Can I get out of this ride...now?
(Courtesy of gotagotaxi.com)
With the excitement of moving into our new place (which explains why I haven't been blogging for quite some time, owing to precoccupation with moving concerns) comes the pain of the logistical nightmares of cutting up telephone and cable accounts, cleaning up our old digs, and settling of unfinished business. Let's face it: Moving is a pain in the ass.
Coupled with the fact that I just suffered a nasty sprain over the weekend when we started our moving out process (which gave rise to other conditions) and I was pumped and primed for a blowout soon enough. Luckily, the taxi driver from a fiery place gave me the release I needed.
I was scheduled to meet Sky Cable technicians in our old place to supervise their disconnection of our cable line, so I tried to flag a cab from our new place. Seeing my "invalid" status (I had a noticeable limp), the security guard stationed in our entrance assisted me and brought forth what I would later call the chariot of death.
As I got in the cab, I realized that I had whole thousand bills only and so I told the driver to take me to our old place: "Manong, paki derecho lang sa Yakal Street, may ATM diyan, wiwithdraw ako, buo kasi pera ko, para mabayaran kita."
Driving Demon squints and strains his eyes forward, and seeing a line of cars further ahead, he turns to me (at 9 in the morning) and goes: "Ano ka, hilo?!? Nakita mo ba ang trapik banda roon? Eh, diba sa Dela Rosa naman ang punta mo?!? Kakaliwa na ako dito!"
I was speechless - and it's something that doesn't happen very often. I asked nicely, the detour was so I could pay him without a mad dash for panukli, and having lived in Makati a good number of years, the "trapik" he was so aghast over was nothing, really. I started pulling out all the loose change I could find - actually more coins than loose bills - to pay for the ride.
As I felt the throbbing pain in my foot, I decided to concentrate all my energies into (1) not saying a word and (2) focus on not screaming in pain. Which, of course, was his cue to make himself a target for my barely contained indignation.
"O...san na ba tayo dadaan? Pwede na ba dito? Pwede ba sa kabila?"
I turned into a camel whose back was just broken by an idiotic blowhard. I looked at him and said, "akala ko ba alam mo ang daan? Eh, diba ayaw mo nga dumaan sa gusto ko, kumaliwa ka na lang bigla, tapos ngayon, tatanong ka sa akin kung san dadaan?!?"
DD: "Teka..teka...bakit ba bigla ka nalang magagalit sakin, HA?!?"
Me: "Nakuha mo pang itanong kung bakit?!? Sinabi ko sa iyo na kailangan ko dumaan sa ATM para sa bayad mo, ayaw mo gawin, kesyo alam mo kung saan ka dadaan, tapos di mo pa alam...tapos tatanungin mo ako bakit ako magagalit?"
DD: "Hooooooy! Ano ka, sinuswerte?!? Ano kala mo sa akin, i-SLAVE mo?!? Ang trabaho ko, taxi drayber! Dadalhin kita sa kung saan ka papunta, pero di ako alipin! Hindi yung uutusan mo ako mag antay sa iyo habang may ginagawa kang iba! Hilo ka ba?!? Aba, kailangan mo magising!"
At that point, I was truly amazed that he had the temerity to even defend his obnoxiousness, that I was oblivious to the fact that he had driven all the way to Dela Rosa Street; unfortunately, it was at the intersection way past our old condo, and because it was a one way street, we had to go the very long way just to get to where I wanted.
Me: "Kita mo na, mapapalayo pa tayo nito, eh! Kung sinundan mo ang sinabi ko, dederecho lang sa isang loop ang daan natin, hindi kung katakot takot na intersection and kailangan pa natin daanan at iikot pa tayo ng malayo!"
DD: "Dinala naman kita sa Dela Rosa, ah!"
We were so engrossed in our bickering that he stopped the car completely, obstructing the traffic flow even more. A traffic cop approached us to flag the cab, and I could hear the cop from outside: "Kanina pa kita pinapa-go! Obstruction ka na niyan!"
The imp proceeds to bring the cab to the curb, he gets down and begins his litanya to the cop: "Eto kasing pasahero na to, eh! Di naman pala alam kung saan papunta! Ayan tuloy, nagtalo kami sa gitna ng daan!"
Adrenalin must have pumped through me like a gush of waterfalls because I suddenly felt free from my foot pain and got out of the car to confront the lying servant of the Dark Overlord. "Ang kapal mo rin, ano! Ako pa ngayon ang sasabihin mong dahilan kung bakit ka nahuli! Sinungaling ka, ah! Kung sinunod mo lang ang sinabi kong daan, eh di naandun na tayo sa pupuntahan ko! Nagmamagaling ka diyan, wala ka naman palang binatbat!"
The cop proceeds to question us separately: he directs me to wait in the car while he interrogates the cab driver outside. After he gets both our sides, I could hear him reprimanding the devil incarnate: "...eh dun naman pala sa Yakal ka niya pinapapunta para magwithdraw ng pambayad sa yo, bakit sa iba ka dumaan? Wala ngang barya yung tao, eh! At bilang drayber, hindi ka pwede makipagtalo sa pupuntahan ng pasahero mo..."
So, how does this story end?
The cop issues him a ticket, the incubus fidgets all the way - the loooong way - driving me to my old place, refusing to look at his rear view mirror, although I made sure my ultimately satisfied smirk was visible even from outer space.
When Art met up with me for lunch, he then chastised me for locking horns with someone who was born with his own gleaming pair: "Good thing he didn't hurt you, you know how our public drivers are, walang kinakatakutan, they always have some weapon like a balisong with them."
Something to remember, worth PhP 78.50 (my cab fare).
I can't decide if the lesson is cheap or expensive.