I remember many times I have been passive aggressive in the past, or sometimes unreactive to issues that already stirred everyone or rather use the functional and ‘idealistic’ approach of running from a fact of life I can’t change, but today seemed to be the pyrotechnic display of courage from a large anatomical cavity that got filled up over the years of frustrated attempts to stand my ground, of muted self-defense mechanisms and some of them caused by inadequacy of words that make an impact across your personal space. Of all things I never get surprised of not having, combative courage took 21 years to plummet from heaven. May it be God’s finally dropping a pinch from His vial of gifts, but I don’t doubt that it never meant to hurt someone but instead a matter of invoking my right to civil and professional treatment.
So my endless blabber (vocal and typographical) of thoughts tonight was caused by this ethics-deprived chinese nurse.
I was leafing through this chem book inside the clinic with two other girls from the house keeping minding their own android business when suddenly this chinese nurse who I knew for 2 months (we got through a rough start because of her alien language but somehow I managed to adjust with the help of my translator app, that is what I’d do to get better at this job) came blasting from the door (I practically heard the doorknob breaking) and spoke to me in a steady stream of high-pitched chinese words, I can only blame the tower of babel getting getting cursed.
I never got a chance breathe and in the middle of my discernment of some basic words I caught from her mouth, I recalled the days if I did something wrong? Or did she get a wrong amount of change from what I bought for her as a favor? Or was the receipt unacceptable, audit-wise? But I could not think of a mistake I made that coincides to the way she approached and narrowed her eyes at me. She was air-drawing a rectangle and I only understood “yao”-medicine, “mai”- buy, Iloilo and Sara. Then I told her “bu zhidao” which means I don’t know/ understand. Cause I really don’t understand her. Then I finally figured she was asking for the list of meds and supplies I’d like to purchase for the clinic. I never knew she was involved in this transaction, and I was informed it was subjected for approval on top of the boss’s desk then here she comes storming inside the clinic with no knowledge of the process and going ballistic, neurotic not to mention the sweats coming out of her forehead and the stink and stench of an un-bathed woman. That’s when I walked past her, I felt my temporal arteries all bulking up, my eyes vignetting.
I took a chinese guy who knows English and blurted out a colossal outpouring of English language which only meant to ask what is her problem with me and how come the virtuous act of nice and pleasant approach never went across her personality. It was like a lump bursting out of my larynx and freed my windpipe from whatever is holding my breath. I am a huge organism and I deserve respect like any other human being. Isn’t it good enough that I performed favors for her when I go to Iloilo? When in one occasion I held that two-arm length UV lamp for 3 hours in the bus while guarding the ice box with toxoid ampules inside? I practically slaved myself that day scouring downtown, and that was not a great bonding way with the possible love of my life. I’m changing it all. I don’t want to be looked down like this. Even at a humble age of 21 I am a professional, I helped save lives and chose the path of becoming the most humanitarian person I’ll ever be, and by that, I deserve the same humane respect on whatever grounds. These chinese men seemed to be forgetting the fact that they are on top of the fertile soil of the Philippines. Them above all people should realise that working abroad means you have to put up (if not adjust) with traditional norms and values of the nation you are working in. And I don’t see that display of pisstivity a way to harmonise with us Filipinos.
Okay so there was a lot of translation, pointing of fingers and heads atop cubicles. Let’s cut it short, I’m mad at her, she’s mad at me. It turned out she was trying to help me in this transaction. But then again it didn’t look that way. A woman nearly as same age as my mom is mad at me. I’m sorry I’m not sorry about being mad and for acting mad and for sounding mad. I spoke to my mother when I got home.Took my lola’s blood pressure and hanged out with my friends. Whatever happens tomorrow, I’ll have my courage filled up overnight.