I like to be proven wrong every once in a while. I was wrong when I said that the Metro Manila public transport system is crazy. When, in fact, the Metro Manila transport system is more than that: it is neurotic. It has an obsession with inefficiency. It is maddeningly depressing.
For all intents and purposes, it sucks.
The Metro Rail Transit (MRT) line is my chief route towards Ortigas Center, and just about every place else I need to go through here (it’s just Day 3, and here I am complaining). Pedestrians and public transport clients – the beggars of the car-mad world of Manila – can’t be choosers. I can’t choose to have a safe, comfortable seat in the MRT because I have to yield to women and old people. Besides that, I am mildly claustrophobic. Sardines and SPAM have more room to move around than MRT passengers on rush hour.
Well, at least I didn’t get groped or anything.
Another thing I’m wrong about is that there is such a thing as “walking distance” in Manila, provided that you’re walking on its streets bright and early.
What I am most glad of is that I am dead wrong about hating Manila: I kind of like it here. I kind of like the feeling of being in a literal hellhole. Maybe, like my good friend Erik says, it’s just the initial feeling of adventure. Or maybe I came here on a rather cool time. Maybe it’s just my haircut.
He gave me three months. Surely, if I stay long enough, I’ll have a love-hate relationship with the metropolis.