16 May 2013

Hard to Find a Good Man to Ask Directions From

Eugene, who I used to work with before I decided to live the life of a professional bum, is at the tail end of a 19-day holiday from Jeddah and picked me up from my place yesterday for our occasional have-gas-will-travel sorties into somewhere totally unplanned for.

So, we had lunch at Club Balai Isabel in Talisay, caught up on what each of us has been up to lately, took the obligatory touristy pictures of the resort and then went on our way.

Leaving the front gate of the Balai, the way home was to the right. But Eugene turned left, instead.

That only meant that the joy ride was not about to end just yet. Since the obvious destination was up the mountain into Tagaytay, I suggested this jigsaw puzzle museum as a probable destination.

I first heard about it on the regional news and was intrigued that a Guinness world record was awarded for a collection of things that I used to take great delight in when I was a little kid.


Because we just drove past a street sign that said such. And it was at the bottom rung of several signs nailed onto a tree. I was looking at the top signs. Eugene, fortuitously, was looking down.
We both agreed it was a good place to go; and not least because we really had no plans to go anywhere else.

There was an itty-bitty problem. We didn’t know where it was.

But God, in His wisdom, did give man a mouth for asking directions.

So, we stopped by this roadside water filtering station when we were already up in Tagaytay. The young man was hard at work filling water bottles with filtered water. I asked if he knew where the jigsaw puzzle museum was.

He gave me a polite smile and shook his head without even bothering to utter the word ‘no.’ I should have known bettter. He had water in his brain.

Pun intended.

We drove on; and at the rotunda, there was a tanod just waiting to be asked. So, we stopped beside him and I brought the car window down to ask for directions.

Thankfully, he knew where the museum was.

“Sa may serp moor,” he said. There will be tricycles there, he added.

Surf Moor, did he say? Albeit, I just had to ask Eugene if he heard the same thing. The way the tanod gave directions, he sounded as if the place was just a few yards from where he gave us directions.

Five kilometres later, we still hadn’t found serp moor.

So we stopped beside this tricyle and asked the driver if he knew where Surf Moor was.

“Safe More? D’yan lang, sa kanan!”

“Malapit na?” I asked him. He nodded yes. So, I thanked him and we drove on.

I was watching the right side of the road; and at the heart of the city, to the right of the intersection, there was this large grocery store. It’s name? Save More.

So we drove on. Laughing, of course. Talk about bad coincidences!

A kilometre or two past Save More, Eugene stopped by a shop. I got out to ask Ate and Kuya for directions.

Did I suddenly develop super powers that Ate and Kuya for some reason just couldn’t see me? Because the two idiots continued their conversation as though I was not standing right there in front of them.

If I had a gun, I would have made TV Patrol last night for shooting Ate and Kuya for their shocking rudeness. Bad adverts for Tagaytay, these two illiterates!

Annoyed, I decided to turn my attention to these two ladies who were walking towards me from the left side of the shop.

Lady Number One, when I turned to her to ask for directions, actually took a step backwards as though she was being accosted by a thief. Were I not still annoyed with idiot Ate and Kuya at the shop, I would have felt insulted.

I mean, to her I must have looked like this big man suddenly standing to block her way. But I was sure I brushed my teeth and put on some deodorant.

At least, she was prepared to give directions. “To the right of the road not far from here,” she said confidently.

“No, it’s to the left,” Lady Number Two behind her contradicted. And suddenly, Lady Number One wasn’t so sure.

“Just look for the signs,” she dismissed me.

Made sense. I thanked her and we drove on. And a good thing Eugene has good eyes.

At the street corner half a kilometre later, Eugene suddenly interjected, “Puzzle Mansion?”

Because we just drove past a street sign that said such. And it was at the bottom rung of several signs nailed onto a tree. I was looking at the top signs. Eugene, fortuitously, was looking down.

We had to u-turn to get back to the side street. We just made one more stop in front of a sarĂ®-sarĂ® store. Kuya who was buying something at the store didn’t know but smiled apologetically at us.

Fortunately, a young man with a harelip heard the question and said, “Sa may kanto, may shed. May sign.”

Finally, someone in Tagaytay who knew how to give directions. Succinct, but accurate. And it was a short drive from the kanto to the puzzle museum.











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RELATED STORIES:
Jigsaw Puzzles and Guinness World Records (A Pictorial Blog)
Have Gas; Will Travel

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