Monday, 24 November 2014

Enjoying Sopas In Port Moresby

Being an OFW can be quite intimidating at first. Expectations in the workplace can sometimes succumb anyone into becoming a workaholic freak and a less sociable person. A day in the office can feel like a lifetime and staff house can become a dear to you. In our effort to make the staff house to be as homey as it can be, the ate's and nanay's in the house occasionally prepare foods that can make us sit altogether in one table and enjoy.

And so tonight, nanay Ada is making a soup and I'm working on my camera.

I have come to know that this spot is like an oversize periscope where I can peer through and instantly know what the rest of my neighborhood is doing at the very moment. At 8:00 pm, the streets in Gordons are quite void of anything that walks on two feet.

And that includes circus dogs that may have gone astray.

This is a dog that is owned by a co-manager. Like what most people do, I name the dogs unknown to me based on the logic of visual perception. I call him Browny because he is brown. He hasn't learned the trick of walking on two legs yet and, wait a minute, did he just grin at me?

In Papua New Guinea, tomatoes are simply gigantic in size. I am not particularly fond of tomatoes in general, but I like the idea that by consuming them, I can benefit from the effect of lycopene in many ways. Whilst by most standards, an apple a day is more preferred; it is worth noting that a tomato a day can also keep a doctor at bay. Hey, that rhymes!

We Filipinos love the taste of sopas. It's a Filipino name for a soup that is, as far as I know, unique to us. And here is nanay Ada pouring a hot sopas into an empty bowl for me. Back in the Philippines, I find it a bit mysterious why the rainy season brings forth our craving for this. Here in Papua New Guinea, nanay Ada's craving for such must have been motivated by something else, if not by rain.

Could it be a natural intuition that she knew it would rain tonight?

It did rain.

Here is Soe Soe Naing, a Burmese co-manager. I'm quite surprised that she tried a bowl of sopas, not that it's a bad thing but I know for certain that her taste for food is heavily influenced by Myanmar cuisine. Soe Soe, in particular, has taste buds that are well accustomed to spicy foods. Being a bias observer sometimes, I have come to conclude that Burmese people, in general, like hot and spicy foods.

For me, sopas tastes somewhat like it's neither salty nor bland but I like it just the way it is.

And here is nanay Ada smiling for the camera. There's a thin line between what constitutes an authentic smile versus a remarkable portrayal of a practiced smile. A true smile is defined by what is gained from observing one's eyes. If the eyes turned into thick lines while smiling, I can rule out the other possibility of it being faked. Not unless her eyes are naturally conceived to that orientation.

We finished eating the sopas that night and it was pretty good.

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