Has someone ever tried picking you up while you were standing on a sidewalk minding yourself? Well, I had that experience and the first time happened back in 2004.
It was nighttime. I was waiting then along Julia Vargas Avenue besides Megamall, waiting for my ride to fetch me. There was this one guy I noticed scoping me out. I did not think much of him because, although I sensed that he wasn’t straight, he was an ordinary-looking middle-aged guy. He disappeared after a while.
After a few more minutes, I saw him crossing back the street to my side. By then, we two were the only ones standing near the intersection. He was looking at me and I was looking at the road waiting for my ride.
He approached me and asked, “Pwede magtanong?” (Classic.) “Alam mo ba kung saan ang CoffeeLine?” (Pick-up tip #1: invent an obscure-sounding shop nobody knows so you can talk with the target person longer.)
“Sorry, di ko alam ’yon,” was my disinterested reply. I tried my best to put on my most snobby demeanor that my friends usually complain about.
“’Di ba sa may Shaw lang iyon?” he pressed.
(Eh, alam mo pala eh, ba’t ’di mo hanapin?) “Wala talaga akong alam na CoffeeLine.”
Unperturbed, he paused for a while before asking, “Anong pangalan mo?” I thought he’d never ask.
He offered his hand and introduced himself, “My name’s Eric.” Man, I don’t know if I’d admire him for being brave or pissed at him for being thick-faced. If I were in his shoes, I’d mutter a quick “sorry” and be on my way.
But since I’m not that rude a person to refuse an introduction, I shook his hand. “Vince,” came my reply.
Then comes the kicker. “Nagpapabayad ka ba?” Man! I knew I was expecting it but actually hearing it was quite a different experience. I don’t know if I should be flattered or insulted.
With a disappointed look, he utters “sorry” then crossed back the street hailing a taxi on the other side.
But the story didn’t end there. While still waiting for my ride, another guy was scoping me out as well. He is younger but still an ordinary-looking guy. Sigh. Why can’t the semi-cute guys be the ones who approach? Probably because most of them are playing hard-to-get.
Like the first one, this second guy finally gathered enough guts to approach and ask, “Pwedeng matanong kung anong oras na?” (Pick-up tip #2: If all else fails, ask for the time.)
He asked it because I was fiddling with my cellphone. Unfortunately for him, I was tinkering with it because it was having problems. I honestly couldn’t tell what time it was so I sincerely replied, “’Di ko alam eh.” Sounds mean, I know.
Unlike the first guy, he took the hint and went away.
Up till now, I still don’t know why two guys approached me that night. I didn’t think that Julia Vargas was a popular cruising/pick-up spot nor was I dressed like a call boy. I usually have a snobby look about me so the experience was totally unexpected. I laugh at it now and now I’m just curious if you guys have ever had similar experiences as well.