Monday and Fridays are trash days, and this some how always seems to slip my mind.
(Probably because I got spoiled by the valet trash service at our apartment, and not having to worry about it while living in the hotels.)
For example, last Friday I was at Janice’s house, (she lives 4 houses down, works with Lee, and is one of our closest friends here in the Philippines,) when I heard the trash truck pull up outside her house, which means the trash men had already passed our house. We had a million boxes from when our shipment of stuff came from the States, and several bags of trash, which the nasty street cats had torn into multiple times. I hadn’t put out the trash partly because I thought they wouldn’t pick it up on a holiday, (It was Labor Day) but mostly I just forgot. Luckily, Chat works for Janice on Fridays so she ran outside with me to flag down the trash-men. She got them to back up all the way down the street to get my trash. I was so happy.
It only took one time for the trash guys to know that I would always forget. Now, when they pull up in front of the house they honk the horn repeatedly until I realize what’s going on... then I run outside with the bags in my hand, and they laugh at me. I must be the highlight of the day though because they all get out of the truck to wave at me. One time, I even got a marriage proposal... when I explained I was already married, he told me he was my husband. I guess he was just checking my short term memory.
The mail man is pretty funny too. He waits outside and honks for me too, maybe because our door bell is broken. All the houses in the neighborhood have a fence around them. Each fence has a gate with a “door bell.” No Filipino will come in your gate unless you invite them in (kind of like vampires) they will wait at your gate, and never come to your front door. The mail man rides a tricycle, which is not very official by any means. I like him though, he smiles a lot which you wouldn’t expect from someone who is missing their front four teeth.
This was part of our conversation today:
Mail Man- “You sssign. You sssign here...”
Me- “Ok, but this isn’t my mail. I’m just renting this house.”
Mail Man- “It ok, you sssign.”
Me- “If you say so.”
Mail Man- “Where you from?”
Me- “The states”
Mail Man- “Ohh, which one?”
Mail Man- “You work here?”
Me- “No, my husband does.”
Mail Man- “With who he work?”
Me- “He works with AG&P” (AG&P is the Filipino company Foster Wheeler works with here)
Mail Man- “ Oooh... (long pause) You inssspire me.”
Me- “Excuse Me” (I thought for sure there was a communication error here..)
Mail Man- “You inssspire me.”
Me- “Ha. Why is that”
Mail Man- “You are ssso beautiful.”
It was at this point when I realized he is the nicest mail man I’ve ever had. How could you not like this guy?
After I sign the paper and give it back to him he asked...
Mail Man- “You mind I come back sssometime?”
Me- “Are you going to be bringing me my mail?”
Mail Man- “Yess Yess mail.”
Me- “Then I guess that would be alright.”
This was the longest it has ever taken me to sign for a letter, and this wasn’t even the end of the conversation. He said thank you and goodbye about fifteen times before he got back in his tricycle, I finally had to just walk inside. He came back again later, because apparently I forgot to write the date. I think he probably could have filled that in, and it wouldn’t have mattered... but oh well.