Communting in the Philippines seems like a fight for survival. (And, in some cases, it actually is.) With the incredible lines and tedious crowds, I’d take my train ride in Seoul, Korea, any day of the week. Their rush hour train cars may be “full” and there might be some elbowing, but it certainly doesn’t compare to the way our MRT (smaller than S. Korea’s) gets packed like a can of sardines. Plus, most of the stations I’ve been to have defective ticket machines, which is one of the reasons for the long line in the first place… Goodness forbid you get smooshed up to someone who neglects to apply deodorant. People here don’t just elbow, they cram their whole persons into an overfilled train.
The buses aren’t much better. You, at least, get the option of avoiding a crowded bus and getting on a more spacious one, since there’s always a line of buses everywhere. The downside: a lot of bus drivers here suck. They brake suddenly and overtake like there’s no tomorrow. Just check the news: a lot of traffic accidents here are caused by negligent bus drivers who insist on speeding and overtaking. Perhaps they forget that a bus isn’t the size of a Mini Cooper.
I’ve also mentioned to people time and time again that some cab drivers are the scum of the earth. But a whole lot has improved since the flag down rate was raised to P40. Only a small number of drivers ask to charge extra these days. They seem pacified. –at least, for now.
Today, I have encountered another commuter’s nightmare. An idiot. This one liked to collect pet bottles, screw their lids on tightly, then wedge the bottles under the wheels of approaching buses. The result would be a flattened pet bottle, but not before the crushing weight of the bus blew their lids off with a bang at high pressure and breakneck speed. In fact, the lid of an empty Sting Energy Drink flew uncomfortably close to my general direction. I wanted to whack the guy with a baseball bat. He was even amused, laughing at his activity! Instead, I opted to move as quickly away as possible and let karma deal with this dumb shit.
As if it isn’t enough that commuters have to be weary of thieves and mad-hatter drivers…
I want there to be a politician who knows what it’s like on the hellish commute circuit in Manila. There may be so much controversy surrounding the appearance of NAIA to people who come in and out of this country every couple of weeks, but I hope no one forgets those who have to suffer through the particularly inefficient public transportation system EVERY. FUCKING. DAY.