Friday, May 19, 2006

Ate! Tawad Naman!

Ate (pronounced Atay) is a term of respect to use, it literally means older sister, (Kuya for older brother) and “Tawad naman” means “discount really!” As a white guy, you are looked at as rich, and the prices are many times increased automatically just for you! So you must learn to negotiate. After about the third flat tire, it occurred to me that I might need a jack and a tire iron. I left the tire repair shop and drove across the street to another shop and began asking if they had a jack and tire iron to sell. It was a lot of fun. They understood very little English and so I was forced to use my Tagalog. He found a jack and I asked how much, he began examining the jack as if it were the Maltese Falcon, or the Hope Diamond, obviously a very rare and expensive jack was the impression I was getting “700 pesos” he told me. That is only about $14 dollars, but you have to understand, that is 3 days wages over here. WAAAAAAY too much I complained with my facial expressions “Very expensive! I am not rich! Tawad Naman!” I replied in Tagalog. He asked how much would I like to pay. I offered 350 if he could throw in a 4 way tire iron. He responded by saying “That’s too cheap!” (as he sends someone to go find a 4 way tire iron) The ideal impression here is to make the foreigner think that if I sold at that price, my family will have no money, no food, and you would be very evil to do that to me. (never mind the TV and full size video games in the background of the tire shop) Usually around this time it is good to talk about something else and so we started talking about God and I found out that his name was Joseph and he was a Christian. I really think he had a relationship with God. We talked about how God heals and he shared later how for 30+ years one of his relatives had taken no medicine (might have been him, can’t recall) and they had just prayed. We spent about an hour there and then finally came back to the bargain and bought the jack and the tire iron for 500 pesos. I made a friend.


Anonymous said...

Thank you sir, for telling us what life is like over there. Its truly a fresh eye-opener experience, and reading your comments is the next best thing to being there. Yes, I believe the novelty of a foreign land does wear off, so be sure to take in all the new stuff you can. These entries are great, and in the future you will be able to look back and read them & remember with greater clarity, the newness, originality and interests that caught your attention so rapidly. Thank you for being my eyes and ears, now I better skidaddle 'cause the rossters will be crowing here soon too!
God Bless you Both! !
Br. Tickler

David and Christine Devonshire said...

Thanks for reading them, commenting and praying for us.

Anonymous said...

Hello po Kuya! :) wow I really enjoyed this post! You really had me laughing! I am also a missionary to the Philippines so this is something I can REALLY relate with! I do love watching their faces when you start to speak Tagalog though! :D Priceless!!! What part of Angeles are you and your wife in? what church/ where is your church?

God bless you,