17 January 2022

It's getting hot in here

It's late in the night but I'm having a bit of a problem catching my zzzzs. Too warm! Not that I'm complaining, we don't get a lot of these hot days here in NZ. But when I started sweating right after a shower, it just reminded of my early days in Manila when I started working professionally in the early 90s. Growing up in the cool city of Baguio, the hot and humid Manila climate was a challenge to adjust to.

Being a minimum wage worker meant I had to look for bedspace accommodations in Guadalupe, Makati City. That meant living with four other guys in a cramped room with bunk beds and no windows. The first thing I bought, besides beddings, was an electric fan. But even when the fan is aimed straight at me, it's just circulating the warm air so I would be sweating til late, when the evening finally cools down.

I remember there wasn't really much to do at night. The internet was very much a privilege then, and we had analog mobile phones (Nokia 2200 I think) and a beeper! We didn't even have a TV! So we would nofrmally chat until it's time for bed.

I wasn't much of a conversationalist though so as soon as I had the money I bought a small TV! Without telling the landlord! That took them by surprise when they saw us watching TV one night. Good thing they didn't raise the rent.

I don't think I lasted a year there when two of my officemates suggested we rent an apartment. That was a huge improvement!  But the other thing that triggered that memory is my son working on a Gundam kit. It was in those cramped quarters that I found interest in painting model kits (soldiers and knights, then Star Wars ships). This led to Gundams eventually. There wasn't much to do on weekends so that kept me occupied when I didn't have the money to go home.
I wonder how my old bunkmates are doing now...

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