Yesterday I went out farther than I usually do. Since the March lockdown here in the country, the farthest I've traveled was to the memorial park which was just a few kilometers. Yesterday was the first time I took Grab Car again. And it has changed a lot since the last time.
As soon as I got on the car, instead of the usual laminated notices I usually read about the car being registered and allowed to operate, there is this huge notification saying the car is equipped with a sanitizing and cleaning kit plus there's a plastic barrier separating the front and backside of the car. I did not bother removing my mask and face shield, the driver didn't too. There were zero attempts at small talk either. Aside from greeting me as I hopped into the car and saying goodbye and thank you at the drop-off point, the driver and I did not have any conversation at all.
I arrived at my destination. My former office. I was there to meet up with a friend who's going abroad in the next few days. He said he's going to stay there for good. It's sad but he's doing it for his growing family so I'm just there to support him. I made him a crochet beanie to keep him warm in that white snowy far away land. Why is change the only constant thing in the world? I missed the office, I missed my friends, now I'm saying goodbye to another one and who knows when I'll see him again?
I was feeling kinda low so I took a walk to the mall next to our old office. It was popular because of the replica of the Grand Canal in Venice. I looked for a book for my daughter. It has been a while since I last trotted in that mall so I was trying to find my way to the bookstore. On my way there, I was stopped by a young man from the Unicef PH booth. We had a funny conversation.
Unicef guy: Hi ma'am, I'm not trying to sell you anything. (yadda yadda yadda) May I have your name?
UG: If you don't mind, how old are you?
UG: (Acts surprised) Oh! I thought you were just in your 20's! (and went on with this topic for a few minutes)
I thank him blushingly but I know he's just trying to make me feel good because he's going to pitch something to me. It might be because of the skinny jeans, or the top that I wore which flatters my collarbone, or my hair shaved on the sides, but I am almost certainly sure that it's just because he's trying to make a "sale." And so he delivered his sales pitch, too bad I don't have credit cards, (and I am aware of what he tried to do there) he did not close any deals with me. But he did ignite and awoke my feel-good hormones. Remember I was feeling low because I just said goodbye to a friend a few moments ago. To pay him back for lifting my spirits because of his flattery, no matter how futile it may have been, I tried to return the favor. I am not sure if he is an employee or a volunteer but I still commended him for doing what he's doing. They're trying to raise funds for the victims of the typhoon.
After that convo with Mr Nice Guy, I went back to my quest to the bookstore. I didn't find a book for myself but I found a pop-up book for my kid. Now that I got what I came here for, I went ahead and strolled a bit more. I noticed there are a lot of people in the mall already. I was picturing a slightly deserted mall but instead, I was met by a colorfully decorated Christmas themed mall full of window shoppers.
It was getting a bit late so I decided to head home. I missed my old route so I took a walk. The way home felt different. I used to walk here by myself but now I saw a few pedestrians joining me in my walk along the sidewalks of the hills. My short walk became a long walk along the busy road towards the next tricycle station. I missed long walks, I missed going out, I missed feeling the breeze on my face. Oh, scrap that last one, the face mask and face shield robbed me of that experience. Still, it was a liberating more or less an hour walk.
I saw tons of changes. The signs in front of offices that used to say "No ID, No Entry" now became "No ID, No face mask, No Faceshield: No Entry." Public vehicle signages used to say "No smoking" or "Barya lang po sa umaga" or "God knows Hudas not pay" now became "Observe social distancing" and "No facemask, no Faceshield, no ride." I stopped by at a fast-food restaurant to buy my daughter a kiddie meal toy, and evidently, there are markers where the customers waiting in line should step, and there are arrows on the floor that customers need to follow just so social distancing will be observed. There were just a few customers dining in at the moment. I myself did not stay that long, I wanted to continue my walking trip right away.
Although the signages are clear, there are some that still treat these are mere guidelines, not really rules that need to be strictly followed. Yes, a lot has changed with the facade of the city, but the creatures walking around has not yet really adapted. Though they have their face shields, it's either worn back (I even saw one lady having her Faceshield blown by the wind because she wore it like a headband on her hair.) Facemasks were worn incorrectly, yes, there are people who don't cover their nose entirely when they wear their facemask. And the worst that I saw was a public vehicle full of passengers, one seat apart - not, face shields off, facemasks on their necks. Oh well, it's a good thing I decided to take a walk.
It's the Christmas season and of course, with it, the Christmas rush. There are three malls nearby so inevitably, traffic was heavy. Again, I am thankful I decided to walk lest the commute would have been more than an hour. My legs are starting to tire, I am no longer used to walking that far. For that day, I reached 8K steps on my Mi Fit band. My daily average is 2K. For sure, I will have to plaster Salonpas strips on them but with my experience with physical activities, the more painful the muscles are, that means the more I enjoyed the events that transpired. I fell asleep earlier than I usually do and woke up late, but yesterday reminded me of my favorite "me time" activity. Going out, people watching, musing, and just basically wandering off while walking leisurely.
@romeskie is a full-time stay at home mom juggling homeschooling, crocheting, and homemaking. A Business Administration graduate with a major in Marketing who ended up in the contact center industry, on the frontlines, climbing her way up to Workforce Management where she found her passion in real-time analysis and management. A once self-proclaimed careerwoman who soon realized homemaking was her real calling. Her passion varies from reading, writing, photography, and most of all, crocheting.