I'm just a small fish in a small corner of this big Laguna, and this is how I've been swimming it

07 April, 2011

Sheer Curtains and Open Windows

     This post is not for anyone below 18.  25, even! I don't want to ruin the innocence of youth with this kind of gross reality.     

     I have not even made a proper introduction to the raison d'etre for this blog about Santa Rosa. It was supposed to be all sweetness and light, with a sprinkling of tips for a way to live here. For awhile I thought I had moved to a Stepford-ian, leetel veelage, patroled by pleasant roving guards. I have been waiting for the almost inevitable power-tripping homeowner's association board member to appear, but so far, I have not heard of any such neighbor. This place is well-run, I've heard it called idyllic. All seems to be well.  There is just one irritating, disgusting, totally unexpected (by naive old me, anyway) kind of 'habit' going on in many "next doors" though even as I type...committed by expatriates.

  It's common knowledge this is technopark city.  Where I live, I am surrounded by various foreigners. Some houses have families, some with an entire student population stuffed into the average 300sqm unit.  Some are staff houses for transients, or men who work in 24 hour operations.  I learned recently it's also common knowledge that these men bring in paid women.  Well duh, I really thought they had girlfriends. This staff house next to where I am is empty during the day, and different men use it.  Sometimes I wonder if the landlady knows it is almost like just a place for that one purpose. I also learned everyone just shrugs it off as "alam mo naman, mga (insert Asian nationality here) tsaka mga (insert another Asian nationality here). The maids are disgusted, as are my friends in the neighborhood, but the bottom line is we cannot really do anything about it. I'm not focusing on nationalities or races here.  There's just one group that happens to have more presence here. 

  Their nationalities don't matter so much as the careless, indiscreet manner these men conduct their 'business'.  You see, at midnight, I sit by a window just a few meters from that neighbor's window.  And before you tell me to simply not look at his window, please imagine the scenario.  There is only a sheer---almost transparent curtain, like a spider web, really, hanging there.  The bed is by the window.  Said neighbor keeps the windows open, never using an airconditioner. I can see the fan and it is always off, this being Santa Rosa and quiet cool.  The lights are left on throughout. Sure, I can easily NOT LOOK,  but I CAN HEAR, and sometimes it makes me look.  And it has been happening since they moved in five months ago. I will be trying very hard to write, or read, or even pray at my desk.  Then I hear a girl frantically demand in a squeal "no! shower! shower! yes shower!" and the man, always incredulous "Huh? showa?".   Always the girl has to demand it.  And always after this, I will hear the shower come on. Our windows are that close, and the acoustics good, especially in the deep silence here.  My nerves get shaken with disgust.

    The man, who earlier refused to shower, would take long it seems, with the sound of the shower on. So I peek, and see the girl either already undressed or undressing. Ugh. I have never in my life seen this whole deal of a prostitute getting ready in real life.  Once, a couple of months back, I heard the man ask "How old are you?". I didn't hear the girl's reply, but I peeked and saw how YOUNG she looked. How skinny, too.  I can watch, but I have never done so. It's just too disgusting and gross. Painful, even. Why does it hurt my psyche, and not theirs?

    Twice, I have heard the woman demand "Condom! condom! condommmmm!!!".  I nearly puked.  Not because of condoms per se...but that she had to insist. I actually pitied her for having to scream this. Then I went back to being upset about it all. I mean, if I wanted to be hearing this kind of dialogue, I would have stayed in P. Burgos.  This place looks too much like Pleasantown to have this kind of...service going on.  And all they need is to shut the windows, turn on the airconditioning and install the darkest, thickest damn curtains!  I will not care and it's none of my business, just please do not let me hear or see anymore!

   Luckily I cannot really see the actual acts. Luckily they are always horizontal.  Fortunately for them, I don't have a child or teenager or young single offspring sleeping by this window. If I did, I would be capable of doing much more than what I have been doing to harrass them in the middle of their acts.

   It's laughable, what I do, too mild. But it has worked.

   When the noises start, with the girl demanding a shower, and then the actual SOUNDS of you know what, I enlist the help of YouTube.  The first time I did this, I turned up the volume to max, stuck the speakers onto the window
and played "sounds of police sirens".  No effect. I then used "crazy woman laughing". No reaction.  What worked (and has just worked again tonight) was "angry woman shouting".  I actually heard the two pause, mumble something, and then silence. Hah. A perfectly legal, easy and non-confrontational solution.  But of course it's still an irritant, hence this rant. 

    Oh it's still a pleasant place.  I do have more sunshine to share.  It has just occurred to me though, that a future post will have to something to do about another sad reality here.  Just to drop a hint, it has to do with the presence of many mixed-culture children, their step-siblings, and their mothers who give me mona lisa smiles, never any conversation.

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