February 25, 2015, Wednesday. My 3rd time in the Metro this year. My 2nd time alone. Ah…it was bittersweet.
Firstly, I had to get up at 6:00 in the morning in order to have at least an hour to prepare. Waking up was extra tough that day because of the cold weather…and yeah, because of the fact that I’m not really used to getting up that early. In the end though, I was yet again able to fight the temptation of going back to bed. I really have to get my tax documents that day so my accountant can start doing my requirements for the annual filing. The fact that this is the last week of the month made it even more urgent. So there, by 7:30 in the morning, I was already in the bus bound for Ortigas.
Now the most unexpected thing that day was the heavy traffic! Seriously! And the reason? EDSA was closed! I know that February 25 is the celebration of the EDSA Revolution but I didn’t expect for the authorities to close the whole of EDSA given the fact that it was still a regular working day. It took me almost three friggin’ hours to travel from my place in Bulacan to SM Megamall and another twenty minutes from Megamall to Octagon Building.
The good thing was that I was able to get my tax documents and Certificate of Employment from my previous employer that day. It’s been over a year since I resigned from that company and had to go back to get my tax forms for this year’s filing. I think it only took me about 30 minutes to get all these done.
Around 11:00 in the morning, I was back in SM Megamall and decided to have lunch since I haven’t eaten anything yet that day. I decided to eat in Foodcourt (like for the nth time) and had a big Bulgogi lunch set courtesy of Oriental Seoul (I really enjoy eating Korean food). I had a great time eating there alone, looking at all the passersby with all these random thoughts going on in my head. Anyway, I finished around 11:45, decided to burn time and found myself buried with books in, of course, Book Sale. I was rummaging through the shelves there and saw paperbacks of Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes and ‘Tis, which cost 125php each. I was thinking of buying Angela’s Ashes because even though I have already read it, I don’t have my own copy of this one. I’m a little hesitant to buy it though because I’m on a tight budget and if I will buy one, I think it would be best to buy something which I haven’t read yet. Collecting books written by my favorite authors will follow as long as I have the money for it. 🙂
After about an hour of choosing and reading the cover pages of some of the books in this little paradise, I decided to buy a hardbound copy of Laura Kalpakian’s work entitled Steps and Exes. ‘Tis my first time seeing this book and reading about the author Laura Kalpakian. I don’t have any friends who recommended her work nor have read an article about her. I was intrigued by the title “Steps and Exes” so I took the risk in purchasing it. Besides, I bought it for only 45php so if ever the book doesn’t really suit my taste, then I won’t have to regret that much. Until then, I’ll wait if reading this book will be favorable for me.
Around 1:00 in the afternoon, I decided to go home. Lo and behold! There are no buses in EDSA!!!! So the question now is, ‘how will I go home?’ Or better yet, ‘what time can I go home?’ What time are they going to open EDSA for the buses? Oh the life of a commuter, definitely full of twists and turns. I really didn’t expect that it will come to this extent. But then again, I have to move on…literally. I weighed my options, thinking if I go to EDSA Central to wait for a bus, I’d probably have to stay there ‘til late in the evening because buses are totally not allowed in EDSA so what’s the use of going there in the first place. Then, I thought of taking a cab to Cubao, but the taxi bay staff in Megamall told me that if I drop off at Cubao, I will probably have a hard time riding on one ‘cause there’s a big chance that buses are already full by the time they reach Cubao. So while waiting for my turn to ride the cab, I decided to go straight to Centris in Quezon Avenue instead. I can ride a van there straight to SM Marilao and then one more jeepney ride before arriving home.
At first, the cab driver was hesitant to take me to Quezon Ave because it’s really far from Ortigas plus the fact that he has to take an alternate route. He kind of said not to use the meter but I insisted on using it and told him I’ll just add a few bucks for the inconvenience. My intuition told me that everything will be fine. Even though I usually take cabs in the Metro, I’m still very much worried riding one alone because of the various ‘modus operandi’ these days. As a safety precaution, I always send the cab’s plate number to my friends via SMS. I think I waited for about 30 minutes for my turn to ride a taxi and it took about 45 minutes to reach Centris. My total bill was 211php and decided to pay 240php instead. I was still thankful that I arrived safely so I gave that much. After that, I rode the van bound for SM Marilao and then another jeepney to get to my place. Instead of my usual 60php fare from Megamall to Marilao, I had to spend five times that amount that day.
On a lighter note, I arrived earlier than expected. It was only 30 minutes past 3PM when I arrived home. I was still able to work for a few hours later that night.
So there, that day was bitter because of the hassles of commuting but a lot sweeter because of so many reasons – I was able to get home earlier than expected, I got all the documents I need in one go, I was able to satisfy my Korean food cravings, I had a wonderful and peaceful time alone and last but not the least, I brought home another book!
I guess all I’m trying to say is even though my travel time was way longer than my appointment, I still had a wonderful day in the Metro. Though I’m alone (which is usually the case), I was still able to fulfill my agenda and relax even for a short while. Plus the weather that day was good – not too hot and not too cold.
For all these, I’m really thankful. 🙂