23 Sep #TrafficPaMost: How I Waste My Life Commuting
By Jap Angeles
Before I write anything else, let me start off with the fact that I have grown as a person while commuting.
It taught me humility in the sense that no matter how beautiful you are or how big your jugs are, if you’re in Ayala at rush hour, you best better put your poise in your purse because you need your elbows to wrestle your way inside a bus.
It taught me perseverance in the sense that even if you have been waiting for a bus for two hours under the pouring rain with no umbrella except the back of the tall guy in front of you, a bus will arrive no matter what happens. They’re just probably stuck in EDSA where forever happens so never give up. Persevere like it’s nobody’s business.
It taught me acceptance and equality in the sense that I have been in countless bus trips where either a gay or lesbian couple is making out in front of me but the bus is so cramped that sardines in a can would be considered a five-star experience. Acceptance was instilled in me because I have no other view besides their momol activity so I had to stand or sit there and watch and equality because the guy beside them on the three-seater side would not give up the seat he fought for just for a pretty girl because she’s pretty. He was tired and didn’t give two shits about the lesbians going at it beside him while the girl stood there in her high heels.
College was a few years back, longer than I’m willing to admit for sure, and commuting is not the same anymore. Granted that I still get the usual Spartan experience during rush hour and the gay and lesbian and heterosexual momol action going on every now and then, it just feels like I’m wasting my life commuting.
So get this. If I need to be at work at 9AM, I need to be awake by around 5. I need to be ready to leave by 6 and be prompt. When I get to the terminal, I usually wait around 30 minutes or so in line to wait for the bus that was stuck in traffic in the first place.
Assuming I get to hop in the bus at 7, I wait another 30 minutes to wait for it to fill up with passengers. Now from my place, it goes through Alabang and then onto c5 which roughly takes about an hour and a half. It’s now 9 and I haul ass to the office which takes around 20 minutes worth of brisk walking and sweat stains.
Going home is no better. I have to make sure I am in line for the bus before 4:30 or else I would be looking at a line so long, it looks like NFA is giving away free rice. The hot and humid weather caused by our good friend Climate Change doesn’t make things any easier. I stand in line for half an hour (if I’m lucky) daily to wait for the bus. It feels like someone is trying to light my back and my legs on fire while I’m in line since I’m sweating like a whore in church. Not normal cute sweat that drips on the side of your face while you make sexy faces but Hulk-like sweat drops that probably is also the reason why I’m still single despite commuting with cute, employed men in the BGC area for almost two years now. If you think my commuting story is sad, wait until you hear the stories of people who take the MRT or LRT or needs two to three rides to get to work. Imagine the struggle they have to go through. Not only does this take precious energy from you, commuter’s lives now revolve around commuting.
Think about it. If you commute, you have to make sure that your time frame is just right. Five minutes is a big difference from being really early and getting really late. You have to make sure you’re wearing comfortable clothing especially for women. I have never had a day where I felt safe wearing what I wear during my commute. It doesn’t even matter if I’m covered and draped in fabric. As long as the vultures see the curve of my boobs and ass, they’re there to prowl. This has prompted me to wear granny cardigans and leggings under my knee-length dresses since college. I would love to stand up for the feminist in me and say that I get to decide what to wear but sometimes it gets tiring. I just want to go to work without getting eye-raped.
You have to make sure you have everything you need because you don’t have a car you can leave your stuff in. So a rucksack bag is a blessing from the Style Gods. It’s stylish in a hipster way but can also chug in my extra slippers (for rainy days), jacket (anti eye-rape), towel, alcohol, extra shirt (rainy days), pepper spray, chips and water if ever I get stuck in traffic, and my Mom, knitting me a sweater for Christmas.
You have to make sure you are in complete control of your bladder. Say you wait in line for two hours (happens more than what private car owners think), and then you get into a bus ride of another two hours stuck in SLEX traffic? You have to learn how to control your water intake or you will be summoning all kinds of Jesus just so you can make it to your stop.
So now that I have to spend my precious time worrying about my commute, I also have to worry about my clothes, about my zombie apocalypse kit I call my office bag, also about my bladder, I also have to squeeze in work, life, and everything else—which can be tiring after you have done your commute.
I skip gym sometimes because I’ve been cramped in the bus for so long that my knees are literally shaking when I go down. I ditch some of my friends sometimes because I’m too tired and staying for dinner will just set me back two-three hours later in my commute. I don’t reach home on time for dinner so I don’t catch family bonding anymore.
The traffic, the current state of our public transportation system, and the government is sucking away our precious lives with our commute. I wish I could offer a nice and useful suggestion to make it better so this post doesn’t seem too whiny but I have ran out of ideas. The good ideas are being shoved up the government’s ass, expected never to be seen again except when it comes out as poop. The bad ideas are being executed in a worse manner and it’s a cycle that is difficult to break. I suggest we offer PNoy up to the Gods since I’m pretty sure that man is a bald virgin according to what I see and hear on the news.
“Just drive!” some asshole might say but sadly, I am too afraid to take my driving skills outside of Southwoods and also because it will be too expensive…unless you bitches want me to take my GTA skills out in public. Also, I can buy a lot of pizzas with the money I save with commuting. Can’t beat that logic.
Well I don’t know how to end this except that I dread commuting now more than ever. I might actually have to get a boyfriend with a car that lives near my place just so I don’t have to commute. Wow, Manila. You did it. You made me ready for a relationship. Congratulations, mofos!