what's in a name?

this is but a common question derived from shakespeare's romeo and juliet and has actually gone so popular over the ages just as "to be or not to be" has evolved and used in several tongues and contexts.

the turn of events has gone so fast for me that i do not even realize i have been here for more than 2 weeks already. this poor pea-sized brain could still not remember names of streets- not even of major roads, and the difficulty is double when it comes to remembering names of people. several times i cried because i was lost, or stuck in the middle of dunes, or simply tired because i could not figure my way out of the mall. to be honest, i never knew my incapacity to decipher geography and maps is at its worst level until just recently.

on my first day of work i got lost and the taxi cab driver thought he was so unlucky to have me for a passenger when all of the city was so busy. i tell u, taxi drivers here are snobs, and they have a special position in the society knowing that there is scarcity in transportation all over the area. he brought me to the old philippine embassy instead of the new one, and he wanted me to come down of his taxi as there were several passengers waiting for a cab in the main road. imagine me so anxious, biting my nails, and pressing hard the tears back. my hands were cold, even my feet, and my brain was whirling and shouting for help. if i were so witty and not one to be bullied when i was in the homeland, i am the exact opposite these days. i cry at the slightest provocation and i feel so weak, so minute, lately. and honestly, the thought of going to this or that, or talking to mr/ms this or mr/ms that sends me off to a spin. why? because there are many times, and i'd say most of the time, i hear and/or read things wrongly.

you see, people here are from different walks of life. some speak english pretty well, the brits talk very good but are sometimes hard to understand, pakistanis are talkative (mind u, not all are friendly. and pakistani drivers? they bark to passengers, literally. i could count a few friendly ones though. there's imran who's very interested in learning tagalog, then the taxi driver whose cab i rode one early morning after bringing tina to the bus station, then the driver this morning.) but there are times also when i hear things wrongly. and people here have no sense of spelling such that i mistake a place to another, and later end up lost and so stressed.

another thing worthy to note is how one's family name affects an image. one time i was asked to process some papers for this particular guy whose family name sounds not so good. secretly i was laughing at the name but when the guy finally came and inquired about his papers, goodness! he's the cutest guy that has ever walked in this planet. the man is simply gorgeous, just ignore the name and everything else would be so perfect in him.

another instance is when somebody dialled up ethel's number by mistake. he said his name was this (and ethel being so reserved in person and on phone asked me to pick the call for her). i asked, "sorry?" and he said how come i did not know his name when it is a wonderful name that his parents picked for him. geez, i didn't know. it sounded greek to me at that time.

several encounters with names yet and still i have a long way to tell. later when i have much time to put it down, more stories about names are to come.

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