Well, I am partly lying since Art reported with a very strong promdi accent…. A slight major turn off for a Manilenyo like me.

“Yeah, if only Hoang didn’t take too long on the introduction, I would’ve spoken a bit more,” he said. Thank God his groupmate went over the time. I am such a bad arse.

“Oh, it’s nearly 6, I have to go Art,” I said, as I packed my stuff. “How much is the Macchiato?”

“Oh, no worries… my treat for today, for a job well done.” He smirked again.

“Eh, no need to. Cmon how much?” I was careful not to push him too much, since he might really let me pay for the drink.

“No no Josh, just think of it as an apology for last week,” he winked.

I was kind of speechless once again. Why does my mouth fail me whenever I am with Art?

“Go, Josh, your manager might kill you!” He’s already at the entrance door.

“Fine fine wait up!”

So, he treated me. There isn’t any meaning aside from the fact that he is really liable for the treachery last week… right?

My mind is saying one thing, but my heart is saying another thing.

I am really weak when it comes to sweet petty things such as these.

I think I am having a serious crush on him. Tsk.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Hard-to-Get Money

I just threw the phone as far away from me as possible.

I had just talked to my Mom. She said not to collect the 5 pound debt from Tito Riz. I bought some groceries for Tito a few days ago, and I was waiting for him to pay me back.

This is so unfair. I am still mad at Gene, Tina, and Art for what they did the week before. I am still speaking to them in class, but I just wanted to stay away from them for now. I am not getting really good vibes at the moment.

Seems everyone wants to take a hold of my hard earned money. If that is the case, then please cover my 500 pound monthly expense please, so that I can have the cash to shop for more coats and gadgets.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

European Goodies

Gupps: So I’m guessing you’ll not need Downelink na, with all the European goodies around.

I just stared at message he sent me. Gupps is one of my few cyberfriends I made when I made a dummy YM account. It was my pastime before to talk to random PLUs while waiting for my university application and my visa.

I have to agree with him in some point for another. There is a huge supply of hot Europeans roaming around London. You can see them everywhere…. In buses, Tubes, trains, restaurants, cafes, retail outlets, etc.

My favourite place would be the Tube… Since my commute to work normally takes around 1 hour or more, I can just sit there and watch the cute guy sitting right in front of me.

They come in various features… some are rugged. Some are clean cut and boyish, while others just look sleek in their business outfit. Most of them are tall, but some are almost the same height as me. Short Caucasians are rare, but if I do find one, I am almost tempted to strike a conversation with them.

Then again, I am such a coward to even have qualms on checking the gay pubs out.

Yes, there might be a huge supply of good looking lads here, but as with most Western countries, most people here are aggressive. They treat one night stands like drinking a glass of beer.

I am not that kind of person. I want something more than just a mere fuck. I am not just a piece of meat waiting to be devoured by a flock of vultures.

 I am a person… a person with a heart… a heart capable of loving.

Will I be blessed with a hot European bloke that can love me because I am me, and not because I am just an exotic Oriental?

I hope so, but the world doesn’t work that way always.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

The Treachery

It’s Friday once again, and Gene, Tina, and Art were once again dragging me for a night out with them.

“Come on Josh, we know you’ve already received your first pay!” Art sneered, as we went down London Bridge station.

Libre, libre!” Gene chanted.

I am not really a fan of eating out, especially in London. But well, since I just got my first payslip, maybe I should give “myself” a treat. Note: myself, not them.

“So where should we go then?” Gene asked. We were standing by the big Tube map inside the station.

“How about Canary Wharf?” I suggested.

“Been there, and it’s far!” Gene exclaimed.

“How about Cheese-weeck?” Art said, pointing to the station on the District line that spelled ‘Chiswick.’

“It’s Chis-ick!!!” Wow. I can’t believe all three of us said it in unison. Art has this bad habit of not taking note of the different pronunciations of British place names, such as ‘Tot-num’ for Tottenham, ‘Hoe-bun’ for Holborn, and ‘Les-ter’ for Leicester.

“Act like a Londoner, will you?” I demanded. But I like the way he’s confused with these things. It makes him so lovable. Shit.

“How about Marble Arch? I wanna check out the large Primark store there,” said Tina.

“Hmm, great idea. I wanna check something out as well. Marble Arch then,” Gene seconded her suggestion.

“Cool, let’s go there then. It’s just near To-ten-ham,” Art interjected.

The three of us gave him a piercing glare.

“We’re so lucky, man!” Art said. “There were those hot gals standing beside us in the Tube.”

“Yeah, yeah, so lucky indeed,” I said boringly. Damn it Art, stop doing this to me.

I zipped my jacket tightly as we got off at Bond Street station. It was 8 degrees, but people seemed not to care as they just went on with their shopping and strolling.

I looked around. Shops were starting to do their Xmas sales already. After a few minutes, we finally arrived at the huge Primark in Oxford Street. It’s like Britain’s version of Landmark, where all garments can be bought at like 50% cheaper than other retail outlets. Here’s the catch though… it’s always jampacked!

While Tina and Gene checked some dresses out on the ground floor in Primark, Art and I checked out the men’s coats in the first floor. I have to buy something for winter as soon as possible.

“Try this out.” Art handed me this extra small grey trench coat. I tried it on.

“Wow, it looks good on you, my fellow Londoner,” he said, smiling.

I checked the tag price…. 30 quid. Fudge.

“Oh come on, Josh, it will be useful for you for the colder months ahead. Besides, you’ll earn that 30 quid again in a day’s time.”

Somehow, Art has this power of persuasion that can make me do almost anything… except divulging my deepest, darkest secrets… not to mention that I have a ‘slight’ crush on him.

“Oh fine,” I muttered, as I headed off to the counter.

“Aba, Josh is already spending some money, finally!” Tina jeered.

We were in Garfunkels in Bond Street having our dinner. It helped a bit as Art agreed to share this big BBQ platter with me for 20 pounds. So I just need to write off a tenner as dinner expense. Jeez.

After finishing our meal, we asked for the change. The waitress gave us a tenner and some coins. We wanted to distribute the change evenly, so I asked her if we can have two fivers.

She came back with the two fivers, put the first one on the table, then the next thing that happened was unthinkable.

She put the second one in her pocket.

I was in a state of shock. Apparently (I researched this one as soon as I got home), when you ask the staff for breakdown of money, they will take 50% of it as their tip.

Jesus. I didn’t know. In a state of confusion and chaos, Gene, Art, and Tina scampered for the remaining change remaining on the table.

I was a little bit too late. They took all of it.

For those dimwits out there who can’t count, I will say it in a very simple way: It was as if I was the one who gave the tip to the waitress.

5 quid. What. The. Fuck.

“Guys, can’t we share the unexpected tip?” I pleaded.

“No, Josh, since it’s your first pay, you have to show some goodwill,” Art said. I stared at him in disbelief.

“I really have some change you know,” said Tina. Umm, I also have some change, you know.

“Look,” Gene pointed to the wretched waitress, “she looks very thankful!”

As we were walking back to Bond Street station, I kept on pleading to help share some of the burden.

“I’m still new here, so help me, please?”

“It’s just 5 pounds, just leave it ok?” Gene said a bit impatiently. I’ve had it. This just ticked me off.

“I’ll go back to Primark tomorrow to return my coat and get my 30 quid back. I never tip in Manila, and you guys are asking me to give 350 pesos as tip? This is madness.”

I didn’t even wait for them, as I quickly zoomed past the ticket barriers.

"Thanks for giving me such great new friends," I muttered, as I stepped inside the platform.

And my crush over Art dissipated almost instantly.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Flu in a Foreign Land


I stood up slowly and checked my temperature. I still feel hot.

I got sick last night because of the sudden change in temperature. It’s already getting chilly as October kicks in.

It will be my first day in Domino’s Pizza, so I have to show up even though my throat hurts like hell.

Finally, after a few weeks, Gene got to talk with the area manager to see if they can hire me. She and Tina both work at Domino’s. The problem though is the distance. The branch I will be working in is in far west London, about 1.5 hours from my home in Catford.

However, since my work in the Japanese restaurant is not enough to cover my monthly expenses, accepting the offer was the best thing to do.

I quickly opened a sachet of Lemsip then mixed it with a hot cup of water. I hope this will be enough to relieve me from the flu symptoms I currently have.

3 quid just for a few sachets. I’ll add something to Clusivol’s famous ad: Bawal magkasakit… sa Britanya.