Moving House

I spent the better part of the past two weeks moving out of my lair on the third floor of an Ortigas medium-rise and back into my grandmother’s house that sits smack dab in the middle of suburbia.

Not that I miss being able to quite literally crawl home from Metrowalk and from 90 Proof, but I’m not bitter at all about moving. First of all, I don’t have a choice in the matter. The water and power rates were melting our bank accounts at an alarming rate, and something had to be done. Second, years of errant cigarette butts and spilt earthen pots from higher balconies had taken their toll on my skylight-cum-roof (I used to live in an enclosed balcony), creating a waterfall in my bathroom that was most unwelcome. The damage to our roof was so great we had to move out before any serious work can be done.

***

Philippine suburbia being as it is, this move means at least another hour must be added to the total amount of time lost while doing the daily commute.

Well, I suppose I can always use the extra hour just to bond with my wife. Frequent readers will note that I have the most meaningful conversations of the day with my wife. I suppose the extra half hour will do my relationship good. What else is there to do when you’re stuck with just one person in traffic that never seems to move?

***

Now that I live in a village, I can really start losing my gut. I used to complain that it was unsafe to walk for exercise in a place where there are more buildings than there are trees. Now that I’m in a proper village again, I’ve lost that excuse.

The best feature about my grandmother’s house isn’t within the house. It’s the fact that the village basketball court is now just a block away. I cannot tell you enough how happy this makes me. I have only lived this close to a basketball court only once before, and all I can tell you is that it was six months too short.

So it was that I gave basketball, one of my first loves, a shot last Sunday and found, to my dismay, that having acquired a gut the size of Tarlac since my last time out, my game had diminished so much that it was shameful to think of lacing up a pair of sneakers. That’s alright, though. I’m sure that with time, my game will find me, and together we will go to basketball paradise, now that I live in a village.

***

Oprah once said that one of the greatest little joys in life is to lord it over a table with great food and even greater friends. Now that I’m in a proper house with a proper yard I figure that it’s high time for me to indulge in that one happy thing. Let the beer flow and the barbecue roast! When you live in a building, it’s almost impossible to hold a cookout for your friends. There’s no parking, no place to put the barbecue without irritating the hell out of the neighbors, and no space to just be drunk in good company.

That is going to change.

While some may argue (my wife included) that the idea of holding regular cookouts with your bestest friends in your backyard is anathema to the idea of losing weight, I posit that it’s one of the little concessions granted to suffering married suburbanites, so I might as well indulge. At its worst, it’s just another reason to go out and exercise some more.

***

As it is, I’m still not finished moving. I’ve left some stuff behind, as the old unit has become an office-cum-warehouse. It’s a 30-minute drive just to get there during the day, and three 30-minute drives can really take it out on you.

I’d really like to know when I’m going to stop doing these 30-minute runs, but I’ve noticed that the amount of stuff that needs to be taken out of the old unit seems to grow longer and longer with every time I go back to get stuff. It’s become that every trip is always the last trip back, until either of us decides that we’ve left something really important, and then that trip becomes the last trip back.

I’m making my last trip back tomorrow. If I should tell a lie, then cross my heart and hope to die.

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