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    Children Take Note Of When You Take Notes

    | Philippines | Criminal/Illegal, Family & Kids, Money, Top

    (I am at small cupcake store. I have Php100 (around $2.50), which is the exact amount for the two cupcakes I purchase. Next to me is a shifty woman with two rowdy kids. I order and leave my money on the counter. When I get my cupcakes, the money is gone, so I assume my cupcakes are paid. I’m about to leave, when the store owner says she hasn’t received payment.)

    Me: “I already paid, miss. I left the money on the counter.”

    (She looks down on the counter, and on the floor, but it isn’t there. I am about to take out another 100, doubting if my memory was fine or if the money flew away, when the owner makes a small gaze at the other woman, who quickly notices it.)

    Lady: “So, what? You’re blaming me? Why am I to be responsible for some girl who’s whiter? Does that mean she’s not going to cheat you? She didn’t leave any money on the counter!”

    (In the Philippines, like America, there’s some racism on the skin color as well. I’m unnaturally white for a Filipino, which hints to everyone about my Spanish ancestry. I’m part Spanish, but dominantly Filipino. Anyone with light skin are automatically assumed to be of Spanish heritage while tan and darker are pure Filipino ancestry. Because of the Spanish colonization back in the early day, some still believe that Spanish-lineage people look down on Filipinos. The lady goes on a rant about how hard her life is as a mother of two, and refuses to be a victim of a, as she puts it, a Spaniard. I keep a cool and unemotional face, but the owner, who triggered the woman’s anger, begins cowering. Finally, her little boy, who looks like he would want nothing more than to leave the kiosk and find a bathroom, butts in.)

    Boy: “Mom, I really have to pee. Can’t you just give them back the money you got on the counter a while ago and we can go?”

    (The mom’s face turns red, grabs her bag, dumps a crumpled 100 on the counter, turns on her heel, and leaves with her nose in the air.)

    Me: “Merry Christmas!”