Saturday, January 24, 2009

Jeepney Decorum

The jeepney is a form of transportation unique here in the Philippines. Riding it everyday is an adventure. You get to sit very close to people you do not know, some of whom have not yet met the term hygiene. You give them your trust by passing your fare believing that none of them would pocket it. And you wonder how the driver actually takes note of who have already paid and who has not. Or perhaps they just rely on karma, as is said on that mini wooden board: God knows Hudas not pay.

While in Makati smoking in the jeepney is punishable by law, we just have a few fellowmen who seem to think that they are somehow above the city ordinances. Like what happened to me a few weeks back. And so the story goes like this:

I woke up late and the clock said 7 PM. I knew I would be late so I gave my supervisor a ring to advise him about it. The jeep I boarded was full so I had to sit beside a man smoking his cigarette near the driver. I do not like people blowing smoke on my face, but then again what can I do? He was chit chatting with the driver. Whether they were lovers or perhaps just beer buddies, I did not try to find out. And so I treated him as if he did not exist even when the smoke was all around the jeepney.

When he was done smoking, he faced my direction and threw his cigarette out of the window, almost scraping my arm. I wanted to apprehend the bastard but what would I get for that? Besides, we were almost at my destination and nothing bad really happened. I will just let it pass and pray that he dies of lung cancer. The short journey ended at the corner of EDSA - Pasong Tamo and so I knocked on the wooden roof of the jeepney to signal the driver that I was about to get off.

I was about to face the entrance of the jeep when the retard grabbed my wrist and told me: Pasok! Pasok! I was a little bit freaked out by this unsolicited sarcastic remark. What the hell does he want? He looked me in the eye and added, Kailangan kakatok? E pwede namang sabihing PARA!

When someone does this to me that formerly nameless entity surfaces and usually axe kicks people. Although impossible in that jeep, I believe I could have still landed a roundhouse kick on the moron's face to make sure that he remains toothless for life. I wanted to introduce his face to the sole of my left shoe while shouting, Putang Ina kaaaaaaaa! Ordinance offender, meet the sole of my GBX!!! Hiyaaaa!

But then again, I was late and in a hurry. If I indeed kicked the asshole there would have been more damage to take care of like going to the police or something. It just irks me that someone who violates a city law would have the guts to lecture me on how to properly ask a jeepney driver to stop. I do not think knocking on a jeepney roof to signal Stop would blast any eardrums as bad as second hand smoke would molest one's nostrils. Good thing the bus ride after that was hassle free.

I would encounter more people like this in the future and one lesson I have learned is just to keep cool when in this kind of situation. Road travel in this country has always been a pain in the ass with all the traffic, undisciplined drivers, and undisciplined commuters. Praise the Lord that I am not pyrokinetic. Otherwise, many unruly commuters would have already met a fiery demise.

God knows Hudas not pay.

And Lung Cancer knows who smokes in places where it is forbidden. Amen to that.

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