Tuesday, August 25, 2015

35. The Guy in the corner of Panay Avenue

There is no rain or sun for this guy. Any day is business day. We see him every morning, with his makeshift cart, and a throng of his patrons. Once he had too many people lining up for his meal, he blocked off the entire corner of Panay Avenue with a rock, so his customers would not be disturbed by the onslaught of traffic leading to Capitol City Medical Center. My wife, the stickler for traffic rules,  complained to the authorities. The following day the rock was gone, but it was still business as usual for the guy.  I told my wife that he must have discovered a secret recipe, because he never seemed to run out of customers. I wondered what it was, until one Saturday morning, our maid complained of numbness on the right side of her body, and we decided to bring her to Capitol's emergency room. I decided it was also time to try my guy's secret recipe; he was there in the corner with his patrons as usual. I asked what he had. He replied, "Pares sir?" I said sure. He got a bowl of fried rice, and scooped from his large aluminum container of soup. It was thick clear soup, a little sour and little sweet with chunks of liver and other pork innards. He garnished it with scallions and red peppers.  I swear I must have eaten something like this in some fancy Chinese restaurant. This food is premium compared to the common street offerings, and he just calls it "Pares" because it is paired with rice. I handed the guy a thousand peso bill, and said sorry I didn't have a smaller bill as I just came from the ATM machine. The guy smiled. No problem and handed me the change. I walked back to my wife who said the maid would be fine. I told my wife the guy was serving delicious Chinese soup for sixty bucks. For a while the mythical story of Edgar Sia, the man who made billions selling Mang Inasal to Jollibee, crossed my mind.  Who knows? The guy is never absent from his post, and he knows his customer relations. Now, if someone can just give him a break.

No comments: