Thursday, November 4, 2010

October FEAST

The past month began and ended with a feast.

On the eve of the first day my mind was set on the grocery list I had and the order of the simple menu I had to prepare for my first birthday far from home. My son and I were ready for our shopping day when my husband arrived from work. On the way to town he’s been asking me the itinerary for the day’s shopping spree and I gladly told him. He said he had to meet a co-worker, whose house is beside our dear friend, to get something. He will go to his co-worker’s house and my son and I were supposed to stay at our friend’s place. I wasn’t happy with the detour because I had a long list of errands to do with so little time and I didn’t want to just barge in to the house of our friend without telling her ahead of time. Nonetheless, I obliged.

Once inside the house, I felt more ashamed waiting for my husband because it seemed that my friend, I call her Ate, was expecting visitors for dinner as the table was set and she was busy preparing food. I was eager to get out. I never wanted to be in another one’s house uninvited. Then my housemates arrived. I wondered what they were doing there since they usually tell me if they’ll go and visit Ate. I was still confused and anxious for my husband to get back so we could get out of Ate’s house when another friend arrived and handed me a gift and then they all laughed. Then Ate gave me a hug. That’s when I realized my day was sabotaged by my husband, ate and her kids, and my housemates! I couldn’t help but cry. At that moment I was upset with my husband (a bit) for conspiring with them, I instantly missed my family, and was overwhelmed with the love Ate has shown - the lengths she had to go through to prepare the food, etc. despite her super hectic schedule. It was the first birthday surprise I ever had! The feast began, the grocery list forgotten.

A fragrant bouquet of yellow flowers tickled me at 4am - another surprise from my husband! My natal day was celebrated with friends served with simple food multiplied with fun!

A fortnight after that I had the chance to go on an all-girls weekend out with Ate, her daughter and my housemate to Adelaide. Our trip was filled with absolute fun of retail therapy and food! Oh yeah! Foooood trip! For a moment we forgot about our husbands and kids and simply enjoyed going through all the fabulous shops not missing out an open door. We merely stopped for our meals. Super yummy ice cream followed every lunch.

Our entire experience was great except for one grueling nearly one hour appointment. It was supposed to be fun because Ate was out to get her citizenship certificate when we were greeted by this petulant Filipina who treated us like we were ignorant natives who arrived in the city for the first time! Oh, how I wanted to pull her ugly hair out! She acted like she was somebody so important that we had to bow to her. Only to find out she was merely a volunteer assistant of someone else. Her boss, who happens to be a PhD degree holder and a representative of the Embassy of the Philippines was so nice and welcoming. Well, we managed to keep our spirits high despite her annoying presence and just gave her our stern gaze once in a while. We never opened our hands to clap for her when she was introduced and we were more than happy to leave that hall and forget that grotesque woman’s face!
We were all laughing about her and reminiscing on some bloopers we had afterward and moved on to our food trip and retail therapy that the car’s boot was nearly not enough for all the stuff we bought. What a fantastic weekend!

The couple of weeks that followed kept me busy preparing for my two boys’ birthday bash. I was just lucky to have Ate’s help again. Invites, decoration, food, utensils, prizes and more kept me occupied. I wanted their birthday to be simple yet much fun since it will be the first time we celebrate it without any close kin nearby. And it was indeed fun-filled!

October was and will always be a busy month for me. A month delighted with food and friendship.

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