Money-making and the definitions of “room”

I rendered a half day at work yesterday to take care of some business that needed to be finished by 3PM.  My sister was supposed to accompany me with this assignment, as my mother thought I was “too shy” [My sister showed me the text message my mother sent. It was hilarious.] to transact a thing like this on my own and will probably bolt from what needed to be done when I didn’t feel like doing it anymore.

She’s probably right not to trust me in that department. She’s spot on, actually. I’d have probably just took  a step inside the building and spent the entire day thinking about a lousy excuse as to why I haven’t accomplished anything at all. I like money, but the intricacies involved in making a lot of it is scary, tedious work.

There’s your answer for my borderline state of destitution.

If it weren’t for my sister who hammered me and stuck like glue making sure I carried out the damned assignment to a tee, I’d probably still be moping about it right now and groaning on the prospect of doing it again on a supposed date I “was asked” to return.


It was fun though. I never had that much fun picking on my sister all over again since we were school children. That priceless “WHAT THE FUCK!?” expression I got from her when I told her I didn’t bring an important document for a certain transaction was priceless. Sort of like when I was practicing those Steven Seagal armlocks on her when she’s still a toddler. Always fun picking on younger siblings for amusement. Never goes out of style.

Upon finishing that tedious but relatively enjoyable task in another business district in the metro, we set out for the next agenda: The ocular inspection of a room being offered to her for a relatively cheap price in the same village where our…”eccentric” relative lived just south of Makati. She was not the one advertising the vacancy, though. Another house far from her own street offered it.

After a few power-tripping security personnel compelled us to give her a visit and give these people a dose of their own medicine because the a-holes were obviously enjoying making us poor visitors wait just because they can, my sister and I went for a leisurely stroll under the 3PM sun to find the house in question.

Dripping with sweat and reeking like sun-kissed laborers, we found the house.

There was a non-functioning doorbell by the gate and the place stood out like a sore thumb among all the spruced up and pristine-looking abodes that surrounded it. On the front gate hung an ancient wind-chime. Cute, until my sister read the text message from the owner that instructed her to just “rattle the wind-chimes” when she arrived. So much for missing doorbells.

We rattled on the damned thing for a good 2 minutes before we decided to stop before someone mistook us for a couple of crazy solicitors and had us thrown out. So we yelled. When that didn’t work, we entered. The gate was unlocked to begin with, but it’s not nice to enter a place when the owner has not expressed you may do so. But all attempts at calling out theior attention via all kinds of noise was unsuccessful.

Another round of “Tao po” and someone inside answered.

We were greeted by the landlady, and I was a bit disappointed because I thought someone who looked like a rosary-clad and black veiled wearing Mary Walter lookalike would come out to meet us. She was a normal looking middle-aged woman wearing pink leggings in this kind of humid heat.

Mary Walter

Climbing up the stairs toward the room in question, I looked around at the living room and thought it was spacious compared to the one my sister is currently living in. Good thing these people aren’t hoarders. Lots of space.

Until we saw the room.

Or if you can even call it that. The owner certainly can.

It was located near the top flight of stairs by a room I thought was the one advertised for rent. My mother explicitly instructed me that I check it out with my sister if it was habitable or comfortable enough before my sister can agree to anything. My mother feared my sister’s stinginess would come into play and sacrifice personal comfort so she can save money. Good thing our mother wasn’t present. She’d probably react to it more candidly than we did.

What I thought was a space allocated for shoe racks, small bookshelves, and small cabinets meant to store assorted board games and other utility devices was in fact THE ROOM.

Fitting a bed inside was obviously challenging enough from where we were standing, adding a full-grown human to it and fitting both to such a cramped space would take a miracle. I am not kidding. I should have asked permission to take a photo of it for “future reference”.

As if that was not enough, we did not notice the room’s ‘door’  until the kind lady showed it to us. It was a makeshift thing made up of cheap plywood held on the side with plastic and nylon ropes to keep it suspended. Ingenious, but hardly useful considering you’re pretty much seen by anyone from the outside anyway. And a simple snip from well-ironed shears can decimate the cords supporting the thing. No need for a skeleton key or advanced skills at lock-picking.

I can see my sister was trying so hard to stifle a laugh so I took it as a cue to get the hell out of there and just grab a bite somewhere and laugh the entire experience off.  We just told her we’d be in touch. I was tempted to add “with our sanity”.

Lifestyles of the rich and maybe not so famous. Reality edition.

What a day in all aspects of moneymaking.

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