Sunday, November 9, 2008

Commonwealth-Fairview traffic on a Sunday

Probably the worst one I had been in--on a Sunday.

I was northbound, on my way home from fieldwork. The traffic started to slow down when I got to Litex, just as I was nearing our subdivision. I started to take a nap, thinking what the heck I'm tired, until my mind toinked my consciousness with the words "carbon monoxide."

Three Counting Crows songs later, I noticed vehicles turning to the southbound lane for a counterflow. There must be a collision, I thought. Four Beatles songs later, I noticed people walking on the road. Bumaha na naman siguro sa may Winston, I thought. I was around 500 kilometers away from our subdivision gate so I decided to wait it out a bit--after all, I wasn't in a hurry to go home. Three Turtles songs later I got impatient; and, dizzy with exhaust fumes, I got out the jeepney and crossed Commonwealth.

When I got out the jeep, what scared and amused me at the same time was the sheer monstrosity of the traffic going into Fairview: the counterflow left just one lane southbound, there were cars trying to make a left turn but couldn't, there were people who fled the area in droves. Something I haven't seen before in that part of Commonwealth going to Fairview on a Sunday.

Then, I was glad I didn't go home earlier.

Fieldwork finished early. We got back to UST at around 4:15-4:30, and I headed straight for home, only I couldn't get a ride to Fairview along Espana. I waited around thirty minutes until I decided to just take two rides. So, I took a jeep to SM West, embarked at Timog, and waited for anything Fairview. An SM Fairview FX neared. I hailed it. It slowed down. Then this schmuck tears past me and makes for the door. I saw the driver look at me apologetically. Kung mainit lang ulo ko nu'n, hinila ko na 'yung tarantado palabas ng FX at tinadyakan ko pa sa balls. Anyway. I took it as a sign na di pa ako dapat umuwi. Lingon-lingon. Uy, Red Ribbon.

A hundred and twenty pesos poorer but with a happy stomach, I sat by my lonesome and read what I haven't finished of Ambeth Ocampo's Bonifacio's Bolo. Other thoughts: I was struggling whether to text him or not, about the historical facts I've learned, about the downpour that greeted us on our way back to Manila. Man this cake sucks. Looked at the clock. 7ish. Okay, I can go now.

Where the H have all the Fairview rides gone?! As I waited by a building with a "barbershop with private rooms", I watched a couple of bonggang-bonggang performers rehearse a dance number at a talent/event agency twenty paces away. Okay, let's try this 'waiting for a ride home' again. Finally, an empty jeep to Almar. Two minutes later it was full. The ride was swift and the vroom-vroom loud. I couldn't even hear Adam Duritz shout-singing about feathers in his hand.

Ayan, Litex na, lapit na 'ko. Ayus. Then, this:


This is the southbound lane (going to Manila) that's gone northbound. That's the Fairview marker at the center. Good thing I was only three blocks away from home, and I felt sorry for those who lived farther--Lagro, Novaliches, San Jose Del Monte. 'Yung mga taga-'Greater' Fairview pwede na'ng maglakad eh.

"Ang lakas kasi ng ulan," said my sister when I showed her the photos and the videos I took. Pero kanina pa 'yun, di ba? I commented, still with disbelief. "Pero sobrang lakas, as in, sooobra..."

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Tungkol sa ulan, recently

Pag nakakapanood ako ng pelikula o palabas na may eksenang umuulan, parang nararamdaman ko na rin ang mga patak sa aking balat. Parang nababasa rin ang aking mga paa. Parang kulang na lang, nandu'n din siya.

1 comment:

Jonar said...

I was there (SM North and Commonwealth) last night, only I was in a cab that made a U-turn just before Commonwealth Market. Made it home in less than 30 mins. Yung kasama namin sa bahay, naglakad all the way from Lagro to Regalado. Baha raw sa SM Fairview; umaabot hanggang bubong ng jeep. Eep.