I talked to one of the many people I see on my way to the office today. He’s that old man selling camote cue 300 meters away from my boarding house. I’ve been living in the area for more or less 6 years now, and I’ve seen him stationed his mobile kitchen with a bike in front in the same area for as long as I can remember. Sometimes his wife is with him helping him cook or prepare the banana cue/camote cue for the customers, sometimes he’d be alone. At times he’d be talking to customers hanging out in the basketball court, sometimes he’d be alone and just waiting for people to buy whatever he sells.
This morning, while walking to the office, I passed by him again. It was drizzling, and I saw him again sitting on his bicycle watching people passing by. I never bought anything from him, all those years that I was passing this way and he was selling. I suddenly remember I have P10 in my pocket, which I prepared in case the drizzling turns into rain and I had to ride a jeepney to the office. I looked up and I thought I could still make it to the office before it rains, so I thought I could give him the p10 instead by buying something from his items. I imagined a coffee and a sweet food would be a good combination once I arrived in the office, so I walked towards him. When he saw me, he gave me a big smile and asked me with all the enthusiasm in the world if I wanted to buy anything. I saw there was only camote cue on the little platform where the snacks was placed, so I said I wanted one of those. He might have noticed I was on my way to the office so he asked if I needed a plastic to wrap the food with, I said yes. It turned out he was waiting for his wife who went to the market to buy more supplies, including plastics. He asked me if it would be okay for me to wait a little bit, and he’d check if he could buy one from the nearby stores. He talked to me like I was an important person, and that he was causing me discomfort or anything. I said I was okay and he ran, a bit limping, towards the nearby store to buy plastics while I waited under the umbrella of his little mobile store. I wanted to tell him there’s no need to run and that I was not in a hurry, but he would’ve never heard me with the distance.
When he got back, he let me choose the camote cue while he was holding the plastic ready. He suggested this particular camote cue, and explained that it was still hot from the frying pan. I paid him, and we thanked each other. For the good 10 minutes more of the walk, I thought this could be a daily thing.
I pay P8.00 whenever I ride a jeepney to the office. Fares make the jeepney drivers happy, it gives them money to feed their family. If I walked to the office, I could use the money, P8.00 or P10.00 maybe, to buy something from the vendors I see on the way. Sometimes, they could get excited by the sight of one customer approaching them. I don’t really need an extra food because I usually eat breakfast, but I could give the food to my officemates. I guess they would still appreciate some old pinoy snacks. That’s one vendor happy, and one officemate happy. I also get to do a bit of exercise, 15-20 minutes of walking to get to the office. That’s 3 people happy. :D
Of course I could also save the money. But I guess I should talk about savings whenever I thought of eating a heavy and expensive meal in a fancy restaurant. This could be a good way to start day. :)