(Courtesy of food spotting.com)
After concluding my business at one of our offices located near Mall of Asia, I discovered I had to take a scenic (read: long, winding, unnecessary) route to get back to Makati. It was the first time I came across the place called Aseana City, and what stood out (for me, anyway) was the giant warehouse/shopping center SNR.
I then remembered that we had not done our weekly grocery shopping so I decided to drop by the store to purchase a couple of roast chickens for a couple of meals. It was mid-afternoon so I was dismayed to find a huge amount of people, practically blocking all passageways with their huge carts and lazy, I'm-leisurely-strolling vibe.
Mentally "sucking it up" (I detest crowds, big whoop), I made my way to the roasting area. With my premature senility kicking in, I managed to forget - again - that I had to pay first at the checkout counter before getting my stash. (Quite odd since you can't leave the place if you don't show your receipt.)
As I feared, hordes of carts were lined up in practically every counter. I was resigned to wasting at least an hour when I espied the very last two lanes - just one cart! I rushed over (even bumping into a college classmate) and lined up behind a single female customer, who was next to be served.
She turned to me and said, "would you like to go first? I don't have my card and it turns out I'm only allowed to go to the food service area and not the shopping area. Anyway, I'm just buying these two conditioners so go ahead."
So we switched places, and I told the checkout counter employee that I was ordering two roast chickens.
Apparently, she wasn't well-versed as to what code or button to use and started calling the next counter person, who was busy ringing up her customers' purchases. She then turned to me and asked, nasaan ang mga manok? (Where are the chickens?)
I informed her of their own store's policy of paying first before getting the chickens. And then she responded in a completely surprising way.
"Yan lang bibilhin nyo?" (That's all you're buying?)
In a split second, I decided to not make a big deal out of it. A smile crept up uncontrollably and I said "yes. That's all I'm ordering."
She then raised both her eyebrows, as if to say "wow, you've got a lot of nerve shopping here when others have carts and spend tens of thousands." As luck would have it, the woman who gave me way turned out to be my mouthpiece.
"Eh, ano bang paki mo kung yan lang bibilhin niya? (What do you care if that's all he purchases?) I'm just buying these two conditioners...ano, pagsasabihan mo rin ako na eto lang bibilhin ko?" (What, are you also going to berate me for my purchases?)
My work here is done, it seems.