Went through quite a number of upheavals the past few months. One I hadn't mentioned and which was less strenuous on the nerves compared to everything else that had happened was my moving to a new apartment. I'd initially planned to move to a new apartment building but as expected that barely qualified as a wistful thought. I lingered in my Katipunan apartment far longer than was sane (not to mention practical) because the prospect of lugging years' worth of junk--I'd been staying in rented rooms ever since I came to Manila at 16 to study in university--was terribly unappealing. The only reason why I finally betook myself to find habituation haha in Makati was because teleporting to the new company headquarters every morning was, well, try impossible?
Ironically enough, I am now on study leave and commuting almost everyday to Quezon City from Makati. I also work part-time and my work requires me to be in QC most of the time as well. When the opportunity arose to leave my Makati digs and find a more convenient place up north, I ought to have taken it, like any reasonably intelligent person. As you can see, I am neither intelligent nor reasonable. Besides, despite the ghetto craziness of my apartment building, I've grown fond of it, in my fashion. Also, while it definitely isn't the most er salubrious place in the world, it's got its own quaint charms, one of which is being accessible to... an entire street of flea markets and cheap bargains, for one. I don't like malls or glamorous places. A couple of friends who live in high-rise condos kept asking me to move in with them and the offer was about as enticing as the notion of even moving. I mean, I would have moved anyway c/o of my landlady's request, but I wanted the ensuing drama and chaos to be worth it.
This time around it was definitely worth it. As luck would have it, the guy who brokered my last rental for me was still hanging around the building, and he told me about a nice one-bedroom apartment a few floors up (seven, to be exact). Better yet, it cost only a little bit more than my old studio, which meant that it could be covered by my grant. He'd showed me another one-bedroom apartment for the same price but it was in the 17th floor, which seemed populated by parrots and batty old Argentinians. As opposed to the 11th which is filled with bargain junkies as the hallway is perpetually littered with dead electric fans and vintage washing machines from Quiapo. In short, a floor after my own heart.
The thing about this building is that once you get used to the foul-mouthed children, gay prostitutes, religious cults, psychotic pets and the random shooting every other night, it's a fairly livable. While families aren't exactly advised to raise their kids here, it's more than okay for penny-pinching grad students like me. There are some pretty good apartment units available for rent at shockingly low prices (I mean, considering that it's very close to the Ayala district). I'm lucky because my broker knows where to find the best of them. I've been blabbing about wanting to live somewhere with--what was it?--lots of sun, wooden floors, and an actual view, and that was what I got. I can now go through an entire day without having to turn on the living room lights! That's a really big deal for me.
Most awesome of all, it's got bookshelves. Lots of bookshelves. (Forget about sunlight. You can maybe sell me a room in a subway as long as it has shelves. )
I'm using the bedroom as a study. The owners had left their old bed so I asked them to get it along with a rather ugly glass table. They did so with a shrug, probably figuring that I'd be sleeping on the stolidly built if ancient-looking sofa, which I did ask them to leave behind. My bed from the now abandoned studio had been shipped home as I had no intention of turning the quite spacious sala into a bedroom in the first place. It's always the same wherever I live. I'm least interested in bedrooms and put little effort into organizing my sleeping arrangements. I can sleep wherever as long as I have a good workplace, which on the other hand I'm very fastidious about. The room is big enough to accommodate all my books, my desktop, a long table, reading chairs and several lamps. I love it.
I sleep gingerly on the sofa so that the shape and movements of my body do not intrude into its seemingly divinely ordained state of shabby grandeur. In the mornings I roll off it and stretch on the floor. In fact, I should probably sleep on the floor, but it has its own order too.
In any case, another good thing which came out of this is that, while in the process of moving, I managed to ditch a great deal of aforementioned junk. I just shoved stuff in trash bags and either threw or gave them away. Not books, of course. Old papers, old clothes, shoes, things around the house. My living room is quite bare. The only furniture are my also ancient television set, malfunctioning DVD player, and the sofa. I'm still debating on what to do with the very bare walls--perhaps cram them with prints, paintings and photos, just to be perverse, or buy several metal shelves in this interesting vintage shop a couple blocks away and cram them with my horde of glass canisters, bones, icons, and yet more glass jars. Too cliche?