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Riding jeepney is my way of commuting from home to work. Sometimes it’s dangerous, sometimes it’s tiring, but most of the time, I find it adventurous.

Dangerous. Twice I’ve encountered gangs that slashes bag and take whatever priced possession you have. Twice, two of my expensive bags got broken and cut because of this incident. Twice I’ve felt my life was in danger, because should you make any noise, whatever object they used to slash your bag, they can use it to harm you. But, thanks God, twice I’ve escaped those horrible things that could have happened to me. Twice that they didn’t get a single penny in my bag. I’m still thankful I’m safe at the end of the day.

Tiring. Manila is one polluted city here in PH. And my way to work isn’t exactly a “stairway-to-heaven” type of travel where everytime I breath, I can smell clean air. All I smell was polluted rivers, vehicle smoke, cigarette smoke and worst of all, body odor. Not complaining at all, as long as I arrive to my destination in one piece, and at least I’m not totally tired should I opt to walk (but I won’t, heck no!)

Adventurous. Jeepney rides are one of the moments where I can think for my self and internalize. It’s one of those moments too where I observe people… it’s so amazing where we encounter different people, from different races, ages and personalities.

There’s this peers where they’re so loud. Ah! Students, yes! Sometimes, call center agents. {In my defense, I rarely am loud when in jeepney!} All you can hear about them are two things, either about their work/studies, or the latest gossips! You can tell who’s dating who, what this person did, all their studies/work issues, their next getaway.

There are workers too, who doze off while sitting on their way home. With their heads awkwardly shaking and turning 180 degrees, some are even drooling! (seriously!) It makes me think what they did that they are so tired. What are they going to do at work? What kind of work they have? What do they do when they receive their payslips?

Don’t forget the beggars and street children climbing up the jeepney, cleaning your shoes, or singing, some are preaching and some are asking for donations. You can’t really help but ask why? Why are those kids on the street? Why are they left to look after themselves? Why are they using God to ask for donations and such? Why are they using even death certificates to ask for donations?

But looking at these people and observing about them lets me encounter (in my own silent observant way), different classes of people and different personalities. And seeing them makes me realize I’m still lucky and blessed in my own way.

But what amazed me most riding a jeepney are the two encounters I had.

The first one is when me and bf went to quiapo to buy some DVDs. On our way home, two of the passengers are, uhhm, Africans, I think. One is a nun, and I think she’s with her younger brother. Beside me is an old lady with her husband. That husband was so jolly and playful and happy. It’s contagious… his happiness that is! He’s talking merrily to that child who begs for money, and bf even joked the kid that he’ll just use money to go facebook-ing or playing DOTA and that child just nods! Way to go for someone who’s experiencing poverty!

But anyway, I’m here to talk what amazed me that day. It’s the fact that that nun is so beautiful, in her own way, both outside and inside, she’s beautiful. I’m not telling this because I know she’s a nun, but I’m telling this the way she smiles. It’s so warm and friendly. And then there’s this husband, which by the way has either traveled or is a cebuano. He’s so friendly too, and he chats with anyone! He talked to me, about his experience in Cebu, he talked to the nun, asked about her race and where’s her mission now. And surprisingly, the nun knows a little of the Filipino language. She knows how to say “para” or “bayad”! It was a fun ride.

And the second one just happened yesterday (Aug.03.2012) on my way home. My ride home was at least 30 minutes (super light traffic) to a maximum of 1hr&30 minutes (super mega heavy traffic!). As usual, the one I rode was full of passengers. But it is quite unusual for me to have more than 5 co-passengers who are in their mid 60’s or so. Then there’s this one woman, around 60 {i think}, so stylish, wearing a pencil skirt, a pumps, and striped top, with tote bag. She actually looks like Nida Blanca {may her soul rest in peace}. She’s pretty, with a red lipstick and thin lips. I don’t know, for some reason, I can’t stop staring at her. Then while we’re along Shaw Boulevard, she smirked, and her eyes are quite unfocused. She must have remembered something funny. And I saw for the first time how beautiful she really is. Those wrinkles are not just wrinkles. They are laugh lines, becoming prominent as she grows old, making her more beautiful. And then again, she smiled. Not just smirked, but she smiled. Making her so mysterious. What was she thinking?… I kept on staring at her, I even looked at what she’s looking at, but all I can see was just motorcycles. Nothing funny! And then I looked back at her, she was covering her mouth and laughing, and her body was already shaking. It makes me control myself not to laugh too, not because I’m mocking her, but because I can’t help how beautiful she looks in my eyes and that how lightly I felt when I saw her laugh. I felt happy, in my own secret way, to see her laugh, and I enjoyed laughing with her {in a non-creepy way}. And I don’t want to disturb her momentary happiness, that’s why I have to stop my self from showing I am laughing too. It was her private moment and I don’t want to interrupt. I’m just glad that moment made me happy I met her. No I didn’t asked for madam’s name.

Oh, I’ve talked a lot! I didn’t realize how long I’ve written. Well, I’m talkative, that’s for sure!

Because sometimes, you have to think a see things in a different perspective. Life’s too short to complain about menial matters!

Take care always & have a great weekend,
xx Zera xx

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