The Entropy Blog

The Taxi Diaries: Mail order bride edition

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From The Entropy Blog
I can’t drive. I’m pretty sure I’d hate it. Well, at least driving around the traffic-jammed Metro Manila. I like the train. And even though I feel like disinfecting myself every time, I also take cabs. Now the thing about cabs is that sometimes weird things happen or the conversation takes an odd turn.

“You know, you look like my foreign friend’s ex-girlfriend,” cabbie said.

I don’t usually like talking to the cab driver, because I’m afraid the topic would turn to either religion or politics, and, well, those two topics tend to get people all fired up and one must never fight with the guy in the driver’s seat. So what I do is, I just respond to whatever the cabbie says and try to be non-committal and not volunteer anything.

“Oh,” I said.

“He’s Dutch, and he’s here two months out of the year. They had an apartment here, and when he’s abroad he sends her something like $700 a month. One day he comes back and she’d left, taking all the stuff with her.”

“That’s too bad.”

“I’m not saying you’re her, of course.”

“Mister, I’m me and I KNOW I’m not her.”

“He’s been trying to find a Filipino girlfriend he can marry,” cabbie went on. “I’ve been trying to set him up with my two nieces, but one of them just got pregnant, so I guess that won’t work out.”

“Well, if she had a boyfriend, that wouldn’t work out either, whether she’s pregnant or not,” I said. Clearly, he was operating on a different logic system from that of mine.

“And my other niece is only 15.”

Oh, good Zeus in Olympus, I’ve encountered another insane mercenary pimp. You know these guys — they’re poor but they’re men so they can’t marry the “rich” foreign guys themselves, so they pimp out whatever viable female relative they have.

“You know I do my best to find him a girlfriend. Because if he marries a girl I introduce him to, well, you know what that means.”

“No, I don’t really.” I did. You piece of trash. It means you get to ask for favors, and maybe even money.

“So, you married to a local?”

“No.”

“Oh, you married a foreigner?”

“No, I’m not married.”

“I guess that’s not too unusual these days to be unmarried. I bet you’re really picky.”

“Yes,” I said. “Everyone should be.” I would hate to think people marry the first unwashed schmuck they met on their way to work.

“Would you be interested? He’ll be in town in a few weeks, maybe you could meet for drinks or something.”

“No, thank you. ”

“He’s really good-looking. He looks like one of the BeeGees.”

“Uh, thanks but no. I’m quite busy.” And I don’t usually like to be setup by strangers I literally meet on the street. Also, the BeeGees? Really? OMG, do I look that old?

“I hope you’re not offended I suggested you meet my friend,” he said.

“No, I’m not.” So many other things about this man I was offended by, so getting set up is hardly anything to be upset over.

Look, I know some of the girls here are poor and desperate and willing to marry for convenience, and that’s their choice, but when you’re pimping out 15-year-old girls to what is clearly not a 17-year-old boy, there’s something wrong with you.

Poverty is a bitch.

So, what do you think ?