I had a glorious lunch at Wholesome Table with Cecile earlier. It was a splurge—for a salaried worker’s ordinary lunch, at least—as we spent a little over P1,200 for both our meals. I had sourdough bread with spinach dip, garlic spaghetti, and arabica; she had tomato soup and chicken salad. They made for quite a lovely spread at one of the most beautifully designed restaurants in the area. “No guilt,” she said. I told her she deserved it of all people I know.
I just finished Call Me by My Name. I had been in love with the novel even before I began reading it and now, I cannot wait to see how the film will translate the book. As a fan of Luca Guadagnino’s I Am Love and A Bigger Splash, I’ve created mental images based on these two films and reading the book, I’ve already cast Armie Hammer in the role of Oliver. At this point, I doubt anything in the film will disappoint me.
Today, I wore a billowy blue shirt—and I think I might have splurged at lunch—in honor of the book. And I might drink wine at dinner in honor of Italy.
I did end up having wine at dinner: after getting my haircut in Legazpi, I searched for a nice restaurant in the area and I ended up in a Peruvian-Japanese restaurant. It was a very stylish and dimly lit place, which was perfect for this solo diner; I did not feel alone at all and even then, it felt more chic than melancholy. I sat by the bar, two seats apart two gay guys. I overheard them saying complimentary things about me until one said, “Baka mamaya marunong mag-Tagalog.” So I ordered in Tagalog, lol.
The food was good, but the proportions—for the prices—were really small. But again, it was a day for splurges, so I hardly winced as I paired the dishes with a red. After I finished another satisfying meal, the waiter chatted me up. First, he asked me about the food and I gladly gave my feedback: I praised the tiradito and lomo, but complained that the side dish was a struggle (a runny egg yolk fenced by fries; the plate was flat so when I pierced through the yolk, it threatened to spill over the plate and so I had to constantly reel it in. I thought about asking for a spoon but it would be incongruous to the dish and the setup.) Then, he started getting really personal: he asked about my work, where I live, and later, what I thought really ruined the elegance of the place, my marital status by prefacing it with, “Are you stable, sir?” (After asking him a couple of times to clarify, I realized he meant, “settled.”) I lobbed back his questions and he didn’t hesitate to overshare: he told me he’s from Cavite and that he had to put his schooling on hold. Although I didn’t feel rushed as I was ready to go home anyway, I felt the need to extricate myself from the situation and asked for the bill.
I went to the grocery and bought a bottle of wine to drink at home in peace.