Thursday, June 15, 2006

Cono Comes to France

Half-cono meets half-jologs. (Photo taken by Makis, the unlabelled.)

Forgive the absence. I've been working (more on this later) and the Internet connection has been the past weeks iffy. I did have a full day free the other Thursday and spent it hanging out with Kala and Makis, making like we were back home, eating adobo and then going for a ride with an Eraserheads CD on the player. Fun.

The conversation at some point turned to Filipino class divisions, when Kala informed me that I am half-cono. If I remember right, she herself proudly claims the label jologs. If I hadn't been busy stirring in some more suka't toyo to our lunch, I would have protested.

While I grew up in the insipid, middle-class villages of Las Pinas, until she was past her teens my mother was a proud resident of very colorful Lakas ng Mahirap, Caloocan, where a cousin stayed on, until one day he was coming home from work and got chased by a village drunk wielding handmade bow and arrow. (He moved the following month.) Sending four children to school, my parents were always struggling. I helped man the clothes stand we once had in Divisoria, and took jeepneys and non-airconditioned buses to school.

Kala comes to her conclusion perhaps from the way I speak. Very Taglish, a habit I picked up working in the magazine industry, where many of my colleagues couldn't speak decent Tagalog. So they mixed it up, their speech a mix of English and Filipino. Supposedly, it's a mark of the real cono, although I've heard that some academics say it just shows idiocy, exhibiting that the speaker is really, in any one language, inarticulate.

I started thinking of this again the other day while I was talking to some tourists from the United States. I meant to tell them that a drive through sunflower fields might be pleasant, and that if they wanted to visit the Camargue, then I live right in the heart of it, so they should tell me and we could have coffee together. From the puzzled look on their faces, I gathered that they didn't understand very much.

In the thick of learning a new language, my brain had been misfiring. What I said was something like this, "There are les tournesols maintenant. On the road from Saint Remy to Arles. Ca sera bien if you take your car through there. Oh, and the Camargue is really wonderful. Les oiseaus sauvages, and the bulls. I live in Aigues Mortes. Stop by and see me. We can drink cafés together, si vous voulez."

It's official. Perhaps I'm not half-cono, but definitely I'm inarticulate. Sigh. Let me make myself feel better this evening by making tusok-tusok the fondue.

19 comments:

Makis said...

I was thinking of posting the same topic! After our somewhat passing discussion on coño & jologs - and where Kala & I couldn't quite figure out where I fit in those two - I really wondered if I was the generic one :)

Franglish (french-english) is a trait of fast learners ;-) We should start a new trend - hahaha!

So when do you come by for bilo-bilo?

apol said...

Hi, MAKIS! I just suceeded posting the photo you took. For some reason, blogger wouldn't take it yesterday. Bilo-bilo in a week and a half? Will call later.

A said...

Mams, how class naman your pagka-inarticulate. Ako nga, pag may na-meet na expat na bagong frisbee player, utal ever:

ABI: You ah... you ah... run very fast... then you ah... you ah...you run towards the... the...thing. The frisbee. You catch like this, para safe... like pancake.

KaY said...

Funny post ... but I'm sure you'll get the hang of the entire French language real soon.

decorator said...

mommy, ang payat mo!!!

apol said...

ABI, na-imagine kita at natawa ako. At take note, pagnatitipalok ako ngayaon, ang sinesey ko ay "Merde!" Feeling! KAY, actually, as long as the Francophone doesn't start talking to me before 10 am when even in Tagalog all I can manage to say is a hikab, I can engage in pretty decent conversations. GWYN, at a haba ng buhok ko. Swooosh! (Na-feel mo ang mga hibla hanggang diyan?)

haze said...

Nice shot you've got there! But where's Makis there ? You should have asked someone....more pictures please!!! Wow!!!! how I wish I can jam with you guys kaso I have children to take care of! Hhhhmmm maybe next time, I haven't been to Aigues Mortes....

I don't know how to classify myself too between coño and jologs...wait I guess I need to invent....

Halika ulit sa Marseille Apol !

Anonymous said...

When I was taking some cash from an ATM machine in Manila Julien was surprised to see the language choices: English, Tagalog, Taglish. He was asking me why we encourage Taglish. I told him it's because the Philippines is foreigner-friendly. We're so friendly, we let non-Filipino-speaking half-Filipinos infiltrate our film industry. Or bitter lang ba ako kasi hindi ako artista...

Parang out of topic ang comment ko? Anyway, I think you are one of those people who get along with anyone, mapa-cono or jologs or half-half. Huh? We should invent a category for that... to be discussed over bilo bilo...

Kala

tuesday said...

I am sure you guys know what coño means in spanish?

apol said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
apol said...

TUESDAY, Tae, right? I am half-tae... HAZE, Next time I go I'll call you. Let's go exploring your city! KALA, See you in a bathing suit next week. Woohoo!

Katrina said...

APOL!!!!! :-D

I texted you a few times in the last year, but when I got no reply, I wondered if you'd finally up and flown to the French countryside. Then several months ago, I picked up Marie Claire at the beauty parlor, and lo and behold...there you were, looking gloriously happy on your wedding day! I got your blog address from Lara, my old friend who works at Marie Claire now, and I've been enjoying your stories immensely. Sorry for lurking all this time, but I've had no time till now to actually write.

I'm thrilled for you -- what a huge life change! While you've hilariously pointed out the strange similarities between your former and current home, I'm sure all the differences and new experiences must be exciting. I just love reading about it all, and your witty writing makes me miss our marathon lunches. If you come home for a visit, please do get in touch!

Katrina said...

Oh, by the way..."cono" is not synonymous to "merde." It's much closer to the English cuss word that also has four letters, starts with "C" and refers to a female body part. ;-)

tuesday said...

The Vagina Monologues ati.

apol said...

Oooohhhhh, I'm a Pek. My mom will love it! She once introduced me as the gay son she never had...

KATRINA! If the budget remains on target, I'll be home late this year. Yes, let's have a chatfest. What's your e-mail address?

decorator said...

naramdaman ko nga... nag pantene ka ba? uuuyy!!! di na ako uuwi... (pero magreresign pa rin... hehhehehhehheheh!!!)

KatsMeow said...

Apol, since we are on the subject of kap*kp*kan, I have to tell you that I have become very crass lately and say C U Next Tuesday quite often. Until I read the word "cupidstunts somewhere." O diba, discreet!

Katrina said...

Yay!!! I predict a record-breaking chikathon -- that's how long it'll take for us to catch up!

onepurplekat@yahoo.com

KatsMeow said...

I forgot to say that I am sending you something in the mail to make your p*kp*k (and husband) happy. Hindi siya pipigilin ng Customs, ha! Pero na-envision kita nung nakita ko yon, kaya it is now flying to France for you.