Ah, the pains of commuting in Manila. FX, UV Express, the LRT, MRT, jeepney, you name it, I’ve commuted on it (except for the Pasig ferry and the PNR, that is).
I was struck with inspiration yesterday as I sat at the back of a typical 10-seater UV Express. The lady beside me had swung the air conditioner to face her, thereby forcing me to whip out my fan just to get a feel of that slightly cool breeze.
There have been worse moments. Unbearable moments. I’d like to think that these items I’ve listed below are things people have experienced at one point or another. Read on and tell me if you agree.
1. The best seats are in the front passenger side.
It’s easy to get in and get out. You get to hog at least one entire air conditioning vent all to yourself. The only problem is because these seats are really meant for just one person, you’re cramped in front and you have to risk getting your leg grazed by the driver when he adjusts his shifter. That’s if you’re in the innermost seat. If you want to experience the seat as it should, pay for two people.
2. Riding in the middle has its pros and cons.
For instance, if you’re wearing a skirt, you’re not as concerned about accidentally flashing your co-passenger.
3. The seating arrangement should be strategic, but it all gets messed up which part of the route you get on and depending where you’re getting off.
It’s always a hassle when someone has to get off and everyone has to get off too just to let that person scoot properly out the vehicle.
4. There’s always the inconvenience of getting smushed when you’re seated beside someone on the hefty side.
Sometimes, you have to move forward and lose your backrest comfort just so your hips don’t get squished.
5. Get ready to be annoyed at some noisy, chattering passengers.
They could be on the phone, gossiping with a friend or worse, in a harutan/landian session with their boyfriend or girlfriend.
6. Drivers speak in codes with fellow drivers via their walkie talkies.
They adopt pseudonyms (I’ve heard “Taba” aka “fatty” once) and have code names for certain roads. They call passengers 5 9s (five nines) and at times use too obvious terms (ex:”5 letters” to refer to the “pulis”(police or traffic enforcers).
7. Sitting at the back can either be a glorious or hellish encounter.
If you’re one of the last two to get in, you’ll have to grit your teeth as hardly no air-conditioning fans your face from the heat. Your friendly, courteous co-passengers have directed the vents all to themselves. Usually the cool air isn’t strong enough to reach those farthest from it. Sometimes, you just have to speak up more so they “share” what you’re also paying for.
8. It’s easier to get out from the back than from the middle, provided you have access to your own door.
People just need to turn on their side to give you space to exit. This is if you’re riding the 10-seater UV express.The 16 to 18-seater ones will always need to badger the ones by the sliding door, giving him or her the official door opening and closing duty
9. Some UV Express vehicles, no matter how comfortable and well-airconditioned you are, have the worst choice in music.
You could plug in your earphones and listen to your own playlists, but you risk not hearing the driver call out your destination if you’ve fallen asleep.
10. Not having the exact fare can be a nightmare if the driver doesn’t have change.
Worse, if you’re seated at the back. You have to raise your voice just so the driver remembers to give you your change, and sometimes, they seem to be pretending not to have heard.
Can relate to any in the list? Or want to add to them? Leave a comment below and let’s get the discussion started!