You are What They Eat: Life is Like Hopia Soup


Dalag Pochero

Dalag Pochero

HUMOR BUILDER. I know it’s supposed to be “you are what you eat.” But I discovered something else: “You are what they eat.” No, I don’t mean they eat you as food. I mean whatever your friends love eating reflects what you are. If they’re fond of eating cake and you like it being in their company, people around would think you’re soft-hearted or sweet-toothed–or just plain diabetic.

Now if they loved eating chicken intestines, and you loved sipping hopia soup

If your friends love eating raw food–like raw veggies and fish–people around would say you’re either cannibals or zombies. Or you’re simply lazy to cook your food. I was once treated to a Japanese restaurant along West Avenue in Quezon City. While having difficulties with my chop sticks I didn’t notice that my friends gradually left me one by one until I found myself alone with Albert, one of my friends. We’ve been had! Indeed, you are what they eat–or better, you pay for what they eat!

The waiter then told me that the two of us had better made sure that no food was left on our table. Or else, I’d be paying half the price of the total. That’s when the food started tasting awful, and the Miso soup tasted funny–like hopia soup. Me? Pay half of the total price? And the table was still full of noodles, starch, Maki with plenty of rice in it, and plenty of Japanese cakes–all carbo and all heavy in the tummy. Yeah, you are what they eat–or ordered: all carbs and plenty of air!

I figured, with all the food on the table, the total cost could be about P2,000 plus. I had to pay P1,000 plus? And I thought it was a free supper. Supper for P1,000? That was definitely out of my budget. So, I texted my friends to come back and pay for the penalty. Definitely, Albert and I were already full and there  was no way we can finish off the remaining food.

We stayed there for more than an hour–but no friends back from the office to pay for the penalty. The waiter kept on coming back to remind me of their no-food-left-on-the-table policy. The last time he was back, he was with the pretty young manager who peeked at her prisoners, smiling.

Finally, I could no longer stand it. It was depressing and humiliating to be kept there against your will because you couldn’t pay for the penalty, and to think that you were dressed well (formal long sleeves, tie, and all) because you were manager of the company you were working for. I couldn’t go on living that way. So I stood up to tell the waiter I was going to be back the very next day to personally hand them the money.

“So, how much do I have to pay?” I asked, expecting to hear something like a thousand plus, at least.

“That’s P97.50 sir.”

I was stunned, at the same time that I wasn’t sure if I had heard right. “What’s that again?” I asked.

“P97.50 sir,” he repeated, obviously trying to control his laughter.

I cleared my throat and let out a silly grin. “Only P97.50? I thought I’d be paying at least a thousand. Why didn’t you say so earlier instead of detaining us here for more than an hour like idiots?” (as if we weren’t already). Or something different, like a different idiot.

He just smiled at me.

I paid the sum straight to the pretty, young manager and explained in a muffled voice that I didn’t know it was only P97.50. She kept smiling–and I thought the first time she smiled at me was because she had found me cute. But now I knew better–she was probably thinking to her herself, “You are what they eat.”

Oh yeah, life is sometimnes something different, indeed, like hopia soup.

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