Adventures in Commuting

As some of you might be aware, I’m still new to this whole commuting thing, so pretty much every day out there on the roads without my own vehicle is an adventure in itself. I’ve been loving the independence commuting gives me.

However, when it rains, I either get marooned somewhere or have to risk getting wet. Two weeks ago, I was asked to cover a noon class in Greenhills. At 11am, I was going to drive there from Quezon City. Normally the trip would take me 30 minutes when traveling by car. It was, however, not a normal day; the roads were flooded and after 30 minutes and I was still stuck near Quezon Avenue, I had to do something radical.

I ditched the car (actually, just parked it on a side street), ran to Quezon Avenue Station, hopped onto a train and got off at Santolan-Annapolis. From there, I ran the full few kilometers to the Fitness First branch in Greenhills and arrived only three minutes past time. I’d called ahead, so the students and reception staff knew why I was late. A light drizzle sprinkled me after class as I walked back to the station, but it was pouring in earnest by the time I got back to Quezon Avenue, and I got drenched running back to my car from the station.

Most of the time, however, I’ve been blessed with good timing. It rains when I’m already in a station or train, and isn’t raining when I get to my destination.

I was pretty proud of myself the other week too. I was dropping a friend off at North Avenue Station when I decided on the spur of the moment to commute to Makati to pick up my RCBC ATM card from the Fitness First support office (so I could withdraw my salary). While I was there, I was asked to team-teach at the Fitness First branch in Fort Bonifacio (another spur-of-the-moment decision). I took a taxi there, taught, then bummed a ride with my fellow instructor to Boni Station where I took a ride back to North Avenue. That whole thing, no incidents. Not bad, eh?

I’m still leery about taking buses, jeepneys, or FX taxis simply because I have no idea where their respective routes take them. But I’m going to have to learn… eventually.

Anyone up for a commute with me?


Women’s Troubles

Well, it’s that time of the month again. Surfing the crimson wave. Aunt Flow’s in town. Putting aside all other euphemisms for menstruation, women’s troubles are just that: trouble. If it weren’t such a big deal, I don’t think we’d see so many commercials on TV hyping sanitary napkins with anti-leak channels and extra absorbency for those days when the flow just goes whack. For some women it’s an even bigger deal: the world comes to a grinding halt when the monthly visitor arrives at the manger bringing cramps, bloating, and fatigue.

Sometimes I wonder, what is all this suffering for? I mean, aside from giving women an excuse to snap at other people or be mean or reclusive (not that I do this, of course *wink*). Surely all that piping down there exists for a reason? Otherwise there is absolutely no reason for the uterine lining to build up and break down month after month after month…

And then I’m reminded of the miracle of childbearing. A woman’s body practically goes out of whack to adjust the needs of the unborn child growing in her womb. Hormone levels go through the roof, metabolism goes into overdrive… a lot of things happen so that the child may live. When that child is welcomed into the world by the arms of a loving mother and father, what a blessed life it promises to be. Ü

So here’s to my friends Brian and Menchu; in about six months’ time they will welcome a boy or girl into their growing family, to be a sibling to their daughter Ien. Mazel Tov!

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.” (Psalm 127:3 NKJV)

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I Can’t Stand the Rain

You’d think that by now I’d be used to living in a tropical country where rain falls half the year. Drizzles and downpours, I’ve been in them all — in the past few weeks more often than I’d like. It’s pretty sucky to get soaked to the bone walking from one place to another in a shower, only for the rain to stop the second you step into a building’s doorway.

Sure, I know Metro Manila and Central Luzon needs all the rain it can get for water supply and power generation. It would be blasphemous of me not to appreciate the cloud seeding efforts which I assume are the cause of the regular afternoon rain showers.

I just wish the rain would fall somewhere other than the city. I mean, all that water falling on cement just drains away into rivers and ocean (most of our sewers in this city lead there). That, or the sewers get backed up and the water fails to drain away at all, leading to flash floods.

Just today Ade, Peter, and I were at Coffee Bean in Ortigas for a late lunch, swapping stories about rain and flooding in Manila. The conversation starter was the torrential downpour falling right outside that prevented Peter from going back to his office for two hours.

But far be it from me to sing “Rain, rain, go away.” It’s only for a few months more, right?

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