Something you may not know about me is that I am an avid lizard watcher. I love the way they scurry around from place to place, displaying their impressive dexterity and agility. Throughout our stay here in Laoag, I have had ample time to pursue this obsession.
One hot afternoon I found myself down by the river, underneath the bridge, drinking a less than cold beer and chewing on some dried mangoes when I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. It was motionless, about four inches long, blended in with the pillar it was sitting on. In the background some children and tattooed teenagers were swimming in the river as a man washed his dishes in the muddied water. I sat and watched this magnificent lizard for a moment, but when I moved in for a closer inspection, it took off. With lightening speed it raced down the pillar and headed over to where a half-naked man was cooking a couple of fish that he had recently caught with his spear gun.
As I moved closer, the man with his old portable stove-top offered me some of the fish that he had put the effort into catching, presumably for his family, who were also gathered around. I gladly accepted his generosity and proceeded to eat with them, all the while keeping an eye on my lizard friend.
The lizard slowly made its way toward a pregnant girl, who happened to be 18 years old, and holding a child that looked to be around the age of two. She told me she worked at the carnival nearby, in one of the booths, and that her husband also worked there. They were from Manila, and only in Laoag temporarily. She was very pretty, and made me promise to visit her at her booth later when she would be working. When she noticed the stealthy lizard by her leg, she shooed it away, causing it to dart past where a feral cat was lazily walking along, and, into a crack and out of sight. That was the end of that lizard adventure.