Turn the Other Cheek

>> Sunday, April 8, 2007

I almost thought that Qatar would kill me with boredom. That was until last Thursday, when a pissed off Arab decided to shake me from my humdrum existence and threatened to place me in Doha's most wanted list just for taking pictures of a truckload of furniture.

Since this is my blog, and I am biased to what is generally right for me, I point a finger (not the finger) at my boss for placing me in deep shit.

Early Thursday morning he called me up and told me to proceed to the industrial area for a special assignment. I got there with four other men. I saw my boss already waiting on the parking lot outside a big warehouse. He handed me a digicam and told me to secretly take photos of a truck which was loaded with furniture and clinic equipment.

I only had a vague thought that maybe the owner of this warehouse didn't like the idea of people taking pictures. I started snapping secretly. It was not easy to do since a dozen eyes were trained on me wherever I went. It was just a matter of time when someone would alert the authorities.

I decided to take my last shot. I knelt behind a car and aimed my camera at the license plate of the truck. Click—the blinding flash of light slowly dissolving to reality. I previewed the shot, smiled and was satisfied. My job is done.

I was starting to get up when I saw a big man charge towards me. I have barely stood when he hit my arm, grabbed it, forced the camera out of my hand and pushed me. It was only then I knew the full extent of the secrecy clause.

The assault took less than 10 seconds. All I could afford to mutter was my boss' name. Then I found myself pointing at the man who attacked me. In an instant, my boss was already running towards the man and hitting him like crazy. People from both sides of the team converged on one spot in the parking lot. It was hard to make out who was winning. In my mind I pictured out a cartoon brawl with nothing but clouds of dust and outstretched arms and legs. I just stood there and did nothing, holding my hurt arm like a true wimp.

Finally, the fight subsided and they all went inside the warehouse to settle some things. I waited outside, worried as hell because of my clumsiness. I blamed myself for causing the ruckus. After a few minutes, one of our people came up to me and told me that we should move it right away because the police were on their way to arrest the guy who took the pictures (ie me).

My mind panicked while they drove me to a nearby restaurant to "hide" me. If I were to be given only one phone call, should I call the Philippine embassy or my mom? If I dropped the soap in prison, should I pick it up or let it slip? I was also searching for a word in the midst of all these. The word only made itself known when I finally got my bruised self safely back to the office. The word is unfair.

It is unfair that I'm bruised when I'm overworked and underpaid. It is unfair that I'm placed in a situation that could endanger my life (what if that man decided to pull a trigger instead of a punch?). It is unfair that after all the trouble, what I hear is "I should've fought back!".

And for a while I thought that maybe I should've fought back. Maybe I should've held on to that camera, took a nice square punch on that man's face, stomped on his feet, smashed his head on the car windshield, threw dust on his bleeding forehead, pushed him on the ground, jumped on top of his stomach, ran over him with a car, and took a picture of his deformed face as a souvenir while he bled to death.

But I grew up singing to Kenny Roger's Coward of the County (my Dad's idea of parenting is making me memorize folk songs), the lyrics of which goes something like:


Promise me, son, not to do the things I've done.
Walk away from trouble if you can.
It won't mean you're weak if you turn the other cheek.
I hope you're old enough to understand:
Son, you don't have to fight to be a man.

The Chinese swore they could've defended me with Kung Fu if only they were there. I don't doubt they could. Even the boss fought back. I guess it did him good because he got his camera back with the pictures still on file and he got rid of the police.

I showed my bruise to my boss and he said, not to worry, because he made that man's lips bleed. I should feel better, I suppose. But I'm sure he only did that because he was more concerned about getting his camera back.

My boss asked me the other night why I didn’t fight back. I couldn’t answer him at that time. I just smiled at him and shrugged.

But now I know why I stood still. It may sound like a sissy boy excuse but I don't care. And in one satisfied tone, albeit bruised, here's why I refused to fight back and decided to turn the other cheek: My mom raised me well. OUT

18 responses:

Anonymous 09 April, 2007  

derf: kc? is that you? hehehe...well, good thing u didnt fight back jap. :-) are u sure police are not after u? basi naa na imong pics sa mga police station: wanted. hehhe...and lastly, para asa ang pictures? good day.

Jap 09 April, 2007  

Yep Derf, i was tempted to link KC's ad but decided to keep it an inside joke to Flips. I'm sure the police are not after me cause my boss cleared everything. And lastly, you snoopy reporter, I purposefully didn't write what the pictures were for (there's a court battle going on) but since you asked, the photos will be submitted to court as evidence that the f*cking arab who attacked me stole some stuff from my boss. By the way, THANK YOU for seeing it as a good thing that I didn't fight back. =)

Anonymous 09 April, 2007  

vaughn: how many times i invite you to watch with me ALIAS series? for sure you'll get some tips on how to take pics secretly like a pro! spy pro! (napakita ko naman sau ung mga nakuha kung pix sa gym diba? whaa)and for sure u wont have that bruise kasi maiilagan mu yan! hmm.. on the brighter side, im happy that you're ok at bruise lang nakuha mu. and im more than happy that u didnt fight back cause it just shows that ur more than a MAN by taking the punch with GRACE (ala undertaker sa wrestling)then shout:wraghhh!
(huh?): )

Jap 09 April, 2007  

Bwahahaha ALIAS?! There's such a thing as reality and fate. Oh well, thanks for the tips, I will keep that in mind next time I go to the gym er warehouse. Glad you're happy that I didn't fight back Vaughn, thanks. I AM more than a MAN, aren't I? LOL

SM 09 April, 2007  

Damn bad bruise... How i wish cat woman was there to the rescue!!!

MEYAWWN

Ssshxxx
(kambras attack)

'ge lang, @ least u got some tips from ALIAS tungod ana...

Thanks to your moda & poda...

Antos2x lang choi kay ikaw ang pinili... Pagpalain ka nawa...

Smile though the bruise is aching. =')

Anonymous 09 April, 2007  

rdl: though bothered me here ja but more than anything else, im happy coz ur safe! i know ur sorrounded with beautiful angels..and God was just there to keep you out of total danger. remember? (jongs punch line when attacked by val's bf?) bayot man ko kuya! it helped him not being punched! whahahahah........ i salute you jap for what you did! it was a good move not to "fight back" kay bc mailahan ka nila na avid fan sa FIGHT CLUB! good... good... good... unsa reaksyounn ni tita? (teh, ja db sabi ko na sayo................) c",)

Jap 09 April, 2007  

SM LoL Smile though the bruise is aching? hahaha thanks for that.

Jap 09 April, 2007  

RDL, I forgot that line! Hahahaha don't worry I will use that the next time some mad arab comes my way...although I may have to translate it first hehehehe wish you guys were here. I know magsanib pwersa gyud ta, even if we end up eating ice cream and just bitching about it LoL..miss you guys.

Anonymous 09 April, 2007  

MOM: jaja thanks for remembering what I instilled in your mind (since you were a kid), NOT to fight back when you are in trouble. One day you told me when i boarded the plane from Davao to Manila to Hong Kong, Mom, don't be a hero "if their is a crazy guy on the plane and trying to hijack the plane." I realized that the strength of a man is his weakness. The more you involved yourself in fighting, the more you would end up either in jail or in six feet below the ground. Being a migrant worker we have to bear in mind that justice don't cooperate with us here in abroad and actually there is no more just and fairness in this world. Put this incident as one of a chapter of your life and move on to the next chapter hopefully a brighter and safe one. My advises: Rule no. 1 Expect the unexpected. Rule no. 2 ma karma man ina sya kay wala ikaw nag fight back... don't do to others if you don't want others will do unto you. Rule no. 3 Pen is mightier than the fist! Rule no. 4 use video not click in taking pics to avoid being detected. Rule no.5 Be safe jaja. I felt relieved for knowing that you didn't fight back because i brought you up NOT as a goon or a troubled arrogant person but a man of character and a peace maker. i love you jaja. The Almighty God and His angels is always with you.

Maxie 09 April, 2007  

Jap, glad to hear you got out of that ruckus with only a bruise. Sometimes it's hard not to go into a blind rage and just beat the bloody pulp out of the first person that stands in your way. But I salute you for keeping your self-control. A foreign country will also have foreign laws. I don't want to hear about my friends on the news! Let's save that fury for the catfight you mentioned! Lintian gid ang duha to ka mga bigaon, wala na sila padaog sa aton. Daw sila pa ang expert contrabida ba. hahaha!
As for the soap question... balikid anay para masigurado mo kung cute. Kung indi gani, pick it up - FAST!

Jap 09 April, 2007  

Ey mom, thanks for the Rules. Three more and it's Fight Club all over again..."and the eighth and finally rule, if this is your first night in Fight Club, you have to fight!" hehehe I'm glad you didn't reach Rule 8 LoL. Love you mom =) I will heed each word you said. =)

Jap 09 April, 2007  

LoL thanks Max! If there's a riot in this post, it's you bwahhaha yep, count me in on that catfight, but im not sure if i'll be of any help, i can take pictures though! LoL pareho gid ta gina paminsar sa soap question hahaha

Anonymous 11 April, 2007  

ei! jap.. i felt bad wen i read the blog. it seems qatar is not safety for us esp my mom.huh! so how'z ur bruise now? u know, ur mom is ryt. u shouldn't fyt back co'z u dnt knw d consequence. wat f he shot u and killed u for no reason/ wag naman..neways, juz pray always. and f u hav tym try to call my mom and see her..pra may katsika pud ka nga filipino..bayot pud na ako moda.hehehe! ingatz always japie! godspeed!

Jap 11 April, 2007  

Thanks anonymous Caicai! Miss you too. And I've been looking forward to meeting your mom but unfortunately murag dili mag match among schedule. I'm still hoping though that I'll meet her someday soon kay basi mubabu na lang ko dinhi wa gihapon mi nagkita. She keeps in touch though and that's the good thing. Take care Cai and I hope all is well with you and Xian Carloe.

Anonymous 11 April, 2007  

MaginoongCute: Kung nandyan ako, sinabunutan ko mga kumag na yan!Kung nakulong ka naman, mag join ako sa iyo ang wala ako gagawin dun kundi mamulot ng nahuhulog na soap!

Jap 11 April, 2007  

LoL@MaginoongCute, but of course that's what you'll do, no doubt about it. Dream cum tru mu kaya yan hehehe.

Anonymous 02 May, 2007  

OMG na-kura ko sa imong experience! Same way here,if somebody hits u,u could punch a hole at other Filipinos' lungs or collect the teeth of Brazilians,Vietnamese,Chinese,etc but uve gotta spare the japs or land in jail.:( Im glad ur safe,but that nasty bruise said a thousand words that i could summarize to one---OUCH! -haguia

Jap 02 May, 2007  

Delayed reaction kaau ka Gae LoL But yup, I was really stunned when it (literally) hit me. You are right Gae, do all you can with other nationalities but never to the guys in the home base.

TUBICLE

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Thirtysomething educator who holds the secret to the meaning of life. =P

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