The lady octopus vendor smiled and greeted us warmly as we approached her seafood stall. “Octopus for you today Sir? Caught it last night – my husband Sir. Fresh.”
She held up the creäture by its head with her hand. The tentacles drooped down and touched the table top. A big one indeed. “Well, how much are you asking for it?” I opened the haggling.
“For you Sir P1620 pesos but I take dollar also. $35 doughlah… I give you cheap because you are very nice man.”
An experienced merchant, I surmised. “I will give you $10 dollars for it.” I started to walk away.
“Sir, Sir… we are poor. We need the money to send our daughter to high school. Please Sir. Help us,” she pleaded.
She and her family live a simple life. Her husband fishes at night, she sells the catch the following day. Their life however have become more complicated since their only child finished elementary school and wants to attend SAS high school. She and her husband know they don’t have the means to send their daughter to SAS high school. They are looking for help.
“Is your daughter bright, strong in her school work, an honor student perhaps?” I asked.
“Yes Sir. Oh yes Sir. She is valedictorian. She is highest graduate of her class,” she blurted the words out so quickly I feared her spittle might hit the octopus.
“Listen, I would like to meet with you and your husband tomorrow at the high school. Bring your daughter with you,” I said, handing her 2 twenty-dollar bills.
She fumbled for change in her woven coconut frond purse. “Sir you take pesos?”
“Yes. Just give me pesos.”
The smile on her face told me she felt like she has just made a killing.
“I will see you and your husband tomorrow at 2PM. Remember to bring your daughter.” I waved goodbye. I felt serendipity ruled the day.