“The gods too are fond of a joke.”
– Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
I experienced an interesting case of mistaken identity late this morning. I was at SM Manila enjoying a doughnut after a late breakfast/early lunch. I noticed an older couple as I sat down to get my sugar and caffeine fix. They finished soon after I arrived, and each one passed by my table as they left. The gentleman passed by first, glancing my way and smiling at me. His wife soon followed. She also looked my way, but she passed by more slowly. “I thought you were Daniel Smith,” she said while softly chuckling. I quickly assured her that I was not, although it seemed she’d already figured it out.
I’ll explain this one for my American readers. Daniel Smith is a US Marine who was recently convicted of raping a Filipina. There’s a raging controversy right now regarding his custody and other issues (he is currently detained at the US Embassy). Needless to say, he’s not well liked here in the Philippines. I found it hilariously ironic that “Mr True Love Waits” here was confused with an accused rapist.
Believe it or not, I’ve heard worse. A few years back, a child approached me in Intramuros. “Sabi ng tatay ko, aswang ka daw” (my father said you are an aswang). I asked him to repeat himself just to make sure I understood him correctly. Later I asked my friend the meaning of “aswang.” I found out that the aswang is basically a vampire-like monster with wings–arguably the most feared creature in Filipino folklore.
One thing I can say: I am convinced that God has a sense of humor. I laughed to myself after the sweet little lola (grandmother) made her way out of Dunkin Doughnuts. I was tempted to look towards the heavens and say, “Good one–you really got me that time.” Perhaps God likes to remind us not to take ourselves too seriously.
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