The Jeepney Stories: The Silent Trio

Of all my years as a commuter, I have shared rides with countless faces, countless people with different stories, different lives that I get to observe in the small span of a few minutes as they reveal little parts of themselves in their speech, in their behavior and in their overall appearance. To a degree, it’s very stalker-ish of me to do this, but I can’t help it – it’s in my nature to notice things.

For example, the trio I shared a ride with for approximately seven or so minutes – they all conversed in Sign. Now here’s a thing about Sign that I love – some people can’t help but express all their emotions honestly in their motions and in their facial expressions. Two of the trio, a boy and a girl in their teens I think, sat across from me and the other one, a male of about 20-ish to 30-ish age positioned himself at the entryway of the jeepney. From what I could understand – based on their expressions and the urgency of their movements, the pair were siblings or cousins, and the other could be an uncle of sorts. The girl seemed to be in some kind pain caused by the guy and the guy sort of stroke me as defensive, like he wouldn’t take the blame. Their other companion, the Uncle I saw as a mediator for the argument that was going on, and I found their interaction very interesting.

Sadly this was all I got because of the short ride, but nevertheless, I had fun contemplating after watching them interact. I have always dreamed of learning Sign Language since 2000 – blame it on the now battered copy of Time Almanac that also inspired me to learn the alphabet in Sign. Additionally, I have been recently acquainted with people who teach Sign, and oddly enough that despite their capabilities of communicating verbally, one can notice residual hand gestures that I later realized was Sign language. Conversely, they also shared that there is a noticeable scarcity in teachers for Sign which also kind of inspired me to learn and teach someday.

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