“Out of Stock” or a “Nose Bleed”

Sweet Mango Moment

I’m not sure how most Filipinos in the Philippines respond to questions in English, but here in Western Samar it seems it is easier to not respond at all or risk a “nose bleed.” The nose bleed is a metaphor for having to “think” too hard about answering a question in English when their English language skills are lacking. I personally can relate somewhat as while I can understand a basic conversation in Tagalog, I have trouble conversing myself. Here though it seems it is easier for a store clerk to simply hide from a foreigner to avoid the risk of developing a nose bleed or they may simply respond with “Sorry sir, out of stock.”

My Visual Aide

My Visual Aide

A few weeks ago, I spent over an hour in Calbayog City looking for some lighter fluid. You know, the kind you put in a Zippo lighter. I like to have it available for use around the house for special needs, for example, cleaning purposes. Nothing gets sticker glue (sticker glue is the residual left on a purchased product after you peel off the label) off anything better than lighter fluid. Anyway, after scouring all the stores I could think of, I came up empty. Only a handful of clerks in some stores actually understood what I was looking for and in other stores, rather than risk a “nose bleed”, they would simply respond with “Sorry Sir, Out-of-Stock!” So this time I took my empty fluid bottle with me and received some good proactive help with the use of my visual aid. I eventually was directed to a recommended hardware store and the first clerk I happen to ask takes one look at my bottle and she says, “Yes, we have… ober’dair in school supplies.” (Why do I have this feeling that I should have known that cigarette lighter fluid would be stocked in the school supplies section.)

So in the future, I will rely more on visual aids than my Waray speaking skills…if it helps prevent anybody from getting a nose bleed!  And, as far as the future is concerned, I just know I’m going to dread looking for a “bungee cord.”