Guess what, blogverse? I’m bringing old segment The Jeepney Stories and renaming it to The City Stories. Once upon a time, I realized that there was more to the simple jeepney than met the eye and in my more-or-less nine years of commuting, I have come across more stories than I ever cared to retell – until now. Problem is, there’s a lot you can get from the jeepney if you’re a chronic jeepney rider like yours truly, but more so when I have also taken to walking, and occasionally taking the bus to the next city to visit my mother. So to appease the noise-making in my head, I’ve decided to let the stories out -to both quiet my mind and maybe cause a little noise in yours.
So I was commuting one day when a fairly flustered character sat across from me inside a jeepney. I was travelling downtown when this woman boarded the jeep and rather than politely asking her fellow passengers to move a bit further into the jeep, she blew out a string of angry words to get her way – which she did. Now I mean no offense to anyone who’s a part of the institution, but I recognized this woman as a teacher or at the very least, an individual associated to the Department of Education – evidenced by the pin on her collar and the uniform she was wearing. Back then, it occurred to me that she may have had a difficult day or she wasn’t feeling well for her to act in such a manner so I paid her no mind.
It wasn’t until she opened her mouth again did I realize that no matter how sour a day, there is no excusable reason for being rude – a realization after this:
“Kita ka nga namalihog ko!?” (Can’t you see I’m trying to pass my fare to you!?)
For all my years as a commuter, I have never heard of such an unruly announcement in a jeep, over something as trivial as jeepney fare. Especially when i came from someone who may be working inter-personally with children on a daily basis.
I wish I’d have called her out on it. I honestly thought people who were working with the youth should know better than to act out in such a manner. It’s saddening and despicable, but just like the sense of outrage I had over her actions, I got off the jeepney and thought none of it after the brief commute.