I had dropped by a friend of ours Keith who lives in Naga and upon leaving found the scooter wouldn’t start. One of Keith’s neighbours came with me up to the main road to find a mechanic. After trying to drag it to start we quickly realised this quality piece of Chinese craftsmanship of a scooter wasn’t going to start. But hey.. It had literally come out of the garage the same day for other repairs! the horn had fallen off and a bolt had come loose on the muffler but 12 months old seems like an eternity in Chinese quality. Anyway as we were chatting trying to get it started my wife’s uncle’s name came up but unknown to me he was the former police chief of Naga several times so everyone knew who he was and even more bizarrely the mechanic and the neighbour towed my scooter off to his house while I was stood at the side of the road (I knew they hadn’t stole it just didn’t know where they went).
So here was I stuck at the side of the road for over an hour waiting and a drunk local guy challenges me to a kickboxing fight after receiving a kick to the head I decided to join in the result being was few cuts and scrapes on my side and trying to get the guy to go home before he got hurt. He was eventually removed by several of his fellow peddle cab drivers and when they came back they told me they had beat him up. Not that their loyalties were an issue but more the fact they had heard from the other guy Aprils uncles name and the last thing they wanted was trouble with the Police even though I excepted the guy was drunk and just wanted him to go home. Being three times his size it was an unfair fight and my biggest concern was hitting him in case I really did hurt him especially with him being drunk its unlikely he would have put his hands out to catch himself if he fell. The guys returned after taking him home to show me bruised knuckles and scrapes which for me was unneccisary as I wasn’t looking for any conflict but for them they seemed to need to prove they had dealt with the guy being out of order.
Around 1am several motorbikes arrived to collect me although I wasn’t expecting them I was just waiting for the guys to return to tell me where my bike was. Interesting evening and made friends with two Barangay Captains in the same area one upper and one lower as well as strange conversations with a couple of the peddle cab drivers..
Having to add this as I just remembered, there were several girls coming up from the water area as they visit the ships at night, one of the peddle cab riders pointed it out while I was waiting that’s where the girls had just come from on route home. At the same time mentioning that there were women hanging out around near the Police station who do the same work but are guys and that the cross gender gays actually ask the peddle cab drivers for sexual services (paying the peddle cab drivers). Which is a bizarre conversation which I would no doubt never hear anywhere else on the planet but here there is an openness that people have pretty much regarding most things but having someone say to you that the gays actually pay him for sexual services is one of the strangest things I have heard and the guy said it with no understanding of what is wrong with the picture in fact seen things as just a normal.
One thing I will always say about the Philippines is you need to keep an open mind otherwise you may end up puzzled and confused.. as some things “just are”. There is no further diagnosis required or thought.