FREE MEAL

Kanina ay omorder ako ng mukablah for lunch sa isang turkish restaurant na malapit sa isang General Engineering Services offices where I had a technical meeting about one project. Mukablah is an Arabic Mixed Vegetarian Food served with unleavened bread topped with olive oil and  lemon.

While eating I was thinking of the next meeting and contemplating on my supposed vacation na nareschedule after June. Inisip ko na hindi naman dapat na ang tulad ko na nagbigay na magagandang opportunities sa aming kompanya will be given this kind of treatment. Dahil sa ibang nagmamagaling at mga sakim na empleyado (mga matataas ang puwesto, na ibang lahi) ay nagkaganito ang sitwasyon at ngayon ay ako ang naapektuhan. Naging krusyal ang kalagayan at ang role ko to get us up ay mahalaga (raw) sabi ng meari.

Then, like a true believer in God, baka kako me meaning iyon. Lalo na at ang aking eldest ay kailangang alalayan sa kanyang pagwork dito. Halos 1 month pa lang siya at kung maiiwan siya rito next month ay baka masira ang loob, lalo na ang ganda ng momentum niya sa bagong work niya rito.

Ibinaling ko ang attention ko sa ibang kumakain at nangiti na lang ako sa manner ng pagkain ng ibang lahi. Kanya kanya ika ngang culture at paguugali. Merong nakakamay at kinukuyom muna ang kanin sa kanilang kamay bago isubo, meron namang padakma ang dakot ng kanina at naglalabasan sa pagitan ng daliri bago isubo, mayroong nakataas pa ang paa sa upuan.  Kako sa sarili ko, makapagmamalaki pa rin tayong mga Pinoy pagdating sa table manners.

After I have consumed the mukablah, I ordered for tea pampatunaw ika nga. A call came from my colleague assigned in Yanbu asking for my advise in one prospect, then I finished the tea and rose from my seat. I proceeded to the cashier, and took out my wallet asking him how much was my food.

He replied that my food was paid, and pointed at the two gentlemen on the second table from the cashier. Their faces were somewhat familiar, pero di ko matandaan kung saan ko sila nakita. I approached the two gents to thank them.

“Sadik, shukran for paying my food. But, tell me please, how did you know me. And why are you paying my food?” tanong ko sa kanila.

“Ah Mister Kabayan, we don’t know your name and you don’t know us also. But, about a month ago, if you remember, we were in the parking lot of that GES office and our car would not start. It’s battery was dead, and you came to us and asked what was the problem. Then you drove your car next to us, pulled out jumper cable and connected it to our battery. We managed to start our car and get back to our office on time. We are the ones who must say “Shukran”” ang sagot nila sa akin.

Natandaan ko na nga ang dalawang ito. Nakita ko na nakataas ang hood ng kotse nila, na nakapark two park lines away from my car. Papasok na ako sa kotse ko noon but instead of leaving,  nilapitan ko nga sila at tinulungan.

“We were not able to say thank you that time. Luckily we found you here. Thank you very much Sir” was their further comment.

We exchange business cards before I left.

One business contact added.

One opportunity to spread kindness.

Without putting in vain God’s name.

—000—

“Take a look at the world, and the state that it’s in today, I am sure you’ll agree, We all could make it a better way. With our love put together, Ev’rybody learn to love each other, Instead of fussing and fighting.” – Jimmy Cliff

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