Choose Wisely

OK, you’re taking a bus across Negros and the bus stops at a small roadside place for lunch. You have to go to the bathroom NOW, so you run through the thatched hut-restaurant into a courtyard full of chickens. Off to the right, you see the sign “CR” in front of a small shack. You waste one second laughing at “comfort room” the Filipino euphemism for toilet, then you race towards the tiny structure with two doors. The doors are labelled “lalaki” and “babae,” which one do you enter?

If you think like me, you chose poorly. Ooops. Not that Filipinas don’t enjoy an awkward situation followed by a good laugh. Somehow, “babae” sounded like it should me male and “lalaki” female.

New languages are part of the fun when you travel, but here in the Philippines, it is so easy to get by in English that we have learned virtually no Tagalog. I guess we have been a bit lazy. But English is so commonly spoken that it is easy to forget Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Bicol, Hiligaynon, Kapampangan, Kinaray-a, Maguindanao, Marano, Pangainan, Tausug, Waray-Waray, and 100+ other languages even exist.

One response to “Choose Wisely”

  1. avatar Talitha says:

    Lol that’s hilarious. I’m filipina but I don’t know where comfort room originated. When I went to Manila for a visit though people make fun of me for calling cr bathroom cause they don’t get why it’s bathroom when you don’t take a bath there…
    Not related but I just wanna say you guys are not only very helpful with your blogs but very entertaining as well. It’s 3am here in Chicago and I have to try really hard to not burst out laughing at some of your blogs as to not wake up my sleeping child ( name game blog, the basketball match and the food of the Philippines which I 100 percent agree with)

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