I didn’t carry a backpack, but that’s not the point.
I was in Santa Rosa Laguna last Saturday for some extra work. Hitching a ride with the other members of the team did not seem good because they were both from the south (Alabang). I on the other hand live in the northern tip of the metro – even faraway Makati was just a halfway point.
And so I decided to take public transportation, going out of town.
I found a shuttle at the Shaw Blvd Station of the MRT. Only it didn’t go straight to Santa Rosa, only to Balibago, a junction just after the famed Enchanted Kingdom. Fellow passengers told me the mall I was going to was still far and that I had to take a jeep, one that was bound for Calamba. “Go left, not right,” a woman told me, but her input was useless because by the time I got down from the van we had turned many ways and I could no longer tell left from right. I was thoroughly disoriented.
But there will always be kind strangers.
Another woman from the van seemed to take delight in waiting for a jeep with me. “I am going to that mall, too, but I have to go someplace else first. I will just talk to the driver for you,” she offered. In my gratitude all I could think of was to pay her fare – eight pesos. It was refunded to me anyway because we found out that while I was on the right jeepney, she was on the wrong one.
I did find that mall, covered an event, produced copy, submitted it, and rushing home soon. I wanted to be home before dark. It was, by then, 4pm.
The way back was easier. A tricycle driver offered to take me to the bus stop but wanted to charge me an exorbitant P100. I guess he figured I was not from the area. I said no and hopped on a jeep. I sat behind the driver and asked him to drop me off at a place where I could catch a bus to Manila.
I had my choice from many buses, actually. I figured that, it being a weekend, there would be a traffic jam on Edsa so I avoided the Cubao-bound buses. I took an LRT-Buendia bound one and promptly opened my laptop to see if the Wifi-ready sign was true (It was not so I used by prepaid Tattoo stick instead). I was back in familiar territory by 515. I took the LRT to Monumento.
If it weren’t for the traffic in Caloocan, I would have been home sooner. Too, I had fun shopping for tinapa and boneless bangus.
I was wiped out by the time I got home. But I felt accomplished. I remembered my time in Germany when I went out to explore and find my way to places without my knowing exactly how I would get there. I got lost sometimes, but I always found my way. And back.
I think, wherever you put me, I’ll be fine.