Saturday, August 22, 2009

when idiots rule for a day

i slowly drove my car in the driveway, taking utmost care to park a foot away from my dad's car in front. my mom excitedly came to greet me. i just arrived from my lola's bearing gifts, ginataan and santol, both of mom's favorites. as she came up to my window, the first thing however that i told her was if she could unfold my side mirror. she found the request odd but unfolded it anyway. it was then that i slowly bowed my head on to the steering wheel and started to shake.

i. was. LIVID!!!

paragraph one, done. controlled and concise is how i'd put it. very characteristic of me before an emotional outburst, which i am warning you all now, this post is going to be. those of weaker and or self-righteous constitution, u can turn away. those who find entertainment in me squirming in utter hatred... read on.

the saying goes, when it rains, it pours. today, early in the morning, it rained. it rained buckets if i may use the hyperbole. it rained so hard that islands were formed and little people found themselves endangered once more. though i never thought that the saying should be taken literally, today, i found, became an exception.

my day started rather well despite the sudden downpour. our old house has definitely seen better days and as a result of years of wear, during heavy rains, i get an homage of the maria christina falls in my room as a result of a leaky roof. yes people, i sleep in a room whose floor is lined with newspaper and buckets. we have good days, like today wherein no leaking occurred, and we have bad days wherein you'd consider sleeping wearing a raincoat.

i took the dry floor as a good sign despite the gloomy weather and the incessant honking of the jeepneys outside. traffic is terrible now in my neighborhood as the geniuses that need their faces remembered come election decided to fix the roads during the most hectic time of the year. traffic then gets extra bad when it rains. i never really understood why it happens, i just chuck it to the fact that people have a strange aversion to drizzle. anyways. deciding i have to adjust to the mess i would soon find myself in, i left home extra early for work. (yes, i work saturdays.)

upon reaching the main intersection, i found out that my prediction was right. traffic was a mess. i however underestimated the gravity of the situation for it seems, not only do ppl behave strangely when in wetter conditions, they totally go MAD!!!? needless to say, though part of my neighborhood did disappear into the murky depths and caused delay in my usual 20min travel time, what really made it bad was that last night's storm tripped all the stoplights, turning them all into yellow blinking garbage. the stoplights, the only thing in my part of town that keeps us from descending into complete chaos. now, add to that a few hundred MAD commuters, jeepney drivers, street kids, pedestrians and stray dogs, and you, my dearest reader, now have an idea why it took me almost 2 hours to get to my desk in quezon city. adding more insult to injury, at blumentritt, there were a legion of EL SHADDAI buses headed out to Lord knows where.... disregarding stoplights and just charging into already slow traffic. as a result of which, TWO of them smashed into TWO separate cars in the same area. they practically barricaded the entire road. the gridlock stretched almost the entire southbound lane of a. boni avenue.

i rarely get harassed so early in the morning but after getting stuck in traffic just because you have people who cant wait for their turn and just decide to break every rule in the book, just so they can have their way... well, can you really blame me?

thankfully, work wasn't too hectic and my day went rather well. that was, until my drive home.

mader mcvie... you bear witness to my slowly rising temper.

seemingly not yet recovering from the wave of idiocy from the morning floods, the drive home showed some drivers who rightfully deserve to get themselves exiled to the moon... without a space suit. on two occasions, i almost got myself clipped. one by a truck who doesnt seem to use side mirrors, and another by a jeepney. it being a jeepney is explanation enough. carrying precious cargo, i.e., mothers ginataan and santol, i decided to keep my cool and just drive and get myself away from these people. the sooner i get home, the sooner my stress ends.

as i approached my turn, i was faced with a decision. shud i take the shorter but more jeepney route, or the longer, more pedestrian route? i decided to take the former rationalizing that i JUST might give in to the temptation if i spot a mindless buffoon. the unruliness of jeepneys is already a fact of the universe, and therefore, easier to swallow. so there i was, squeezing my car thru a mesh of waltzing jeepneys, ultimately funneling themselves into a four lane street that would end at my house ( well, its really just two lanes). i however found it strange since the traffic tonight was extra heavy. we were barely moving. so, for a second time, i found myself stuck again in a gridlock. inching my way ever so slowly to home. home.... so near yet so far. i guess this is what made it extra frustrating for me for it felt like the cosmos was keeping me away from my own home. as we inched closer, i finally found out the reason for all this mess that i was in. this now congested, four lane, bumper to bumper sea of vehicles were being rerouted into a narrow alleyway, to drive into opposing traffic, because the road was closed to make way for a kiddie party.

the baranggay.... closed a PUBLIC ROAD, a main FUCKING ROAD, just to make way for a kiddie party. no problem that the line of vehicles stretched as far back as the eye can see now. no problem that the cheesy, grappy, god-forsaken music that they are playing to entertain their handful of guests were being drowned by the honking of irate drivers not having a clue what was happening. no problem. they wanted their party. they will get their party.

i felt my brain shut down all of a sudden. it became dark in my car. i took the wheel and slowly, gently, turned it towards the detour. driving counterflow, in mad tondo traffic, with pedestrians avoiding the empty sidewalks had one of them come too close to my car, hitting my side mirror, folding it.

i got home. i got out of my car. i relayed my harrowing experience to my folks. sat down at the dinner table, saw the pata tim, got my folk and finished the shank like a hyena on crack.

1 comment:

Theo Martin said...

i cannot fucking stress how bad the traffic was yesterday! GRABE TALAGA! There was this van pa na cursing me from his car saying that he has the right of way. HELLLOOOOO! It's anybody's way highway talaga, nobody cares if it's you're right of way because everyone's stuck in traffic, and he was also not connterflowing pa! Bwiset Bwiseeeeeeeet! At that time, i didnt know if it was better driving or commuting, either way, Manila was hell yesterday. HEEEELLLLL!