PATOK Part 3: It’s more fun riding a Jeepney…

…and not get shot.

Jeepney drivers pass down the trade to their young apprentices at night – less traffic, less passengers, less MMDA and police. Early in the training, they accompany the youths, acting as conductors/barkers so the Padawan can practice driving. Problem is, these kids have seen all six of Vin Diesel’s car movies and I’m not quite sure if they all have their licenses yet.

The day will come when they are trusted to drive by themselves, often accompanied by a fellow youngster who may be dreaming of drifting a jeep down Antipolo someday.

On my way to work, the jeepney cut in front of a car (I didn’t see the make and model) right in front of one of those “executive villages” along Imelda Avenue. I think the jeep made a scratch or dent on that car. So Mr. ExecutiveVillage yelled at Mr.JeepneyDriver through his window. Both vehicles pulled over.

Mr. ExecutiveVillage got down from his car and confronted Mr.JeepneyDriver, complete with all the expletives drivers reserve for such an occasion. Mr.JeepneyDriver tried to apologize profusely. Threats of police, threats of filing a case, blah blah blah.

And then Jeepney Driver started weeping. This ticked off Mr.ExecutiveVillage even more! “Anong iniiyak-iyak mo diyan?” he thundered.

I stayed put thinking “This gon’ be gooood!”

I changed my mind about this live telenovela unfolding before my eyes when the threats of cops turned to threats of guns. “I’m shaking right now!” That’s ExecutiveVillage-speak for “I’m so angry, I’m losing control.”

That was my cue. Exit, Stage Left. I hopped off and stood in the curb waiting for another Jeepney to take me to work.

Did I mention I had bandages around my right arm? Oh yes, my injuries seem to have a special connection with funny jeepney incidents. I was diagnosed with RSI (repetitive strain injury) to my right thumb and wrist. Look it up in Google if you have time. The doctor put my hand in a splint, immobilizing it to a constant thumbs-up sign.

So picture a prim-looking lady in glasses, heels and a pencil skirt, with bandages around her arm, laughing her ass off on the curb, hailing another jeep to work at 8PM. Thumbs up!

I’m not sure if they can tell but I gave the two drivers a big smile and a thumbs-up as I rode away on the next jeepney.

I got to work unscathed and highly entertained. Two Thumbs up!



PATOK Part 2: It’s more fun riding a Jeepney…

…because there’re always room for more.

I hate these guys. How many people can sit in a Jeepney? Four more. Always. What? Four ants? Four sticks of banana cue? Stopping at every street corner, and nobody’s flagging them down? Asking everyone to squeeze in a bit, please? I should just be paying for half the fare if only half my ass is sitting while everybody’s blood circulation must stop to accommodate the next passenger who will arrive in a few more moments. Who cares if the passengers get late? They just have to stop for five minutes at every damn corner. Siyaman daw! I hate these fuckers.

The jeep stopped at a terminal in Junction, near 7-11. We waited for 5 whole minutes when no one was flagging the jeep down. Finally the conductor/barker, ushered in a few ladies, including one with a crutch.

Of course they had to go back down and give up the ride because the jeep was already full. The lady in a crutch muttered “Kita na ngang disabled ako.”

And me, sitting right next to the conductor was, just had it. I know what it’s like to have a leg injury, having a bad sprain some time ago. Normally, I would just shut up until I reached my destination. Confident in my senyora office-lady clothes, heels and pearls, I went full harpy mode at the conductor “Hindi ka man lang nag-sorry dun sa aleng pilay! Ma-pilayan ka rin sana!”

Shocked, the conductor just scratched his head.

You don’t mess with an insomniac who just finished her shift.

 At 9AM.

 In the summer heat.

PATOK Part 1: It’s more fun riding a Jeepney…

…With Drunks and Mormons!

Working in the night shift comes with both its perks and dangers. I once took a ride with two drunks and four, maybe five, Mormon youths.

The first drunk guy sat right next to me. He reeked of alcohol, but nevertheless, he seemed subdued and held himself together throughout the trip. The guy in front of me was an entirely different story: he was falling asleep all over the place.

As for the young Mormons, around ages 18-19, were merely looking around and at each other, waiting for the right time to take off. For all we know they’re really called Leonardo, Donatello, Rafael and Michelangelo. They could have shown their superpowers and went “Teenage Jeepney Preaching Mormons! Teenage Jeepney Preaching Mormons! Teenage Jeepney Preaching Mormons! Heroes with the Necktie, Mormon Power!” But alas, they were the timid kind, probably thinking “What the hell is going on? I left Salt Lake City for this? Is this how I’m going to die, in a jeepney crash with a Filipino drunk slobbering all over me?”

My mind was on full alert:

Thought A: Mr.MegaDrunk could fall upon me.

Thought B: Mr.MegaDrunk could throw up on me or the Mormon Youths.

Thought C: He’s faking it and I’m about to get mugged.

Thought D: Mr. SemiDrunk is in on the mugging modus operandi.

I would have taken off right away but the two drunken men were nearer towards the jeep entrance. The driver pulled over and the jeep conductor tried to extract MegaDrunk from the vehicle. The guy was too drunk and too buff for the scrawny conductor. We pulled over at the police checkpoint near Junction. MegaDrunk cooperated with the cops.

Mr.SemiDrunk was just looking at the other guy and maybe smirking “Can’t hold your liquor, man?”

I got to work unscathed. … And so did the Mormons.