Sunday, April 13, 2014

Journal entry #2: Change of routine

Developing a routine, they say, is necessary for success.

And yet, I remember one of my readings in my art studies class way back. I don't recall the essay word for word, but it revolved the subject of being "disinterested" due to being accustomed to a routine. It concluded that a bit of tweaking should be done in order to keep one's sanity.

And so, changing the routine I did.

I decided to contact a distant friend of mine who cross-enrolled to UP Diliman for the summer. I thought anything outside of checking my email, browsing through my news feed, and doing a bit of cleaning would break my mundane weekend routine.

Unlike most meet ups, there was no planning involved. It was an impromptu, out of the blue, proposal to meet up with someone. As I've said, just walking around the campus beats the hell out of staying in my bunk all day.

My friend requested that she tag along her "freshie" (neophytes) friends with us since they also wanted to take a look around Diliman. I don't mind, I said. The more, the merrier.

I arrived at around 11 in the morning and met them along the waiting shed near one of the university's dormitories. The first order of business was to fill our starving bellies (I haven't had breakfast). We decided to go to Area 2, a place known for its various food stalls.

I remember during my sophomore year that Area 2 was a ghost town at night. The area only has two restaurants and a siomai stand. Now, just about every house has a food stall outside. I'm glad that the food choice is a bit varied now. By the time I was about to graduate, almost every stall sold siomai and dumplings, indistinct from one another. There was a time I'd almost vomit seeing a siomai. In econspeak, the "marginal utility" to be gained at consuming one is at the negative.

But as with a thriving "business zone," mendicants also flock around to complete the economic package.

First, it was a boy who requested to hand over our empty bottles. Second, came a woman who approached us for a "donation." She made some hand signals, indicating that she was mute (with added high-pitched gibberish).

A friend of mine offered to give her food but she refused, insisting that we give money. She handed us a paper with the usual solicitation request on it. The one written at the end of the note caught our attention:

".......minimum of P20..."

One of my friends was generous enough to grant her request. As for me, I only had 19 pesos in my pocket. I did not know that they have a threshold for "giving donations" now.

After having a laugh at that episode, we decided to go to the "sunken garden." Needless to say, the freshies ended up disappointed after seeing that it was neither a garden nor it was sunken (it was, in a way... but you get the point).

By that time, it was already 3 pm. We were bored and the two of us decided to go have a drink. Yes... a drink... in the afternoon. Unsurprisingly, the freshies told us that they don't drink alcohol. I'm willing to bet that in time, they will have to indulge in a vice. I just hope it isn't cigarettes and meth.

After a few more hours of playing cards and "sharing cultures," we decided to call it a day. The neophytes bid us farewell and returned to their respective dormitories. As for the two of us, we decided to have another round of alcohol and exchanged a bit of our life stories (only that I did more of the "listening" part). We bought a pair of beer at a convenience store, but was later informed that we can't drink within the premises. I didn't know that there was a city ordinance prohibiting people to drink in public.

Before parting ways, she gave me one of her books, knowing that I am a sucker for history. I promised her that I will give her one of my books in return. I have brought with me a pile after spending around P2,000 for around 10-15 books in a book sale.

They were right, a change of routine can do wonders.

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