There are a lot of things I can go through without losing my cool. Commuting is not one of them (commuting meaning using public transpo like jeepneys and LRT. Tricycle and taxis are excluded).
Ever since I can remember, all the places I needed are always accessible from where I live: my school from elementary to college, supermarket, library, malls, bus terminals and etcetera. Days will go by without me riding a jeepney because I only have to walk to and from my destination. It’s not that I’m ignorant of public transportation (because I have tried everything), it’s just that I am not one of its millions of daily customers.
So when I decided to start my training in a hospital in Quezon City that is two jeepney/fx rides away from where I live, I knew I was in for a challenging month.
First there is the issue of leaving the house earlier. Since primary to tertiary school, I am used to waking up at most an hour before class starts. Heck, in elementary, I won’t get out of bed unless I hear our school bell signalling the start of the flag ceremony. Now I have to wake up at 5 and leave by 6 for a 7:30 AM call time. And boy my friends know how hard that is for me because I love bonding with my bed.
Next is the issue of being “late”. In college, though I was always late, I was never late enough to be considered absent. I always make it in time for the so-called “grace period”, the precious minutes before professors arrive or doors are locked or exams are given. Living far, one can either be very early or extremely late, no middle ground.
Then there’s the issue of time wasted. According to Google map, Quiapo is only 5.9 km via Espana from the hospital where I am training, more or less 13 minutes if the roads aren’t congested. Last Friday though, it took the jeepney I was in an hour and 45 minutes to travel the distance. I learned the hard way that Quiapo is hell for commuters and anyone with a vehicle during first Wednesdays/Fridays of the month because believers flock the church during these times. Imagine the things I could have done with 60 to 90 minutes instead of sitting with strangers trapped inside alloys which are conductors of heat (frankly speaking, there’s a huge chance that I will not spend the extra time doing something more productive, I’ll probably sleep and surf the net but at least I like doing them!).
Last is the heat. Maybe it’s because of my obesity but I can’t stand a hot environment (warm is another subject because it’s comforting :3 ). At night, traffic is tolerable but at 1:00 PM when the scorching heat of the sun follows you wherever you go, where the rays are so strong your skin hurts and head aches, it’s impossible to stand. The degree Celsius is indirectly proportional with the length of my patience and based on the number of frowning passengers and hot-headed drivers honking every second, it’s safe to assume it’s the same for most of us mere humans.
I’ve only been at it for three days yet I’m whining like a whino. What about all the people who have done this for most of their lives? I know of someone who goes home to Laguna (a different province 2-3 hours away) every single day during college. Another friend braves the fighting arena that is the LRT Station during rush hour in her high heels and skirt. Come to think of it, I’ve never heard the two of them complain. They only reply “sanay na ako” (I’m used to it) every time I question them.
When you’ve been doing something for too long, you begin to accept the fact that it’s pointless to complain. Rant today but you’ll have no choice but to go through the process again tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that, until you’re anesthetized, until you’re used to it. Guess I’ll have to wait for that day to come for me.
For the mean time, I am just so glad I arrived after two hours of commute on top of noise and air pollution.
I’m genuinely glad I’m home.