I am not cut out to be a commuter. I could walk, I know.
The title above is self-explanatory, but allow me to elaborate.
Yes, I do enjoy the ease and the relative comfort of just sitting back and letting another person negotiate with trucks barreling towards your lane at 350 kph, cute little kids deciding that it is time to play patintero on a lonely stretch of national highway at the exact moment you decide to speed up to test how fast your vehicle could go (and wonder, as an aside, if the brakes work), or representatives of endangered fauna standing in the middle of the road and wondering where their rainforest has gone.
Yes, I can sit back and daydream… even enjoy a long snooze while I leave it to another soul to take me to my destination. I do not need to worry about the fuel gauge, the state of the wheels, the shortcuts to take, nor of any police task force setting up road blocks in the middle of the night in the middle of dark highways, usually on town boundaries, to supposedly minimize the crime rate in the city by hauling away confiscated two-wheeled vehicles by the hundreds and leaving thousands of people stranded during the night while at the same time, the big goons just drive by in their SUVs (that’s the anarchist in me talking).
In all, being a passenger would suit me just fine. However, things take an ugly turn if we are talking about a certain high noon when the rains have let up leaving the streets a casserole of mud, muckus, and grime when a certain somebody just got off a passenger jeepney and decided to try hailing a tricycle to escape the noonday sun that made the puddles seethe and writhe in evaporation-has-come ecstasy.
Hailing a tricycle in this une petite ville is not for the fainthearted or for those with low self esteem (pretty much myself), but maybe for those who are learning how to kill the ego. For even if there is a city mandate that all public-utility vehicle must accept passengers for the fact that those vehicles are there to serve the commuting public, becoming a passenger in one of these rarified objets is harder than auditioning for a slot in Pinoy Big Brother.
I have a suspicion that, like a Victorian marriage, the generic tricycle driver has a certain set of criteria for taking in passengers, namely (nope, destination does not count):
the vigor of the would-be passenger’s manner of hailing a tricycle
manner of dressing of the would-be passenger that bespeaks of the potential to pay the fare
if it would cost him less in terms of fuel to take you to your destination. sorry for those who live on hilly areas… taking you on would mean more expense for him. but for about a hundred pesos… well…
Try hailing one that already contains a passenger by raising a hand in a 40-degree angle away from the waist and the probabiliy of catching the driver’s attention for him to slow down a bit for you to call out your destination would be from 0% to 5%.
Raise the arm 90 degrees up and frantically wave your hand at a speeding conglomeration of metal, disregarding the risk that the tricycle’s brakes may be faulty and you could end up as an amputee with your antics, and the chances of catching the driver’s attention, given that he already has a passenger, would jump to 50% or so. Still, there are statistics showing that the 50% probability would still depend on how well dressed you are while doing the 90-degree wave.
Take note that the probabilities fall with inclement weather or times of day when the sun is at the zenith or when you are in a big hurry.
It will be a very miraculous miracle if the driver would take you as another passenger if you do not meet the criteria mentioned above.
This is as far as I would take my low self esteem issues out on those beknighted tricycle drivers. (Tata was once a driver himself.) But here’s the good part… owing to the fact that this city where I live in is still small (note of optimism here), I could always opt to walk to where I want to go. Walking could help me save money, is eco-friendly, it adds to my exercise routine, and it lessens my everyday stress levels. But that’s another story.
Nothing’s definite yet so pardon me if I don’t go into the details of the foggy experiences I’ve been accumulating since October 1.
I tried to be faithful in my writings, especially in this journal, but my time is tied to what has been happening these past months. Suffice to say that it involves having a paycheck again. Hopefully, I can give a punto per punto accounting by mid-January…
There is a cause for personal celebration: My muse has returned after a long vacation in the Bahamas, tanned and lithe. Ever since she got back, she’s constructively distracted me by insisting that I smell every flower by the roadside — weeds and thorn-bearing flora included — and take impressions. I haven’t written anything down but my brain is again swimming in a vat of nonsensical(?) data from all those nature trips with The Muse. I’m loving it! Yet one of these days I’ll be needing a Pensieve to empty out my overloaded head.
Happy Yuletide Season, everybody!!! may this season shower you and your loved ones with the blessings of love, mirth, and abundance!
here are some of the drawings i’ve done over the past weeks. i used black and brown eyeliners instead of charcoal pencils. the eyeliners provided a nice waterproof sheen achieved after blending the lines. it’s pretty convenient because there wasn’t any surface sealing necessary — no smudged fingers to worry about.
Thank you for inspiring me to blog. Thank you also for answering all my addled questions about how to go about this, techie stuff and in between.
Though I can’t say “stay the same”, I wish that you’s stay writing so I could ‘snoop’ into what’s going on with your life. :-)
Thank you again.
But where will I be without them?
So many places, so many names and smiles; hellos and goodbyes. Still, friends are the reason why a stay is worthwhile.
So, thank you… to all of those people who allowed me to be part of their lives, in one way or another.
Almost three weeks into this decision to be in the morning shift and yet my body is still adjusting to the change in my sleep pattern.
Most times, I wake up at 4am [pretty much middle of the night] and become totally disoriented. But I’m getting the hang of it.
~sigh~ I should stop babbling about my work shift… it appears that this is a recurring topic in my posts. and anyway, i should stop talking so much about my work environment… there’s so much to life than dissecting the day-to-day happenings while one is still stuck in a dreary occupation.
somehow, i need a change of scene.
been trying to post occasionally in my wordpress blog.
This isn’t about ending my life or anything… but ever since Tara showed me a page where people listed what they wanted to do before they died, a morbid sense of excitement has welled up in me.
Anemone (that annoying entity with a tinny voice residing in my head) has instantly grabbed a stub of pencil and sheafs of paper and has written a mile-long list of what she wanted to be or do before I (we) die… She’s kept shoving it into my conscious thought and won’t let up with her annoying chant of “Destiny, destiny, destineeeeeee!!!!” until i write at least twenty of those stuff I might consider doing before my expiration date comes up… we never know for sure, as it is.
So, dear reader, here are some stuff I (with Anemone’s prodding) would want accomplished before I do an exeunt…
- Write and direct a full-act puppet show for kids and those kids-at-heart
- Finish writing Kayo’s story and have it published
- Spend a day being a listener and avoid interjecting conversations with a “Me, too!” monologue
- Re-read all books in my personal library [>300] and write impressions that are at least three paragraphs long for each book read
- Have a day off in a spa with my mother
- Spend a whole week with Tata touring the entire province riding a motorcycle and sleeping out in the open
- See Umberto Eco in person [if he’s still living at that time]
- Spend half a year each in Germany and France, taking photographs of castles and cathedrals
- Put up a magazine [i dunno yet what the contents should be]
- Hold a tarantula up close for at least a minute’s duration [cold shivers ran up my spine just thinking about this, brrrrrrrrrr;ewwwwwwwww]
- Take up an exercise regimen i could do at least three times a week [i’d probably have longer days on earth]
- Laugh more often
- Look 12 years younger than my age without any cosmetic or surgical “assistance”
- Get a PhD in Anthropology and have a professorship in a respectable university
- Guide Faith in her growing up years, while at the same time learning valuable lessons about life from her
- Watch a sunset together with Tata
- Try to grow a garden
- Ride horses again
- Never make the same mistake of sacrificing principles for financial gain
- Be at peace with myself
- Co-author a family semi-autobiography with my mother
There’s still so much stuff Anemone is cranking out about but this will suffice for now.
I’m being haunted again.
But this time i think the haunting manifests because of guilt. I haven’t visited my brother’s grave for more than a couple of months now. It seems that he’s trying to remind me to pull off some weeds from the manicured Bermuda grass of his gravesite lest it’ll get overgrown with brambles and bushes. And to light some candles and incense and bring in a basket of flowers to brighten things up. ~might do that on Sunday.
‘Tis a difficult time for me, too.
I’ve been putting off my decision to leave my current job and head for the big city and do a proverbial “following my dreams” one-woman tango. But there is a part of me that says it’s all too soon. Somehow, I shall just wait this one out a bit more; say, a couple of months until the weather gets fairer. Then I might be off.
Oh, wish me luck.
Footnote: Lurchie’s back and so I have something to rejoice about.
to someone i know…
be happy… whatever you strive to be…
I arrived earlier for today’s shift than I did yesterday.
So tallying what’s gonna be docked from my pay for two days’ worth of tardiness:
Tuesday — 46 minutes
Wednesday — 14 minutes
= 1 hour
I really meant to come early.
But my eyelids refused to cooperate. They remained resolutely closed until there was little light outside. Then they grugingly opened. It was only then that I could stumble my way to the bathroom.
It’s understandable for myself since I had been used to waking up around ten or eleven in the morning — as I had been on the night shift for several months already and my body is still adjusting to the change of shift. But payroll would not understand. And I won’t elaborate on the reasons why as payroll does only what it is meant to do.
Yet I digress. I decided to be in the morning shift. But only temporarily.
My brain is still in sleep mode.
A few years ago, a family friend residing in Hawaii sent us prayer cards. I’ve been rummaging through some stacks of paper that were sitting on the bottom part of the closet. One copy of the prayer card was in those stacks. The prayer was written in a gentle but strong voice… and it still touched me and made me want to take action.
I’m sharing the prayer here.
Prayer for the Decade of Nonviolence for Children
February 26, 2003
I bow to the sacred in all creation.
May my spirit fill the world with beauty and wonder.
May my mind seek truth with humility and openness.
May my heart forgive without limit.
May my love for friend, enemy and outcast be without measure.
May my needs be few and my living simple.
May my actions bear witness to the suffering of others.
May my hands never harm a living being.
May my steps stay on the journey of justice.
May my tongue speak for those who are poor without fear of
May my prayers rise with patient discontent until no child is
May my life’s work be a passion for peace and nonviolence.
May my soul rejoice in the present moment.
May my imagination overcome death and despair with new possibility.
And may I risk reputation, comfort and security to bring
this hope to the children.
The United Nations has proclaimed 2001-2010 to be the “International Decade for the Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World.” Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB, wrote this prayer for this special observance at the request of Pax Christi USA. This prayer is found in the book, The Nonviolent Moment: Spirituality for the 21st Century, published by Pax Christi USA.
Need I say more? So much for a blog make-over.
I wonder how Lurchie is doing…
I wonder how Lurchie’s doing…