...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

A slice of the Philippines

I've been down with some kind of flu or allergy all week. Actually, neither the school nurse nor the call-in hospital service could tell me what is actually wrong with me. My eyes have been swelling since Monday morning -- only yesterday did they start to look vaguely like normal, but last Wednesday my nose bridge looked completely flat from the swelling around my eyes, I had some headaches every now and then too (which are thankfully gone). All I got from the nurses were some ibuprofen tablets and an advice that I should take lots of water and rest. They seemed to all agree that it was nothing serious because I lacked any other symptoms of a would-be flu or sore eyes or pollen allergy. ("You should be more concerned if it was only one eye that was swollen!") At any case, even though my eyelids still look plump today and I still don't know what's up, I decided that I was well enough from this whatever-it-is to attend Ivy's grilling party.

We have known Ivy -- she's a PhD student in Physics, along with her friend Junjun -- from the very first months of arriving in Sweden, almost two years ago. It was really one of those fortunate chance meetings: being overheard talking in Filipino, being invited into their apartment, eating them out of house and home... Since then, Ivy and her husband's place (he's also named Junjun, incidentally) had become the place to be whenever we were bored, which isn't actually hard to be if you lived down there at Linköping. Despite our regular intrusions, Ivy and her husband just acted with genuine hospitality. They also make friends with a great variety of people, Swedes, Filipinos or otherwise -- exchange students, contract workers, cleaning ladies, business owners, single mothers, etc. Their accepting atttitude is really admirable, and it's also a bit comforting to know that they will probably think the same of you even if you drop out of school for some reason, fail to get that prestigious degree, and end up wiping other people's dinner tables instead. I must say that though I don't see them that often now after I'ved moved cities, I always get surprised how Ivy and the Junjuns receive me as if I've just been there last week.

Back to the grill party. Even among their Swedish friends there, the party was just typical Filipino, I thought. Children outside playing among themselves. Grown-ups eating and chatting indoors. Dads passing around the whisky bottle around their table. Moms gathering around the kitchen area talkiing about love-and-life (aka gossip--the same one lasting for 40 minutes of conversation or so). A small group of people -- and there I was -- cueing for their "obligatory" karaoke song... Chaos, chaos. But I like it somehow. It was the kind of party I recognize from family reunions and birthday parties, and mom's barkada get-togethers.

By the way, the food was delicious and satisfied one's Filipino-food cravings: inihaw na bangus, inihaw na hito, ensalada, pork barbeque, chicken barbeque... And of course, for the Swedish touch, there was also potato salad and red beet salad to be had :-)

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yo, Joy!

SInce it's hard to maintain 2 blogs, I've decided to delete my riou1999.blogspot.com.

You can just use this one:
aiah1999.livejournal.com

Thanks!

Aiah

9:47 PM

 
Blogger Ahoy! said...

Hi Aiah! I updated my link. I didn't even know you had another blog, and that had me wondering if you gave up on blogging for good. I should have known better. Haha! :-)

10:26 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was just a bit tiring maintaining 2 blogs... besides, livejournal is easier to maintain cause I don't have to worry too much about the html/css codes for my lay-out. ^^

How's Sweden? Can you feel the rage of global warming there as much as we do back here? It's too darn hot here now... 38 degrees and rising... argh.

~aiah~

7:09 PM

 

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