Tweeting Away

The Other Side of the Bubble Wrap

http://www.goption.com/archives/main/This is what I call a Bubble Wrap Existence:

*Living in an urban-concrete vacuum;
*Crossing the street to go to school;
*Being conveniently ten minutes away from retail therapy and other consumerist forms of entertainment usually found in shopping malls;
*Having a gajillion Starbucks and Ministop places within a kilometer radius from my residence;
*Being unable to live without a laptop or an iPod;
*Being able to buy VIP tickets for two consecutive Jason Mraz concerts;
*Going to the beach whenever free time allows it;
*Getting fetched on an SUV during the weekends to head for the province;
*Having an E-pass on the SUV; and
*Being financially outfitted by the ‘rents.

So I live a life less ordinary. Most of the people around me are pretty much the same, a lot of them even more privileged than I am. And I have to say I’m very thankful for what I’ve been blessed with.

However, it’s easy to forget what life is really like in the real world when you’re in my place. It's easy to get caught up in all the comforts of a sheltered life and end up venturing into a frivolous existence. Fortunately, fate has a nifty way of refurbishing memory.

I was able to brave public transportation today. Mom hadn't been feeling well since last week so she couldn't fetch me, which left me with no choice but to take a bus to Batangas. Not a very inviting idea, but I so desperately wanted to go home and see my family, so I decided I was going to do it.

To take the bus I first had to get to the bus station, which I was able to do by taking the MRT and the LRT. I take the MRT considerably often, but most of the time I would get on at Shaw Boulevard station and get off at Ayala station, usually to check out the malls, and that was it. Thing is, I could've just taken a cab to the bus station but I figured, that's not really public transportation if you think about it, because you have the car all to yourself. I thought I might as well take on the whole public transportation thing full-force, so I decided to ride the MRT and LRT.

The two train rides were rather interesting. By the time we had passed Ayala station I was officially out of my comfort zone and a bit freaked out. Immediate paranoia tied my stomach up in a ball of anxious knots, as I wrapped protective arms around my backpack and laptop. After a while however, I felt sufficiently guilty at being suspicious of the people around me, who didn't seem to give a care in the world about me or my baggage (both material and psychological). They looked to me as if they just wanted to start the day right, to be on time for work or whatever other engagement, and had no plans whatsoever of stealing someone else's possessions.

I got off the MRT and headed for the LRT station. While lining up to get the ticket, a man dressed as a woman asked me in a hoarse, pseudo-feminine voice if the line I was on was for buying tickets. I smiled and said yes. Afterwards, while walking towards the trains, the man calls out to me, smiles and yells out a sincere "thank you". I was quite moved by his/her gesture. I guess because at the time I was very adequately harassed, loathing my naivete and trying my best to keep from freaking out, it meant a lot more than it would've had it happened in another, less difficult situation. Soon afterward I got on the LRT feeling a bit lighter, and the ride proceeded without any other notable occurence.

It took a short walk along a crowded street and an overpass before I was able to reach the bus station from the LRT station. Upon descending the stairs from the LRT I was immediately greeted by a host of different smells, not all of them fragrant. The sweltering heat produced numerous sweat beads on my nose, which I've always found annoying. The weight of the backpack and the laptop began to strain my shoulders. The people I passed by were nothing like the people I would run into where I live - no cute Korean exchange students in their funky outfits, no yuppies in the making, no powerful executives and their extravagantly embellished wives. Instead there were beggars and people in tattered and worn-out clothes, vendors of all sorts of items, children desperately needing a bath, and a host of other people from all walks of life imaginable.

I was finally able to ride a bus and soon I was on my way home. The trip was pretty much the same as the trips we usually take on our SUV, except on the bus there were around thirty other people with me, a TV was transmitting blurry images of Game Ka Na Ba, and I missed the apple scent of our car freshener.

All in all it was a pretty interesting pseudo-adventure. The best part was that I was able to get out of my bubble. For a few hours, I popped the bubble wrap that cushioned my sheltered self and came face-to-face with the real world. I came to witness sights that weren't necessarily pleasing to the eye, but somehow, I guess being pleasant-looking isn't really the point on that side of the bubble wrap. Because the truth is, the real world isn't picture-perfect, but people take what's given to them and make the most out of it. And there's much to be admired in that.

5 comments:

Mec said...

:)

congratulations then :)

Wonder Hobbit said...

Hello, I took the chance of reading the comments on my blog and I saw you commented (re: chocolat and Johhny Depp) Thank you for commenting. And I personally think you write really good. Keep it up.

Daene said...

mec: thanks for visiting =)

demented hobbit: yup i saw your "plug" at pinoywriters so i browsed through your site. thanks for visiting mine! really appreciate it =)

fatfingur said...

Good for you then. I have one officemate who hates riding in public transportations and thinks of himself as a Class A sophisticated guy. All I can say about him is he is so lame. Knowing about the real world will get you going and help you survive the jungle out there. If you've got time read my blog.

Daene said...

fatfingur: i totally agree. stepping out into the real world (even if it's only for a while), it's not a walk in the park, but it can teach you a whole lot. thanks for dropping by. :)