Life is a puzzle; we are the clues, and God is the answer.
A sense of déjà vu washed over me as I took a seat inside the CASAA, the eatery near what is probably the most popular building at the University of the Philippines — Palma Hall — for it is here where the general education subjects are taught. I glanced around, hoping to see someone I knew. Recognizing no one, I contended myself with the soft chatter and occasional bursts of laughter of the dozen or so students around me.
Ah, college life!
Having absorbed the energy of youth surrounding me, I started poking at my food — sizzling pork chop. I remembered, it was my favorite when I was a college student myself, although very seldom did I order it for lunch because, at P35 per order, it was simply beyond my means. A decent lunch wasn’t a priority for me then; school supplies and reading materials were.
Now, seven years after graduation from the university, I again find myself sitting inside the very same eatery I used to label “expensive,” but more comfortably now than any of my previous visits, for gone are the days when lunch was either crackers or cheap cookies.
I took a bite at the food which, at P50 per order, I now found affordable. But I soon discovered that it no longer tasted as good as I remembered it. Somehow, it had become bland to my taste buds. As I continued to eat what used to be one of the best-tasting food I’ve ever tasted, I wondered: “Was it just me or was it really the food?”
Halfway through my lunch I decided I was already full. I stood up then slowly made my way to the door, not bothering to come up with an answer. As I closed the screen door, a sad realization hit me: my memory of one of the good things of my college life is now forever altered. Tsk! Tsk!
PS: I walked out of CASAA, past the main library, through the shopping center, to that often crowded area beside the post office, across Kalayaan dorm. As expected, a crowd was already building up. I walked up to the man taking orders and said: “Mama, isaw nga po. Pito! Tsaka po coke in can.”
No, I haven’t changed much. It must have been the food I was eating earlier. Not just me.
7/3/2006 9:28:56 PM