2/24/2019
Tic-tac-toe

Another Toby's Estate branch, but one inside a mall (Aura, in this case), and one that's more of a kiosk in the middle of a corridor rather than a space all its own, which means a limited menu. It's fine. We go there for the coffee - in this case, the chai, because I absolutely cannot have coffee after two in the afternoon - and the carrot cake.

There are nine tables, three in a row, like a tic-tac-toe card, if we're to belabor the metaphors. Shalla and I are seated in the middle table, enjoying the cake - around PHP 250 or a little less, I think, but good for two, and definitely worth the price - and our drinks.

On one of the other tables, an old woman - I'm not saying really old, just relatively old - came to a table occupied, it seems, by her daughters. She was holding a Power Mac shopping bag. Inside were two newly-bought Apple Watches. She bought them for her daughters.

"But mom," one of them said, "we already have phones to tell the time with!"

I'll confess I didn't see this myself. This all happened at the table directly behind me - although it happens to be the table directly across Shalla, or at least her vantage point. She saw everything, heard everything. I'll have to trust her when she described the family as part-Chinese - and I mention this not as a political comment, but perhaps, stereotypically, to explain how they can just buy two Apple Watches just like that. And complain about it, even.

What she didn't see, because it was right behind her - and what I did see - was one of the mall's glass doors shatter, leaving a woman with some small wounds. Thankfully the little girl with her wasn't harmed, or so it seemed. How can a heavy glass door just fall down and turn an ante room - you know how SM likes to have two doors for entrances now, purportedly to save energy - into a chamber of trauma and pain?

"May lalaki daw na nakabagsak nun," I overheard someone a few minutes later, while I was in the toilets. "Tapos umalis na lang daw siya."

Not sure if it was true, though. You know how things spread like this. I don't remember seeing a guy, that said, but then, I did hear the really loud crashing first. I then watched as the injured woman was rushed to some other part of the mall, and then as some guy takes a photo of the damage with his phone, and then as the maintenance staff began sweeping up the damage, the only sign of warning being, of all things, a wet floor sign.

And your responses...

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