Every restaurant to where Tony and I were treated in the US had servings so big, we always had to request for a take-home box.
On our third day of eating out, we caught on and wised up. We agreed to have a single order to be split in half. Good decision—no more left-overs. If any, it was not indecently wasteful. This arrangement was definitely nifty and thrifty.
We sometimes dined in restaurants with chains or branches in the Philippines. The menu—food, packaging, and presentation—were the same as those at home, only bigger. Be they hamburger, fried chicken, noodles, skewered meat (barbecue), or ice cream, the servings were the same, again, only bigger.
Deserts such as bananas, strawberries, mangoes, oranges, and all the fruits we grow at home were also in America, only bigger.
Once I needed a sachet of petroleum jelly for a lesion on my foot. I looked for one in store shelves but could only find them in big bottles.
America does not carry tingi packaging specially made for Filipino needs and lifestyle.
Coming home after 35 days, I noticed that the flora (roses, birds of paradise, orchids, poppies, peonies, etc.) I gushed over in America have existed here all along. The same goes true for the trees, roads, shops, malls, trees, linens, personal care products, and everything else.
They only differ in size: in America, everything is bigger.
As I compared sizes between there and here, something serendipitous happened to me: I grew bigger eyes!
Suddenly, my pair of orbs could see everything we also have, which I glossed over before.
“Look, how lovely those trees are!” I exclaimed on our way home from the airport.
“Mom,” son #3 almost sneered, “this is your usual route.”
Traveling can both enfeeble and sharpen the mind. What I thought were bigger blessings somewhere are actually the same blessings right here.
Bigger is not necessarily better. Smaller is not necessarily poorer.
I rubbed my eyes; they’re the same pair that came with my birth, now only bigger.