Monday, July 12, 2010
Oriental Food Mart at Merritt Island Where It all Started
Last September 2009, an Oriental Store is getting set up at Merritt Island Mall in Merritt Island, Florida. I have always thought of what kind of Oriental store it is going to be since the signage looks as if a Korean or a Japanese would probably owns it. A big sign HELP WANTED can be seen on one of the glass windows.I said, whew! Maybe I could try to apply here as soon as they open. I keep coming back to the same store to check up if there is somebody inside or if the owner comes.
One day, I saw a Toyota Car parked on front of the newly set up Oriental Store and I didn't give it a second thought to jump and ask the Ladies who are at the trunk putting some stuffs in as if they are done for the day and they are ready to call it a day. I'm a bit hesitant to talk in Tagalog as one of the ladies look more like a Korean or Japanese. So I spoke as "Excuse me, Are you the owner of this store?". The older lady replied to me "yes". I looked at her and realized, I might have a greater chance of discovering that this Oriental Store might be just my Store!! Filipino Store that I have been looking for to fill all my cravings for my humble beginnings -- Pinoy Home Cooked Food!!! Great, I told my self! Luck is really on my side this time around. The next question I asked was " Do you speak tagalog?" hahahaha.. well, I would definitely not speak English to a Filipino even if they have lived here in United states for 20 years unless they are grown here from when they are baby or just a kid whereby the possibility of forgetting Tagalog spoken language is at high risk since exposure to the language is so little. For me, it would really look dumb if a Filipina would talk to another Filipina in English when both of them can perfectly converse on their own birth tongue. I think it's superficial even if we are in an American Country where they speak English. Anyway, the Owner affirmed that she is a Filipina!! Yehey!! And obviously my next question was if they are looking for someone to hire, since it was going to be my first job in United States, it would be great to start working with people of the same root.
At the end of the day, I gave my application form based on the procedures given to me. I started working at the early October. We are selling Oriental groceries and at the same time cooked Filipino food aiming to serve the Filipinos on the cruise ships. It was a lot of fun until I have to go Istanbul for an urgent call. I have to leave my job after just a month of working. I have met couple of filipinos living here in Florida and have found this great friendship with them. I met Riza, a BCC college student who came to work as my replacement. After 2 weeks of stay in Istanbul, I came back Florida and flew back to Manila in 2 days. When I came back Florida on January 2010, met Jane who came to work part-time with Riza, then met Dolly who eats at the Oriental Store just to see Jane who has become her first friend here in Florida. After having some dates and get together with the girls, I get to meet Grace who lives next to Jane's apartment. Few months later, Jane started working at Wal-Mart and met Michelle who was shopping that time and uncertain to approach Jane since she ain't sure if she is a Filipina or not. That is when your Ms. Congeniality made her dramatic entrance and approached Jane and started talking in Tagalog. After just few seconds I rushed and jumped in the car to get home. Conclusion is, Jane and Michelle exchanged numbers and another pretty lady has joined the club:).
We have started hanging out at Jane's place from then on and spending most of the time cooking, swimming, singing and even going out to bars, beaches and parks. The only thing we are missing to do is to sleep over which probably far to happen since all of us have somebody waiting for us at home:), we started going home from 7pm to 9pm to 10.30 to 12midnight now. Hanging out with friends is one of the greatest thing to do every week, time flies so fast that you would want to stop it a little bit so you could have more fun. We also have ate Medi, ate Mercy, Ate Aylin, Ate Susan and Ate Joji around the area. I have met couple of Filipinos from PSJ but due to distance I could not see them regularly. I wish we could hang out together with the other girls as they are funny and happy people too:) It would be really nice to have a community that all Filipinos can meet and party at the same time every 6 months or so.
Since we have the friendliest of all working at Wal-Mart, Jane met several more Filipinos shopping but could not get contact with them. Would have been more fun if we could all be friends and hang out together. Does not Matter if they are married, single, young or old. As long as you want to enjoy and have fun, we love to see them with us.
My Cape Canaveral experience is changing into the grandest Filipino Mafia experience. Ha ha ha.. Funny but this "MAFIA" thing is not my idea. I just heard from my friend that her neighbors started calling us FILIPINO MAFIA since we all tag along every week on the pool side. I thought, that is not a bad idea. I could even start a blog with that name. At least, we have a place to put up our fun and joy since the happiness and joy our friendships bring to us could not contain merely in just memories. It would be at best if we could share them with the other Filipinos who might have experienced the same like mine last 2006.
Of course, our friendship is not limited to Filipinas only. We are open to meet and be friends with every one. Good night every one:)