Friday, September 09, 2005

what were you like ages ago?

I got tagged by Dionne.

20 Years Ago
It was full of beginnings without endings. What I had been 20 years ago is so remote that it might have been a different person altogether. I just transferred from a private, Catholic exclusive school for boys to a public grade school. They all saw me as an oddity, which made me more aloof and lonely. I was a shy and quiet boy then, just starting to make sense of school life. This is when I started bringing home medals every school year. They must’ve thought that I was a geek who had nothing in mind but my studies. Naturally, nerds don’t attract a lot of friends. Everyone knew me but they were wary of making friends with me lest they turn out to be as boringly geeky as I was. But really, all I had in mind was hide-and-seek and backyard ball games. I only got to play—and I mean really play—with kids from our own compound. They didn’t have much of a choice, my family owned the whole compound, including their houses, so if they didn’t make friends with me, they pretty much knew where they’d end up in. That’s how pathetic I was.

15 Years Ago
By this time, everyone in school already knew me. I had made a name for myself by winning inter-school competitions. I even bagged the top prize in this writing competition participated in by all public and private grade schools all over Manila. It was the first time my school actually won in a contest as huge as that. I graduated at the top of my batch.

Now, I feel like a loser talking about all these. All I ever wanted was to have a handful of friends to hang out, swap ghost stories, and play football or tumbang patis with. It feels sick to reminisce your childhood and see nothing but medals and stupid contests. I mean, honestly, would you enthusiastically recount how you won some stupid essay-writing contest in grade school to your grandchildren? That’s so lame. Medals get rusty and grimy, and they don’t tell interesting stories.

This was also the time I met a pervert who sexually molested me and left me scarred for life. Read the details here.

10 Years Ago
High school was wacky. I felt normal and loved as everyone else. Nobody thought I was a geek because there were worthier geeks above me. All of my classmates were either valedictorian or salutatorian in their respective grade schools. I still won inter-school competitions but the pressure was no longer that great. I never topped in my class, I was always in the middle, just an average, procrastinating student enjoying his life. But I still graduated with honors. Right about this time, I discovered I had the rare talent for gluttony.

Then came college. This was a totally different ball game. I learned to thrash institutions, question authorities, challenge god, and shatter my own beliefs. With Nietzsche mumbling aphorisms into my ears, I set out to explore life. This has changed me forever. I sailed on with my existential angst and agnostic beliefs and never turned back.

I was actually inside a thing like that!
5 Years Ago
My job at this time took me to places I never thought I’d be in, like riding a helicopter and getting inside a powerful Tunnel Boring Machine while it hollowed the bowels of the Sierra Madre Mountain range to create a tunnel that would pipe in water into the Angat-Umiray dam. We were probably the last human beings to ever set foot in that tunnel before it was flooded by water. I also got to chase whale sharks in the deeper parts of the Palawan seas. Wearing nothing but my trunks and a pair of goggles, I jumped into waters more than 150 feet deep and tried swimming with the whale sharks that were playing near the surface. But of course, I never got to touch them because they swam a lot faster than I ever could.

3 Years Ago
I started in my present job. Being confined in a cubicle and writing shit as boring as term papers made me a little stoic. There were occasional trips in other parts of the country and abroad but they were all work-related and were not as adventure-filled as my previous trips.

That's my virgin hippo look.

Loitering at the back of the Notre Dame de Paris

Last Year
Museum and church-hopping in Paris and Rome. For the first time in my entire life, I lost my wallet to a thief! Damn those Italian pickpockets. Don’t ever assume that everyone near the Vatican is holy. There’s a lot of assholes prowling the narrow streets of that ancient city. I lost all my IDs, ATM cards, Parisian train card, and almost 200 euros. What’s worse, when I flew back to Paris, I had to jump over the turnstiles at the train station because I had no money. Lo and behold, there were French police checking if the passengers had their carte orange. And they fined me 40 euros (or was it 60? Hell, I can’t remember). Good thing I had my friends with me who generously chipped in. Qu’est-ce que m’aurait arrivé sans vous, mes amis?

I also met Elsa in Paris. Being a Parisian, she was a perfect tour guide. We spent a couple of nights walking along the chilly Seine, the cobbled streets near the Louvre, and around the Madeleine while she spoke to me in rapid French about the historical or artistic significance of each place we went to. She was patient enough to listen to my broken French and cheery enough to thaw the frosty air. I’d never forget how we peeped through the glass walls of the famous Maxim’s, a posh restaurant where you need to wear a coat and tie to be able to get in. I don’t see the point of dining in a fancy restaurant and looking like one of the waiters, really. One time, she brought me to this dark, candle-lit bar whose walls were painted with murals of a bisexual orgy. We spent the whole night drinking beer, talking about life, and figuring out what language the customers on the other table were using. I had a swell time with her. (Elsa, quand je rentre à Paris, je t’appellerai encore. Je ne veux que me promener à Paris avec toi ! Tu me manques. Je suis désolé que je te rate toujours à YM.)

This Year
Aside from going to Hundred Islands, Quezon Pahiyas Fest, and Cavite, this is such a boring year.

Late for work again, as usual. ‘Went to German class after office.

Last Night
Leafed through “The Second Messiah,” a book positing a theory on the real origins of the controversial Shroud of Turin.

Writing this post, what else? I’ll go to Glorietta afterwards to catch a movie.

my little blue cubicle, a veritable prison cell.

Will organize a roundtable discussion. Life is getting predictable.

Next Year
I don’t know. Get a new job? It depends really on how sucky this year turns out to be.

5-10 Years From Now
Fly to Pluto and never return.

I think you’re old enough to tag yourself. I don’t have to do it for you.


At 9:46 PM, Blogger Saint Eroica said...

no words at all.....

At 9:52 PM, Blogger elvin said...

20 years ago, I wasn't born yet. haha.

No seriously...

Who am i kidding. I can't be serious.

At 1:51 AM, Blogger Abaniko said...

Why go to Pluto so soon? Aren't you gonna wait for your Nobel Prize? ;-)

At 3:17 AM, Blogger DLAK said...

I'm fucking drunk. You write and I read, isnt that fucking bizarrrrrre?

At 5:16 AM, Blogger rmacapobre said...

.. that everyone near the vatican is holy

people think vatican's holy??? wtf $%^# ... hehe ^_^

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At 11:28 AM, Blogger slim whale said...

saint eroica--words are meaningless, anyway

elvin--how i wish i were still a squiggly sperm 20 years ago.

abaniko--i figured i won't be able to bribe the nobel prize people to give me an award. darn. maybe they have somethign like that in pluto.

dlak--it's more than fuckin bizarre, dude. you inspire me to go grab a barrel of beer now.

rmacapabre--in my vocab, holy means slutty.

3 "anonymous-es"--oh yes, i love spam comments.

At 1:12 PM, Blogger dionne said...

go to pluto? ice skating pa tayo eh. =D

thanks for answering the tag. i read it a few days ago. nice add-ons too. =D

tip: put a word verification thingy on your comments section to get those annoying spam comments out. =)

At 2:50 PM, Blogger slim whale said...

dionne--ah, so that's what that freakingly tedious word verification thingie is for! installing it wouldn't erase my previous comments, will it?

At 4:55 PM, Blogger Sidney said...

I learned something important. Don't look back too much at your past. It is gone, you can't change it. Don't bother about the future. You can't do much about it either. But learn to enjoy the present moment.
I am not a Buddhist but check out some of the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh on the internet. A few years ago I downloaded some of his talks and it changed my life.
I learned to worry less and enjoy (almost) every moment of my life.

At 5:03 PM, Blogger slim whale said...

Sidney--exactly. i don't regret my past or worry about my future. this post is a tag which i needed to answer. it required that i look several years back. for me, life is now, this moment. no past, no future. "no day but today," as one song puts it.

buddhists do have an interesting perspective on life and living. refreshing.

thanks so much for sending me info on your camera.

At 8:22 AM, Blogger dionne said...

nope. only haloscan does that. =P

At 1:35 PM, Blogger IceClimbingMonkey said...

Wow! you seem to have a great life and really made the most out of it at such a young age. I want to trade mine with yours! hehe...


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