Monday, August 29, 2016

It's a Private Party

Last night I went up to the bar on the hostel rooftop.  I have been going up there at night to socialize with people, and just chill on the roof.  I saw a group of people who looked like locals, and went over to say hi to them.  I asked this guy how he was doing today, and he responded with, "Actually, this is a private party."

Well, my first thought was, um, I don't think so.  I saw the greeter/bouncers there, the guys I see every day, they greeted me warmly, and didn't say anything about no entry.  So maybe you and your buddies are having a private party, but, clearly there are other people here from the hostel who are not hanging out with you.  My second thought was, "Oh, you're an asshole." Yes, I understand. I know asshole. I don't quite speak fluent asshole, because I just don't hang out much in the asshole community, but I do know enough asshole to know the response is to walk to a different place and find friendlier people who are not assholes.  Which I did.

See, if you don't speak enough asshole, your response might be to SAY the things that I was thinking.  That would be a mistake. When assholes are surrounded by their fellow assholes, and you say things to them, they often become hostile assholes. I have observed this in the wild. And a flock of hostile assholes is likely to stampede. You don't want to be around a hostile asshole stampede. It can get ugly.

I have met a lot of people here who are not assholes. Many locals are pretty cool and interesting.  One strange thing I have noticed in the Philippines (and I even Googled to confirm this) is that Filipinos often say "yes" when they mean "no". Seriously. Check it out yourself if you don't believe me.  So if somebody answers with "yes", but they have weird body language or you have the smallest reason to suspect that they don't mean to answer in the affirmative, you have to kind of gently ask follow-up questions (but maybe not questions that require a yes or no answer) or explore the matter further to determine if it is really a "yes". There is some kind of cultural thing where some Filipinos just don't want to say "no".  Maybe part of it is that they want to acknowledge that they heard what you said. I really don't know.

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