Dare You To Shove
Sometimes, I find it difficult to assert my human rights. Yes, I’m actually a human if you didn’t notice. I discover my inability to protect my basic interest from the harshness of everyday life.
This is not to infer though that I am stupid, or in many cases, overtly nice. I am especially sociable, not nice– there’s a malicious difference. If you are my friend, you should know. As for the unfortunate “harsh” instances that occur on a daily basis, I mean the routine we all do that happen between our gargling to snoozing. Walking, taking a cab, ordering in a fastfood chain, buying movie tickets, all of it. It’s a common knowledge that we all have equal rights among these rituals.
But some people never do realize it; they think that their status, or lack thereof, make them divine. If you lived in Manila for the rest of your polluted life, you deserve my congratulations. I’m glad I spent a good time in the province growing up. I suffered less than you guys did.
First enclave of human right violations: The jeepney. These PUVs are so abundant that before we know it, they’d jerk to ultimately become the Transformers. Nick Joaquin suggested once that getting rid of them is like “emptying a river with a spoon,” or something.I get his point; we can never get rid of the remarkable tin folk art, unless the ratio of every individual to his private vehicle would be 1:1 (a countryman could dream). Although I haven’t been swaying in jeepneys recently, I have my fair share of experience. The worst one is when I was seated next to the tsuper/driver exhaling nicotine non-stop. You see, I don’t smoke; I have nothing against those who think having poison in their lungs is cool, but please, never ever blow on someone’s face.
That said, the MRT specifically is tantamount to any public transportation in terms of uncouth fellow passengers. I’ve learned that squeezing into a crowd is a life and death situation, something hazardous to the claustrophobes. I’m glad I’m quite tall; I never asked or thanked God for being an almost six-footer, until I started my internship last summer and the MRT was the only one that could get me to the office the fastest. Apparently, there are a lot of people who forget everything they’ve learned in values education once they are about to ride a train. They push, shove, jostle you like they’re in a Christmas bazaar sale. I don’t bother to ejaculate, “Hey! Watch it pig!” for I might end up even more shabby-looking after a fight, and I have no history of getting punched (Respect, man, respect). Nevertheless, I just glare and scowl at those uncivilized people; I let them know who’s in-charge.
The most freakish story I could relate to you is my blockmate Zena. On a weary Friday night, Zena and our orgmate were travelling to Taft from Quezon Ave., a long ride for patience to handle.
Upon stepping on the Taft platform, some woman behind intentionally pushed her out of the train hissing, “Paharang-harang kasi (Blocking my way, huh).” Zena irritated, she screeched, “P***** ina mo, bastos ka (You discourteous son of a bitch)!”
From that second forward, she blubbed outrageously in her signature pitchy voice until they were out of the station. It was scandalizing. At the back of her shirt was printed: UP Mass Communicators Organization.
“Palegkera kung palengkera (Call me a market hag),” she said after the narration. On the other hand, Zena’s someone who has the gall to go directly to a counter lady in a restaurant when waiting for so long, and say,
“Hey next time, won’t you mind taking care of everybody’s order? Nakaka-abala kasi (You’re wasting our time).” Who’s your mummy now.
Likewise, there’s my high school bud S1 who was asked to pay 300% of the usual fare in a tricycle.
“Tokininam!” he growled without hesitation.
Note that the word’s not a Japanese curse, rather it’s a demeaning Ilokano term on someone’s mom’s… you know. Of course, these reticent friends of mine were rude but come to think of it, the primary offenders (tsuper, fellow commuter, etc.) were vile to begin with. My friends a.k.a. secondary offenders/primary defenders just asserted themselves.
So to those who have sort of did the same rudeness to me in the past– the middle-aged moroness yesterday who thought ordering in a fastfood counter is like pointing something in a sari-sari store; the counter lady who tolerated the act despite my saying, “Excuse me, I’m in line po;” the cabbie days ago who mumbled how near my going to Partas station from Gateway was; the cabbie a week ago who blamed me for getting lost on my going to an internship photo shoot; all the cabbies who didn’t follow the meter, etcetera!– consider your self fluky cos I was not as cruel as you guys were.