Posted by: nastypen | July 4, 2007

Trash and Spit Are Not The Only Things On the Sidewalk

I feel accomplished. I bought a couple of second hand books from the sidewalk near where I work. A colleague of mine was reading a book written by my first boss and it was a first edition. She told me she got it from the sidewalk.

I trooped there despite the enervating heat. And there it was… books strewn on the sidewalk:

books!!!!!  on the street?!?!?!?!?!?!!?

It felt strange. sure, I just rummage through bins and piles inside a used books shop. but I never really squatted by the sidewalk for more than ten seconds to pick up a dropped coin or tie my shoelaces. But there I was huffing, puffing, grunting with a pool of sweat clinging onto my shirt. It was the least glamorous thing I did on that day.  However, I am beaming with a sense of achievement. I bought a copy of The Perfumed Garden of the Shayk Nefzawi (60 pesos) and James Thurber‘s The Beast in Me (50 Pesos).

The former is a book of guidelines to a man when having sex with a woman. I was thinking of giving it as a present but I changed my mind. It’s mine now. Hey, I may be gay but that does not mean I can’t read this. If I base my reading list via sexual orientation then that is limiting myself in literature…which is tantamount to blinding me.

The Perfumed Garden’s like Niccolo Machiavelli‘s The Prince because of its instructional nature and narrative to a prince… only this time, it’s not being whether is it better to be loved or feared ala Machiavelli, but about “relating to the act of generation” (a.k.a. sex… hey that is a nice pick up line… “Hey, want to relate to the act of generation, baby?”)

Consider how to “appreciate a woman:”

Woman is like a fruit, which will not yield its sweetness until you rub it between your hands.

Whoa….this is going to be an interesting read! There’s a chapter called “Sundry Names Given to Sexual Parts of Man.” Well, hello there, Mr. El Zoddame (The Crowbar!) Oh goodness, Faye, this could be an interesting addition to your blog entry about dick names.

The latter is one of my favorite authors whom I occasionally ranted about in this blog. I want to be like James Thurber, cartoonist and fantastic satirist. One of my rituals is to open a book and randomly read a passage to create a mood precedent in this book. This is what I got when I opened it:

Cora was ordinary enough. It was Eve who was special. She was the author of a number of mystery books. You probably remember ‘Pussy Wants a Coroner.’

James Thurber… You had me at “Hello.”

Plus, the vendor is this scrawny guy with unkempt hair and nerdy glasses. He reminds me a TV “personality”:

i (heart) you!!!!

(from ABS-CBN News….God, Tado, where are you now?)

He saw that I was clutching The Perfumed Garden. He smiled and said that a movie with Michael De Mesa (a Filipino actor) was inspired by this book. He chuckled “It’s the Iranian Kama Sutra. By the way, I have a xerox copy of the Joy Of Sex, perhaps you would be interested.”

I think this is the coolest sidewalk vendor ever.



  1. Holy God!

    How come that sidewalk book thingie wasn’t around when we were freshmeat there?

    May I would’ve become a nurse if such a supportive vendor was there!


    Er, can I borrow the dirty books? You may notice that I have never broken the spine of your books when I perused them in the past.


  2. Pagkatapos ni Faye, ako naman pahiram. Thanks

  3. Wow!

  4. […] I wrote recently about a the coolest “sidewalk vendor.” He was there again and I bought Albert Camus‘ The Plague for 70 pesos! He and I discussed for a bit. He had a hand painted shirt with the face of Nietzsche and one word: ubermensch (super man), an ideal Nietzsche aspired for. He remembers me as the guy who bought The Perfume Garden. […]

  5. Hi, came across this post while wandering aimlessly through the Net. May I know where this particular vendor is located? He looks like he could have a few interested book choices for me. Hehe. Thanks. =)

  6. hello, hazel, thanks for dropping by. The vendor is located across the street from the padre faura entrance of robinson’s ermita. He sets up by the waiting shed. He claims to set up there every day at 9pm. One time he had to pack up because Mayor Lim was prowling in the area. hehehe enjoy! I was told he sold the first printing of jessica hagedorn’s dogeaters…among other stuff.

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