As I’ve mentioned before, Daet is a small town. When I was there, I was mentally comparing it to the UP Diliman campus. Main reason being, we had a tendency to walk everywhere we went. Just like in UP, everything was literally within “walking distance” – the beach, the church, the cemetary, etc. So in my mind, the UP Diliman campus and Daet, Camarines Norte occupy roughly the same area, even though technically, one is a university campus and the other a full-sized town. (On a tangent, the transportation within Daet is strictly limited to tricycles only, which would imply it being logically smaller than UPD, which has jeepneys.)
So, anyway, there was a lot of walking going on. We walked everywhere. Ocassionally, I would get to walk with my father. My dad, he’s basically a nice guy. It’s always nice to see that while we’re walking around town, he has to stop and chat with somebody in every other store. Daet has lots of these little stores, side-by-side in the residential areas: hardware stores, bakeries, general merchandise, etc. And my dad seems to know someone and has to exchange tales of how things have been going, hey-have-you-met-my-son-can-you-find-him-a-girlfriend, that sort of thing.
Now, maybe this sort of thing isn’t that irregular, why do I bother talking about it? After all, my father grew up in this town, it’s to be expected that he knows people all over the place, right? Not to me. I mean, growing up I knew a small part of Quezon City, but I was never that chummy with that many people. I guess it’s just a small town thing that never fails to amaze me: Everybody seems to know everybody else.
Another thing about my dad that occasionally surprises me: he’s a story-teller. Like I said, whenever he meets one of these everyday people-on-the-street types, he spends a few minutes chatting with them. Those few minutes are invariably filled with some short story (only occasionally mildly exaggerated) about how his sons have jobs now, how things were when he worked overseas, what happened to his long-lost cousins, etc. When I watch him talking like this to long-lost friends and the occasional relative-whose-name-I-should-probably remember, I am quite a bit envious. I want to be like that, I want to be able to spout out interesting anecdotes on demand, I want to be able to grab people’s attentions with my words.
Unfortunately, unlike my dad, I don’t have much life experience to speak about. I haven’t been to that many places, haven’t done that many interesting things. I guess I really need to get out more…