I’m so sick of people warning me that I better live in crushing, debilitating fear of everything in the Philippines. I wish I could tell these people how boring it is.
I met with a teacher yesterday who asked me what I would do if someone snatched my bag. My answer was, “No one will snatch my bag,” which was within the bounds of the scope of the grammar exercises.
“What if it’s five people?!” she said, breaking from grammar (strike one) and then launched into a story about how a family with small kids was attacked in a parking lot.
“Kaya iiyak ako.” Then I’ll cry, I said, bored.
“Or you’ll shout, you mean, magsisigaw ako, I will shout!” she said, desperately (strikes two, three, four, five and six.).
I’m sick of all the fear-control. I’m sick of hearing about the girl who only put her bag down for a second. I’m sick of hearing about the angry driver who pulled out a gun and then DID NOT SHOOT ANYONE. I’m sick of hearing that it’s cat meat in the siopao, or that you’ll get MERS from eating kimchi. It’s so frakking boring.
I’m pretty sure that people enjoy the fear; they enjoy fearing other people, other places, and life in general, becuase it makes them feel snug and cozy and superior by comparison. They love it; it’s part of their identity. Fear is a blessing of high society.
I’m obviously not a part of high society, nor do I wish to be, so I don’t know why they bother to try to control me with their stories of fear. If I believed the stories, then bag-snatching is unpreventable; yelling at asshole cabdrivers is always fatal, and armed robbery is a foregone conclusion. Why even bother living life? I should just move to Issaquah somewhere, bolt myself into my house, and watch TV and cry into my costco pillows.
I know there is danger in the world, and I take precautions. But I refuse to go through life with fear pre-loaded into my heart. When there’s a bear chasing me, or the building’s on fire, or kids getting shot in the street, then I promise you all that I will feel the fear that comes with those situations. But I can avoid danger without living in fear, and if you can’t do that then maybe you should see a therapist, and tell your delicious fear stories to your therapist, because I find them boring.