this heavy traffic is now my…lifestyle.

clear‘Buckle up your patience for this wondrous ride.’

I have an urge to burst out in laughter whenever I hear these words inside my head; I am quite sure my colleagues in the jeepney will prattle over my sudden, extraordinary antic. Besides, no one wants to ride with a young boy cackling until he descends from the ride.

I have said my farewell to my 7 am classes, last semester, and warmly embraced my late morning schedules this time. 10 am sounds relaxing, but do not let it deceive you – it is a massive change in my clock, definitely; Yes, I do not have to wake up early, but I need to go 30 minutes from my original time of leaving because of the ‘surprises’ on the road.

Together with my books and notes, I always pack in rolls of aluminum foil – to keep the freshness – my humid patience.

For my 7 am classes, I have to leave home at 5 am and I can reach the van terminal within 15 minutes: no hassle at all plus a fair bonus as, sometimes, I am the only passenger in the ride! With my 10 am classes, nowadays, I have to leave home at 6:45 am because I will reach the terminal at around 7:45 am.

Yes, an hour before I reach the terminal.

Damn you, traffic.

I am not a newbie in traffic here in the Philippines – it has been my daily bread; but the fact that it is still not [being] decongested, it makes me want to tear the whole jeepney and yell, ‘I’m going to eat you all!’ We have traffic enforcers and their assistance should have made the compacted-roads clearer, but they could not; they are only a part of the problem, and I know they are doing their jobs, but an exceeded effort will help.

My main problems? The drivers and the passengers.

Yes, you jeepney drivers who are always hungry for passengers that you even stop on the pedestrian lane just to fill your empty seats.

I know your reasons are you need to feed your family – the concept of money – and/or you have a money cut for your boss and, now that you have gained his, you have to make some for yourself. Still, these do not suffice for breaking road rules.

Since we do not have signboards of jeepney stops, our traffic enforcers act as the stop poles – spots where you can get or drop off your passengers. I just know the drivers are very ignorant when they will just pull up to spots that will cause congestions – so thirsty and hungry, let me tell you.

And yes, you passengers who feel like they are the kings and queens of the markets that they will flag their hands in the forbidden space.

It infuriates me when these passengers will desperately want the jeepney to stop before them when they already know the space they are in will cause tremendous traffic. Another thing is they will get mad if the driver does not take notice of them [because the driver might know it is not the proper location]. Let me add my experience when a mother of two children demanded the driver to take a stop on the pedestrian lane because that was their location – she even cursed the driver when he positioned his jeepney after the last line of the pedestrian lane, yelling ‘it’s too far now!’

If you combine all of these delicious ingredients and bake them every single day, the product is a mouthwatering madness and disturbance!

After devouring this natural occurrence, I have treated it as my lifestyle. There is a bright hope in this situation, but it is being blinded by the sparkles of blind eyes. I hope someone out there – perhaps who owns a throne – will be able to speculate this and find some credible solutions; I wish every one of us is a disciplined disciple of this country.

Today, as I place my ‘Public Speaking’ book for my English class later inside my bag, I sigh. It will be a long ride, again. I fill my empty glass with a packet of 3-in-1 coffee mix before I add rivers of hot water – remembering to put my doses of patience as I stir the liquid my steel teaspoon.


WORD COUNT: 719

Thank you for reading this story. If you want to talk about random things with me, do not hesitate to reach me through my “Contact” page. All the best love, my dear.

let me hold your words before you leave;

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