5 things: Commuting in the Metropolis
Living in Manila requires patience and a lot of self-control. “Why?” you may wonder. Well, one word—commute. It’s a typical scene finding people randomly cursing over the long waiting line at MRT Cubao; people picking fights over some insensitive guy not giving way for a seat to a pregnant lady or an elderly; and even people fainting from all the pushing and bumping while waiting in line at the train station during rush hour, only to be welcomed by icky skin to skin or skin to sweat-drenched shirt uber close contact with total strangers once you get to finally ride. My friends and I call it the “MRT sardine ride” because we all look like a bunch of sardines being pressed together, forced to fit in one small container.
Moreover, when we talk about jeep rides, I’ve seen people venting their anger at the barker because of almost an hour waiting in a snake-like human line, outside Galleria on a rainy Monday evening. And the stress is not exclusive to public utility vehicles. Imagine driving your way home amidst unruly drivers all speed racing to their destinations or halting for an excruciating 30 minutes in heavy traffic.
Often, our best friends in these stressful situations are two things: cell phone and iPod Touch but just when you think things couldn’t get worse sometimes; these trustworthy gadgets end up with empty batteries just when you need them the most. So here are five things you can do to take your mind off all the stress minus the worry of empty batteries.
1. Think of happy thoughts.
Instead of hating and cursing the bus driver who only seemed to learn how to drive yesterday, reminisce on candid moments with your loved ones that would surely put a smile on your face. My nieces and nephews are full of fun antics even in their young ages and thinking of their quirky habits never fail to make me smile.
2. Read entertaining materials.
Any reading material that can take your attention away from all the negativity related to commuting will do, be it a book, a magazine, or the newspaper. My mom tells me not to read when riding moving vehicles because it’s “bad for your eyes” but when traffic movement is on slow motion, I’d dive in a light, feel-good book like Bob Ong’s “ABNKKBSNPLAko?!” Next time, don’t leave the house without a pocketbook in your bag.
3. Be productive.
Work on your to do list while waiting in line so that you’ll have a clearer picture of what to do once you arrive at your destination. If you don’t have a pen and notebook at hand, mentally creating the list also works, just don’t forget to write it down later and post it somewhere you can easily see.
4. Pet magic
Thinking about pets can also bring a happy vibe to your otherwise tiresome day. You don’t have a pet? Don’t worry, it’s not about owning one but avoiding the negativity by thinking of really cuddly animals. Just like that super cute Chow Chow your neighbor owns or that chubby hamster at the pet store near your home. As for me, I love jelly fishes, I want to have a pet jellyfish and thinking about having a pet jellyfish already makes me happy like a 5-year old excited to have her first pet for Christmas. =)
5. Anticipate arriving at your destination.
How? Think of food. *haha When going to work, imagine the warm sweet Hershey’s chocolate drink that would jumpstart your day. When going home, nothing beats anticipating the lovely meal cooked especially for you by family. And grabbing dessert afterwards seals that “tummy happy” moment.
At the end of the day, when you really can’t manage your temper, if stress and fatigue gets the best of you and you find yourself hating your job because you have to commute two if not 3 hours everyday just to get to work, I suggest you find yourself a job closer to home.
I find myself happier and less stressed when my friends and I chitchat about commuting because my work is only 3 rides and around 20minutes away from home. *bliss! How about you? =)
Purplebliss asks: What other things can you do to avoid negative vibes when commuting in the metro? I’ll be looking forward to your answers in the comment section below.