Sunday, June 25, 2006

Letters from Las Vegas.

My parents retired and moved to Las Vegas a few years ago. When H and I go to visit, we stay at my parents' house, a small house in a sleepy neighborhood across town from the Strip. We go to visit them, and not to have a "Vegas" experience. When my relatives go to visit, though, they usually do want to have a Vegas experience, and my parents are happy to help them look for a good deal either on the Strip or downtown. However, they don't run a bed and breakfast.

Here's my Mama's latest story. She refers to my dad as "your dad," "Dad," or "B" interchangably. I'll give English equivalents in green below; if I didn't give a translation, it's probably an honorific title.

Sometime last week, maybe Thursday or Friday, dad checked his home phone messages and heard this one that says: "B, pupunta kami dyan sa Lunes ng gabi." We're arriving on Monday night.

Dad: Manang L said they are coming.

Me: When? Where are they booked?

Dad: I don't know.

Me: Did you talk to them?

Dad: No.

Me: Who is coming with her?

Dad: A (her sister from Prince Rupert, BC). They're coming from Chicago. They visited their sick sister.

Me: Hmm... maybe you can help find a hotel with a good deal. (A little irritated) I am not giving up my bedroom. They should know to call first and arrange for their lodging.

Dad: Oh, pasensiya ka na (chill out), you know they are sort of kuwatit (goofy).

Monday came. Around 10:00 P.M.

Dad: Get ready so we can go.

Me: Go where?

Dad: To the airport.

Me: I'm tired I'm ready to go to bed. You can go, then take them to Sta. Fe and book them there. (I know Ihave to save my bed and my bedroom!) "Sta. Fe" is the Santa Fe Station, a hotel/casino in their neighborhood, far from the strip. It's funny that mama spells it like a Spanish saint.

They took the redeye flight from Chicago. Their plane arrived at 12:30 A.M. Tuesday. Dad did not know whereto find them at the airport. He had them paged, etc. Remember, they did not talk to your dad, he is in a fog as to how to find them. Finally, he found them at the baggage claim.

So about 2:30 A.M. I was determined to save my bed and my room. The garage door opened; Dad came to my bedroom.

Dad: hoy, they're here. I took them to Sta. Fe, the hotel is booked.

Me: oooh,oooh,oooh.

I went back to sleep. I was determined not to get up.

Around 7:00 AM. I got up. No one was sleeping in theleaving room. I went to my office, dad was sleepingthere. Oh my God! He gave up his bed! He has never done that before! His bed sheets have not been changed for over three months! ...Even though I keep nagging him to change so I could wash them! hee hee hee, I'm evil!

As I was making coffee in the kitchen, my gwuests joined me.

Gwuest L: Good morning.

Me: Good morning. Have some coffee. I am getting ready to go to my exercise.

Shortly after that Gwuest A came out. Dad was still snoring, he was tired.

So visit in Filipino English is pronounced bee-sit, which is very close to the Tagalog word, buwisit, which means "jinx" or "bad luck." So as a joke, we'll say "I'm coming to buwisit" instead of "coming to visit." Of course, someone that comes to buwisit you is called a buwisiter.

My mama, because she is a goofball, extends the bad-luck "w" to the word guest, which is why she is calling these people gwuests.

Gwuest A: Good morning.

Me: Good morning, have some coffee.

Some more few conversations transpired.

Me: Why did you not at least let us know ahead of time so we could have found you an accomodation?

Gwuests: Oh, biglaan lang kamingnag decide. It was an impulse decision, spur of the moment.

Me: Yeah, but at least, you could have told us.....(my bad premonition was just about to be confirmed!) So how many days are you going to stay?

Gwuests: Ten days.

Me: (gasping for air) Ten days?! That is a very long time to stay in Las Vegas! You could lose a lot of money! Maybe B can help you find a cheap hotel when he is rested.

Gwuests: (quiet)

Me: Ten days? Oh my gosh!

I think that was my uncontrollable reaction... shock... because I realized then that they had no intention of booking in a hotel forten days.

Gwuests: Kasi, si C (their neice in Chicago) sabi niya mas mura ang air fare kung ten days. Because C said airfare is cheaper when you stay for ten days.

Just then, dad came in the kitchen.

Dad: Mas mura (cheaper) if you booked a package (hotel and airfare) and you don't have to stay that long, two or three days, tama na iyon (that's just right).

Me: Okay, I am going to my exercise now. Ever since I retired, I retired from everything, I don't cook, I don't clean house, I don't entertain people anymore, so bahala na kayo muna, ha? It's up to you/you're on your own for a little bit!

Gwuests: Okay. Kami na ang bahala. It's up to us!

So I went to my exercise and stayed there longer than usual. After that I went to Albertson's and picked upsome bread and rotisserie chicken. That's what we had at lunch that day. For dinner we took them to buffet, used our two-for-one coupon. Dad had one and I had one. Second day, I bought more cooked chicken. Wednesday they had an appointment with an ex-in-law forlunch, then postponed for Thursday dinner.

Thursday I decided to stay home. I was sleeping in a little bit before I would go to my exercise when my phone rang. It was my friend calling from L.A. She owns a house nearby and she was just calling to ask me a favor to check on her plant in her (vacation) house. In our conversation I happened to mention that I have gwuests who are staying for ten days.

My friend: Ten days!? Oh, darling, that is too long, mai-stress ka! Let them stay at my house.

Me: Are you serious?

My Friend: Oo! Huwag lang silang magluto. Yes, just tell them not to cook.

Me: Okay, let me think about it.

I called your dad. I told him about my friend's offer.

Dad; Wow, that's great!

I called my friend and told her I am taking her up on her offer. She said, no problem, just keep the house clean. I said, don't worry, just two old women, retired nurses from Canada.

So when they came home about past 8:00 that night, we took them to my friend's house. The house was nice, swimming pool and fountain in back of the house. Gwuests were very impressed.

(Did they think we did this through the goodness of our hearts? Maybe. Thruth is, dad and I were just pissed! I brought them"baons," (prepared food) bed sheets and things that they need. Before we left them I thought "shoot!", something just dawned on me.

Me: You don't have a cell phone? How could you call if you have an emergency? (This time I was really pissed.) Didn't I tell you last time you came here to get a cell phone when you travel anywhere, it's for your own safety!

Gwuest L: I have a cell phone, I paid for $xx.xx but I left it in the Philippines. I was going to get one,it was $25.00 in Canada but it was $200.00 in US.

Me & Dad: You can walk to the guard post at the gate if you need to call for emergency.

We left.

Me: I am so pissed!

Dad: Me, too! Now they're gonna have to stay there until I can drive them to where they want to play.

Next day, Friday. We picked them up at around 5:00P.M. We ate dinner at Epoy's. Gwuest L paid. Dinner was $23.00 + $1.00 tip. We took them back to my friend's house, dad & I went home.

The temp is in the three digits, hot, and so is my temper. But I worry that if some emergency arises, they do not have a phone!

My friend has told me that her children were gonna come this Saturday but she told them not to come because she has guests using their house. She said she did not tell them it was me. I hope they will forgive me and not hate me when they find out it was me.

Saturday morning. I cooked some poached salmon and rice and brought it to them. We had lunch there. I brought enough food so they will have enough for dinner or whenever they need to eat. I told my friend, for her kindness, I will trim her roses and find her a new responsible gardener. She has just fired her previous gardener because he was not keeping up with the weeds.

How to stop this abuse (inconsiderate relatives) has been on mymind. Out of the blue, an idea came.

Me: My friend want's to know when you are supposed to leave, she thinks her children will still want to come next week.

Gwuest L: Our flight is July 1st.

Me: Ha? (What the hell?) I thought you're only staying for ten days? That is more than ten days! Anyway, she said the kids will be here next week, so you better find a hotel by Sunday. We'll see if we can find you a cheap one because that'll be another week.

Gwuests: okay.

I went to another room and I called my friend. I told her they are going to be here for another week. She said no problem. I said people need to learn not to abuse. After lunch, I still couldn't get over the cell phone issue. So like a broken record I brought it up again.

Gwuest L: "Well, to get it here in US, it is $200.00..." etc, 9 more lame exuses that I have heard before).

Me: If you fell, got hurt, you needed to call someone, or 911, ... your life is more expensive than $200.00. Just think about it in those terms.

So they are house bound. In getting a hotel, I explained to them, they will enjoy their vacation much better. They can sleep, rest when they are tired. They can go down and shop or play whenever they want. And I told them, next time, get a package deal for airfare and hotel. Two days, three the most, to stay in LasVegas, unless they want to give all their money to the casino.

(Good for us, more tourist lose their money, our gov't earns more revenue, we get rebates from the budget surplus.)

I told them they lucked out. We're retired we go anywhere whenever we fell like. Good thing we did notleave, next time they WON'T be so lucky.

They're here for two weeks, not ten days. There flight to Vancouver, July 2nd, is an early morning flight,7: 30 AM. international flight, that means they have to check in two hours before, at least 5:00 A M.

Redeye in coming and early flight in leaving.....GRRRRRRRR. I am pisssed!!!!! Your dad will take them, I will sleep in so I will have strength for my exercise.

This is a lesson for your dad. His relatives like him because he has always been good to them. butme? ...I am evil.

***** ******

When I spoke with my friend last night, she said it is okay for them to stay, she can tell her kids to just wait to come when my gwuests are gone next month. It old her she is very kind and I am very grateful, butI am doing this in good conscience (i.e., kicking them out) because I am afraid for their safety if something happens. In the hotel, it would be so much easier to get help in an emergency. They are both fragile old women. Also, they need to realize it's not right to abuse kindness, even of relatives. My friend agreed with me.

So, it's settled. Next week her kids are coming. Your dad found a good deal accomodation. $40.00 a day. They'll be checking in Monday.

***** ******
And here's what my mama has to say about my bp cuff, since I keep getting crazy readings:

BP cuffs come in three sizes. Check if you have the right one. I ask my doctor to use the large cuff because I have almost baby pillow-size upper arm, heehee. Right size for you will give a more accurate reading.

My Nanang had a soft, fat upper arm like me. Since I did not inherit any material things from her, such as her jewelries, etc., I feel like she left me the most precious gift of all that I can carry with me for as long as I baby pillow. I remember when I was still a little child, my mother used to put me to sleep on the bed that she and I shared (after my Tatang died) using her soft arm as my pillow while she stroked my head and scalp to sleep.

"My mission is to complete my mission." M

1 comment:

Orange said...

My favorite made-up Filipino English words are Belbet Elbis and Belbeeta...

Good gravy, that sounds like a harrowing bunch of gwuests!