Come ride with me
The perks and woes of public transportation
By Angelique Manalad
Almost half of the motorists have already opted to become a regular commuter as the gasoline prices rocketed high to the sky.
Let me introduce the common people you’ll be socializing with upon setting foot in the commuters’ jungle.
Jeepney drivers are usually the ones who socialize with their passengers among others. They come in different shapes and sizes, literally. Some can’t even fit their selves in their sits that they drive in an odd angle; seriously, it’s amusing to see someone driving sideways. Some are just way too grumpy and old and often heard cursing at other drivers and probably that one who’ll shout at you that “Kapag sabado walang discount ang estudyante?@&%#” Some are frustrated Speed Racer wannabes, constantly leaving his passenger souls far behind, with this kind of drivers, commuters’ faiths are constantly tested.
Bus drivers are more distant than the public utility jeepney drivers but you can also not ignore his presence of course. Some of them are often quiet all throughout the journey and just chatting or bickering with the conductor. But often times you can’t help but lose your patience with them. You’ll wonder if they are trained to give you a tour as they drive too slowly for you to enjoy the scenery or just way too lazy to their job.
So far, Fx drivers still has a clean slate on their records and the only report they are accused of is the impossibly squeezing their passengers in their vehicles.
And finally, the pedicab drivers who are simply admirable. Imagine pedaling their passengers from one point to another, I heard one saying that though they are not affected by the gas price-hike, they are affected by the food price going up as this are their fuel, makes sense, doesn’t it? Thankfully, there’s bound to be a little space between them and their passengers. Biking under the hot sun all day heaving overweight passengers gives some them a ripe smell at the end of the day.
As they are only present in buses, some commuters have no problem with them. But most of the time, bus passengers are caught fighting with them, as they forget to give the change or simply price higher than the others. Conductors are often the mediators as well, when the driver committed a too obvious traffic violation.
The good ones are composed of the silent type, who just minds their own business, often with a book, a reviewer or an mp3 earphones plugged to shatter their ear drums. Also in this category are the friendly passengers, they’ll ask you if you’ll want to have a candy as they open one or maybe a small talk to pass the boring ride. But then it creates a little conflict when these two sits next to each other in a bus ride, the one a talker and then the other uninterested. Then the generous passengers, most of them are males of course, giving their sits to the females if there aren’t enough left and choosing to stand or sabit if they’re aboard a jeepney. But sadly, these passengers are next to extinction, I wonder when this good trait will be completely forgotten.
The bad ones those who fought their way and grab that hurriedly gets the fx door even though you’re the one who called it’s attention, the ones who sleep in during the whole ride and makes a pillow out of you, the one who forgets about RA 49 regarding the smoking in public vehicles and finally that annoying fellow passenger who can’t stop commenting about every mundane things he sees along the journey.
Composed of the barker, the peanut vendors, takatak boys and the envelope gang. The barkers are the ones you’ll hear calling for passenger in a certain jeepney terminal, while the peanut vendors are the ones who either annoys your bus ride with the scent of their oily peanuts or make you crave for it. Takatak boys are often in the streets waiting for a jeepney to stop by or a bus they can do their business in and hitch a ride as well. And finally, the envelope gang who are the ones who will suddenly preach or do a monologue amid the traffic and humidity in the vehicle and then after awhile gives out envelopes to ask for your donation for whatever modus operandi they are in.