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Monday, March 28, 2011

Singapore Adventure: Kapitbahay Blues

Gone are the days when you knock at your "kaptibahay"'s door to ask for some spare salt or sugar.  Well, at least that's how I remember it when I was growing up in Manila.  I can't really say if it works the same way here in Singapore.

Based on the last three years living here at the Woodlands HDB, we only knew by face the people from the 4 units on our storey.  Actually, just the ones from 3 units.  The family on the other unit were so elusive.  But I am sure they can only say the same for us.

Gone are the days you make "tambay" at the "bakuran" of the house.  Here we don't have "bakuran".  It's your door, then it's the lift lobby, or for other homes, your friendly shoe rack or bike stand.

In Manila, you can sit in your "bakuran" on your rusty garden table set to do your afternoon "siesta" and when you wake up, your kapitbahay would have just gotten out from his "siesta", then you start to chitchat about your other "kapitbahay"'s (personal) affairs.  And this is while you sweep the dried leaves and empty "chicharya" wrappers sprawled on your "bakuran" with a "walis tingting".  I can't remember seeing "walis tingting" here.  Or maybe I am just not as observant as I presume I was.

Sigh.  This makes me miss home all the more.  Specially now that we have a "kapitbahay" with two obnoxious kids.  There's one who cries on a schedule.  And there's one who bangs the door for a pasttime.  I am sure that one will grow up to be one of the Security Aunties in office buildings if not a hotel door-person.  Sorry for being too harsh, but I am just fed up with those little gremlins.  And the sad thing about it, I think the mum is just equally fed up and just let them be.  Arrggh..  In Manila, parents will always try to silence the little ones with threats like "Kung 'di ka titigil, makikita mo ang hinahanap mo."  Irony in it's greatest form! :))  But it works, at least it did for me at that time.

Oh well, to each his own.  I just hope that the dead plant that my "kapitbahay" seems to be trying to revive grows leaves soon, at least the water she throws into it doesn't go to waste.

And there goes the crying gremlin, 12 noon, right on schedule!

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