I finished Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier at Hizon's Restaurant


Hizon's in the 70's. Nothing much has changed. Photo taken from the store's Facebook page.

AFTER my haircut I had afternoon snacks at Hizon's, located at J. Bocobo St. corner Arquiza Street, Manila. I always order the special cheddar ensaymada. It's best served grilled, but you have to explicitly instruct the waiter. I like it there because it's quiet and homey, devoid of noisy college or medical students. You want to finish a book in relative silence? That's the place to go to.

The waiter may have misunderstood me because he served the ensaymada with a cup of brewed coffee. You know my relationship with coffee: I like the taste, not the stimulation. It smelled too good to say no to. Now I'm palpitating. My chest feels like it's about to burst.

It didn't help that I was reading The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford, narrated by the most clueless, naïve character. His name is John Dowell, and I want to bang his head and tell him, "Don't be so stupid. Your wife is cheating on you, and you have no clue!" On the other hand I feel sorry for him, the most devoted husband to the most coquettish woman. Does he have Asperger's? Nowhere in the novel does it say that. I can't explain why I get so worked up over this book.

Taking everything with a grain of salt, I'm not sure if I should believe all that John is saying—he's too unreliable. The writing is excellent, though. Get a free copy of The Good Soldier here, thanks to Project Gutenberg.

I'm palpitating and sweating like a pig. Ah, the glorious days of summer.

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