Thursday, June 2, 2011

Two Cabbie Stories - The Good and the Bad (Forget the Ugly Part)

This is the first story. Location - Manila.

When I think of Manila, the first that comes to mind is its unbearable traffic. The second is its notorious sly cab drivers. The third is its jarring noise and tumultuous heat.

I can manage to be stuck in traffic.

I can endure the noise and the heat. (but not in an hour please)

Now this will be about the second thought I have.

There is always a certain irrepresible feeling of threat when I am on board a taxi in Manila. Most especially if I am alone. The kind that will make me cynical. For someone who comes from the province, when you step on the soil of this big city, evokes a sense of mental alertness. The eerie feeling that you can't just afford to rest your eyes for five seconds because some things could happen in that short span of time. When I give my destination to the cabbie, which I do as quickly as I can, I subconsciously remind myself to lose my love for public speaking. At the back of my mind, I said "This is not the right avenue to talk". However cab drivers are scheming. They love to intrude in your personal affairs. And sometimes, not answering them, is being discourteous. I don't want to be rude even though they are complete strangers. So I have to answer back, of course minimally. However I would like to believe that their ulterior motive is to know whether you come from Manila or not. And in the event that they will know, their next question will be, "Where do we pass?". The last time I was asked this question, I innocently answered, "The shortest time possible manong". The next thing I know, I had a tour around unfamiliar sites. And that's where the dilemma starts. So in the next few minutes you go around the streets of Manila aimlessly before you arrive to your place of interest. So you pay around 300 pesos to get there and on your way back, you will know that can actually get there with only 80 pesos.

So here goes the story that I share with DTM Ro when I attended my first District Convention. Going back to Shalom Center, we boarded a taxi. I remained quiet for safety reasons. Ro instructed the driver to bring us to the hotel. The driver just keep quiet so I thought he knew the direction. In the middle of our convesation, he interrupted and asked, "Where is the hotel located?". Ro said, "It's along Guererro St in Malate." The driver replied, "Sir, just give me instructions; I don't know where that is." Ro's blood pressure is rising. He uttered, of course with composure and grace still, "Ah, you dont know where Guerrero St. is? Okay, bring me to the nearest police station and I will tell them to instruct you because you don't know." The driver  who already hinted Ro's subltle anguish explained, "Sir I'm really not familiar with the streets in Malate." We passed by a traffic enforcer so we stopped and Ro inquired (added with a background of the problem), "This driver does not know where Guerrero St. is, please give him instructions." They talked. I already sensed the anxiety of DTM Ro. Until the driver closed the window and he drove away. Ro did not let the moment pass by without his display of wit and humor. He said, "Manong, tomorrow, first thing in the morning, you buy a map of Manila so that you will know this place better. You see I am old already. Please don't make my blood pressure escalate again. You ought to know these things because this is your work and you are paid for it".

We alighted the taxi with a smile.

(The second story in the next post)


Jet said...

These taxi drivers are too much! Namian sila mag-INTO... this is really a bad trait. But who would educate them? Been lucky a few times with these drivers - may taga Negros. Te sige listen to their sob or happy stories. Next time, madala ta Manila map! Hatag ta sa ila kun indi sila kabalo. I admire DTM Ro. Cool lang. =)

Cheche said...

Ahay, kalooy man sang mga taga promdi. Ti pila binayaran nyo pagpanaog nyo Jay?

Jay Cris said...

@ jet - when poverty enters the door, honesty goes out of the window. yes, lesson learned. bring a map when we go to manila. hahaha..

@ cherrie (i - 100 che...