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Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Mouse Hunting for Food-Anyone?

People eat at least three times a day. Some people though particularly those who can afford eat more than that? I don't call that gluttony. I just call that fortune. I mean most people who fare sumptuous meals deserve it. They worked hard for that and they have the budget to satisfy their cravings.

My family was just not that fortunate then or, perhaps my dad should have worked harder to have provided us our meals. I couldn't blame my dad though for some of the horrible experiences I had. I knew he only finished elementary school and there was no way he could somehow find a good job.

When I was younger, there were several times I experienced skipping meals. My mom and dad had a hard time making both ends meet for the family. As a carpenter, whenever my dad was offered some projects, he would gladly grab the opportunity. Many times though, he would remit less than half of his salary to my mom because more than half of it would be intended for buying some liquors. My mom had to end up doing some of our neighbors' laundry. She would get paid some meager amount, just enough for us to buy some kilos of rice and some homely dishes. Everytime I would see my mom washing our neighbors' clothes and see her hands with blisters, I would always tell myself that I would be a good child and student to give my family a wonderful future. (I think I failed in that area. I am getting older and I haven't learned from my lessons.)At a young age, I learned how to do the laundry because I couldn't bear seeing my mom doing it alone upto past midnight in some ocassions.

Unlike in Western countries, Filipinos consider rice as their main dish. Some well-to do people can prepare good dishes to pair with rice. As a child, I have experienced, eating rice with salt and water, rice with salt and used cooking oil, sometimes, rice with sugar or sometimes none at all. Sleep-all-day would be the remedy.

One time, I remember myself holding a barbecue stick and a piece of rubber band. It was like my bow and arrow. My dad on the other hand was holding a sling shot and we were stealthily waiting for some mice running in the kitchen. That was my dad's idea, we had no food at that time and he suggested that we catch some mice for our meal. The idea of it was really disgusting. At the end of the day, we did not catch any mouse. Can you imagine eating a house mouse? Some people in the Philippines do, but they eat rats from rice fields not from residential areas.


~willow~ said...

Oh wow, what a childhood! I didn't experience this (my fortune, eh?), but I can certainly empathize.

You could paint the scene of your last paragraph into a great story too - make that a chapter in your memoir, maybe?

btw - a thought struck me, what's your opinion: which is more likely for someone who grew up in poverty but is now relatively well off: Is this person likely to eat eat eat eat maybe because of a deeply embedded fear of going hungry like when growing up, and lives a lavish lifestyle to assure him/herself that he/she is no longer poor? Or would the person be more likely to not waste anything, not consume anything in excess, because he/she learned to appreciate the little things in life?

{sorry, this is SUCH a long comment! but one technical question: how did you add a personal message to the comment page? That's a great feature!}

paisley said...

this is my first visit, but i have already book marked your page,, and will return every day... i am amazed at the life you have led, and still lead... i am intrigued and will look forward to your up coming posts....