Digging into anything and everything that makes the CNMI tick beyond politics...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I had coffee today (uh-oh!)

TODAY is the fourth day after I tried to kick out coffee from my system and I am winning, or I was winning until this morning when I lost the battle and gave in to the temptation. The clock struck 3:30 a.m. and the world was eerily silent, broken only by the sounds I made as I rapped away on my keyboard, pausing once in a while to sip the scalding black liquid in my favorite mug. An unanticipated power outage (yes we know that’s not news on Saipan) forced me to go to bed at 11 pm last night. I woke up at 2:30 a.m. and jumped out of bed to erase all traces of sleep from my system. A deadline was beating down my neck and this is one battle I could not lose.

AHhh, the sweet aroma of coffee assailed my nostrils as I paused to sniff before each blissful sip. I remember walking toward the refrigerator to down a glass of cold water but my eyes strayed towards the top of the fridge where the coffee paraphernalia sneered at me invitingly.

Before I knew it, I was already pouring a spoonful of ground coffee in the coffee maker. I remember mechanically plugging it in and closing the door of my room to try to blot out musical gurgling sound of coffee dripping into the glass container. The closed door however could not stop the tantalizing smell of coffee from permeating through the room I had to take a deep breath.

The other night was pure torture. I had to swallow my saliva several times as I watched at my companion sip a cup of coffee at Shirley’s while waiting for our dinner. (I can’t mention his name here because we are not supposed to be seen together anywhere, particularly in "enemy" territory …LOL) Knowing me to be a coffee drinker, he was about to order two but I shook my head (oh if he only knew what an effort that action took) and I ordered a glass of water instead. Uhmm, I mean a glass filled with 90 percent ice cubes and 10 percent water.

I tried to look everywhere except on my companion’s cup. My agony was doubled when his cup was refilled a few minutes after. When the waitress offered a third refill, I was tempted to kick him under the table to get it for me. I had to fork ice cubes from my glass and stuff it to my mouth to fight the urge to order coffee. I won the battle that night and attacked my order of spicy chicken wings with a vengeance.

I never meant to get addicted to coffee. I mean I'm not a coffee addict. I drink my coffee without creamer and I don't take my coffee black. Just half a spoonful every- uhmm three times a day. The first thing I do after turning on my computer at the office is to pour a sachet of two-in-one coffee into my mug, head to the water dispenser in the kitchen and presto, i sip coffee as I check emails and other stuff online. By other stuff this includes "fan" mails from who wish to fan the life out of me by their vicious letters for stories that I wrote the previous day. Thanks to coffee I can bear it all.

The decision to stop curb my drinking coffee came when last week when I took a day off and stayed at home. No coffee in the morning. At about noon my body started to sense that something was very wrong, or some part of me was missing. By afternoon, I was fidgeting and sweating and only became "normal" again after I've had a cup of instant coffee.

I have a jar of Nescafe on top of the refrigerator, dozens of sachets of two-in-one coffee (minus the creamer) which I bought in Manila when I went home last May. Underneath a pile of papers in my desk, I had sachets of coffee and another jar of Nescafe behind my CPU.

I bought a pack of tea at San Jose and tried to convince myself that it’s the same with coffee. I drank juice and chomped on ice cubes and stayed away from the kitchen in our office during coffee break and succeeded, for four days.

I know I filled the four-cup coffee maker. I know I would be too weak to resist heating the rest of the coffee when I arrive home tonight. Okay, just this once...and I'll start the battle once again tomorrow.


I won i won i won!!! i was nursing a steaming mug of coffee in my hands this morning and was about to take a sip but then I went to the sink and poured the coffee into the drain. What a waste but then it was a victory.

Last Command Post remembered

DRIVING all the way to Marpi on the north end of Saipan will lead you to several areas that have been mute witnesses to the poignant events of the Second World War, and one of these areas is the Last Command Post.
If you had been on Saipan long enough, you may have taken this spot for granted but everyday, this spot gets a fair share of visitors from all over the world.

Tourists wander around the Last Command Post. At the backdrop is the Suicide Cliff.

Tourists wander around the Last Command Post. At the backdrop is the Suicide Cliff.

Located just along the road, the Last Command Post would have been another ordinary park with the colossal 800-foot Suicide Cliffs towering above and flame trees flowering from April to July each year.
Were it not for the markers and memorials scattered all over the park, visitors wouldn’t know that behind the World War II relics, a light Japanese tank and several guns that had been silenced forever is a tragic past that will forever be a part of the islands.
Records would tell you that the Last Command Post, a rock slab is where the Japanese command held out to the very end.
I and my explorer buddies Mark, Moneth, Junhan and Raymond went up the stairs and in to the inner chamber of the cave. I couldn’t help but shiver as I thought of the people who took shelter in it more than 60 years ago. If the rocks could talk, how interesting their stories would be. They had witnessed the unfolding of the fierce battle and sad events that made up a chapter of the world’s history.
Going into the inner chamber of the cave.

Going into the inner chamber of the cave.

A drizzle started and we had to hurry because we were not planning to get wet.
It was a relief to leave the place which holds so many bitter memories. Just as we were driving away, a busload of tourists arrived, excitedly snapping photos from their cameras despite the drizzle.
Generations have come and gone, but like the rest of the war memorials on Saipan, the relics of the Last Command Post will stay as a reminder of the island’s tragic past.
One of the canon placed near the stairs going to the cave. Photos by Raquel C. Bagnol

One of the canon placed near the stairs going to the cave.