To refrain from Uber-ing sedans and hailing cabs in the morning are one of the many things that I had to teach myself these past few weeks. I’m getting good at riding jeepneys to the train station, not to mention the developing habit of brilliantly dropping by McDonald’s where I pee first before climbing the stairs so I can savor each song that I listen to the moment I click play on Spotify. You know, I live in the far south and reaching Parañaque means that I’m just at the half of my journey to work. Which also explains why I resort to Uber most of the time — me already exhausted by 8 in the morning and I haven’t even clocked in yet. And then one day I realized that transportation, aside from food (lavish lunches and dinners) holds a big chunk in my financial pie and I was like, whoa.
So I bought myself a Beep Card though hesitant because the trains here are not at all friendly. Just seeing the huge sea of people at the station is discouraging, and having to imagine myself battling for space is even more exhausting. But I figured that being a woman is a blessing, for at least I’d have to fight in the special area segregated for us. In the past two weeks of consistently tapping the Beep Card, I find myself seeking comfort in securing the hand rail that turns whenever the door closes and letting my thoughts wander, just like in any other circumstance.
And so today, I welcome you to a new segment wherein I will obviously share the thoughts that pop in my head during these train rides. Gahd my mind just won’t shut up for a bit!
On my first few tries instilling the habit of taking the train going to work, I’d normally get irritated and think how ill-mannered train-riders can be, even women. They force their bodies and don’t care even if they hit other passengers with their bags, elbows or step onto another’s feet, which is frustrating and makes you swear that you won’t be riding the train again.
But the old woman on my right, gray-haired, nails unclean and smelled off, she may have came from the market where she sold fishes or vegetables. Or maybe did the laundry for a family so she could have something to spend for the day. She needed to get in the train because just like me, she was on her way to attend to her own set of priorities. No one would know how important it was to get to her destination except her, just like no one would know how important it is for me to clock in not later than 9:30 every morning.
I was careful not to hit her when I stepped out of the train.