Public Ride

For years, I took the Jeepney to commute from house to school. The trek was always nerve-wracking. No foreigner who has gone through accosting Manila roads would dare handle the wheel.

But it was a necessary ride.

I remember the long queues that were more like wrestling events before one secures a spot.

Then the polluted breeze powders your collar to grey. The smoke in your eyes lulls you to naps. The chatter of lovers drowned in decibels of high-trebled pop fills your imagination with all sorts of drama.

Such were my long public exposures.

But there was something deeply precious about those memoirs. Each day, I get to see different people. I get the opportunity to be in proximity with strangers who share a common thrust ... to get to where one is headed ... fast.

I guess, this applies whether one zooms through NYC Subway or Tokyo's Hikari Shinkansen.

There is so much that I miss while currently confined in my private commute.

All is silent. All is comfortable. While the rest of the world strains just to hitch.

Strange, but I deeply long for those wild days.

Just like the land of Aslan, where all is not safe except the Lion's goodness.

photography: Paolo Esquivel