It’s not what you think. Perverts.
A package arrived from the Philippines. It was the undies I ordered for my daughter — because she’s precious like that. You see, when we visited my hometown a couple of years ago, I bought my daughter some undies there. They’re so much cheaper and made of very soft cotton.
The problem is that my sensitive child cannot wear (or do not want to wear) any other undies except for the ones we bought from Cagayan de Oro. I’ve bought her every possible brand I could find in every possible style. Some even cost $6 a pair. Still, nothing was comfortable enough for her. So I asked my sisters to find me those damn Cagayan undies in a bigger size and send it here.
This package is the second time they’ve had to send some. My daughter had a growth spurt and now all her old undies show her butt crack. When the package arrived, I immediately opened it and whiffed a very familiar scent. It was the scent of air conditioning and packaging from one of the malls in Cagayan. I don’t know how to explain it but I just knew where it was from (also, the label on the box told me). I pressed my daughter’s new undies to my nose and immediately, images of my days at the mall in the Philippines flashed in my head. This was followed by a painful stab in my chest.
I miss that place. It was where I hung out with old friends. Where I did the groceries with my parents. Where I went to the movies with my sisters. Where my friends and I took a bunch of orphans to McDonalds because they’ve never been to one before. I know the smell because I’ve been there so many times before. Of course, my train of thought then went to all the other things I miss — the trisikad, the vendors down the street, the beaches.
I planned my savings so that we could go back to visit every two years. It’s just enough time to cure nostalgia. This year, we were meant to go back again. But because of unforeseen financial issues, my savings went to something else more important instead, and we can’t go.
So now, I’m sniffing my daughter’s new undies and listening to radio soapies on YouTube while experiencing tiny little needles dancing around in my heart. Thus is the life of a migrant.