Posted by: neblinoso | October 7, 2009

Knock, Knock – Who’s There?

If you have not visited many third world countries, you may not be used to people approaching you, trying to sell you items or even asking for spare change.  Through my travels, i have learned to ignore these people, as giving them money may incite further petitions or create more advancements from others.  At first, this may seem like a rude practice, but i guarantee it will save you from a lot of hassle. 

I haven’t been approached much in person.  It’s happened a few times outside of the city, but in metro Manila there are more people who prowl the streets, playing frogger to reach your stopped vehicle, armed with various household items.  Currently, the popular items are dustpans.  During one of my daily rides to work, i asked RG, why dustpans?  Though quite useful, it just seemed like an odd purchase to be making from inside your vehicle.

There is one particular spot along the route to work where various people wander in and out of stopped cars, holding up their merchandise in hopes of enticing a buyer.  Most of the cars have dark-tinted windows . . . except for the windshield.  And when you’re as white as i am, you suddenly become like a crystal, hanging from the rearview mirror, sparkling in the sun, sending out beams of light to these vendors.  As soon as they catch sight of you, they hold up their wares, coming right up to the passenger window to try and entice you with sad eyes and constant pleading.

A young boy approached my window tonight on the way home.  He held up what looked like shell necklaces or maybe they were chimes, i don’t know.  I learned later they were strings of the national flower.  “Maaaaaa’aaaaaaam,” he pleaded agonizingly, faced pressed against the window.  I held up my hand saying no, but that did not deter him.  He reached his hands up to the top of the window as if trying to force it down, repeating the imploring, “maaaaaaaaa’aaaaaaaam.” 

From the backseat, Russell told me to knock on the window.  At first, i thought this might make the boy think i was interested.  This was foolish, given that Russell was familiar with this activity and would know the proper ways to expunge the boy’s prolonged attempts.  I knocked on the window with my knuckles the child immediately dropped his arms and moved on to another potential customer. 

Another lesson learned.



  1. I’ll have to remember that next time I want Greg to let go… knock on his forehead.

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