Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sardine-like Congestion

Sardines. Sardinas. The food of the masses that is only second to my all-time favorite pancit canton. I just miss it! Be it 555, Ligo, Mega, or SeƱorita, sardines in tomato sauce are the best -- pocket-friendly, easy to cook (I’m reminded of my experiments with it. Ha ha!), and great for one’s health. Tomato is an anti-carcinogen, and sardines have nutrients essential for protecting one’s heart. It’s worth-mentioning here Spanish sardines as well, especially those from Zamboanga, which are equally tasty, though more expensive.

Singapore MRT
OK, this post isn’t about my longing for Filipino food. Hmm, my weekday mornings have actually taken over me now! Walking to the train station for about 6 minutes, queuing, and waiting for 2-6 minutes are part of my daily routine. As the train door opens, I am usually, if not always, greeted with a sardine-like congestion. Jurong East Interchange is a fine example. You can’t help but gush about the crowd. It seems impossible to get in. Oh well, just find a space meant for standing, shrink yourself to maximize the train’s capacity and for anybody’s sake, and the train is off speeding its way. Standing for 1 hour is worst.

A common sight in remote areas
The Filipino commuting scene is more subtle. Jeepneys are designed for maximum profit and not for comfort. The aisle and the back portion never fail to generate extra money. So long as the driver or conductor sees a passenger desperate to get home, an extra seat in the aisle is always ready for seating. And so long as the jeepney is with rear grab rail or even just a step board, guy passengers don’t mind hanging off the back at their own risk. And did I forget the top? It’s also an asset to the money making machine, too. The driver or conductor is as busy as a bee, always on the prowl for prospect passengers where money only matters.

By the way, I don't mean all jeepneys are true to what I have described here, but the majority.

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