On Third World traffic and graduations. Randomness.

You know it’s summer when you wake up and find that in the general sloppiness of your room there is not a single academic artefact in sight–no thick readings, no notebooks, not even a pen cap under your pillow. Your school bag is empty, your wallet even emptier, and you realize how everything in this life always seems to involve some sort of a trade-off–in this case, lots of time in your hands, but no allowance.

But then you realize that, having foreseen that this would happen, you have actually long devised a way to  avoid it: you half-heartedly signed up for an internship (in a very small publication-what desperation! tsk) so you’d have a reason to leave the house every now and then.

And then you try your best to like what you just signed up for, but remember with a jolt the other day when you were haphazardly writing your first article, wishing that the publication staff wouldn’t notice your lack of sincerity.

Then you try to shake off these negative things from your mind, knowing they’ll do you no good, and you try to just be happy about the little things–how you have all your house to yourself for the day (since your mother and sisters have gone to Antipolo for pest-control maintenance); what a curious thing it is to be owning a genuine Matanglawin pillow (won in an ACLE class  a year ago); how milk is still so much better for coffee than any creamer; and what a convenience a computer really is.

–And thinking about computers, you turn on your PC and log on to Facebook. You skim the newsfeed and realize how those tiny little bits of statuses and likes and comments are proof that nobody really seems to care as much as you’d like to believe. Everyone’s caught up with their own lives, wanting to always have a say on things, wanting to always have people listen to what they say about things.

(And then you realize that  was just a  very cynical thing  to say for someone who’s not even twenty, so you shut up and just read the newsfeed again as it is).

Two things catch you:

First,  a post about a BBC production about a London bus driver brought to Manila to experience what it’s like driving in the world’s “toughest place to be a bus driver”.

You realize you have heard about this before (on the radio, The Hilary and Scotty Show, Mondays to Thursdays 6-9am, Jam88.3) so you click on the link to watch the whole video.

You feel sorry for the man because he’s been in a nice First World city all his life and has never seen people live in too cramped spaces and drive on too crazy roads. You listen closely to the British male voice doing the VO, and take note of his smooth nonchalance as he describes Manila as a place where people drive “with seemingly no rules at all”. You smile, and say to yourself: now if only people in your side of the globe weren’t too greedy cuddling dictators on our side of the planet, and lending them loans so big you’d think “if there’s so much money in this world why are there so many poor?”, then perhaps we might have been able to develop nice little roads like yours, where state-of-the-art commuter buses ply and where every stoplight blinks with the consistency of the human heartbeat.

You realize what a**holes these Western bigots really are, doing silly shows like that and trying to project shock and pity about our conditions, trying even harder to appear as though they haven’t had any direct hand in the exacerbation of our problems.

You just take a deep sigh and move on to the next most interesting post: the various statuses and comments of people about the nearing graduation day in the university.

You instantly feel happy about your friends who have finally finished college, and you think that you will sincerely miss them next school year.

You think about your own, realize it’s going to be a year late, and just shrug, knowing in your heart that you are finally where you want to be and couldn’t do any better by no longer trying to rush things.

You remember the Math major who is graduating with the highest GWA in the university’s post-war history, and in half-admiration, half-annoyance, say this cliche to yourself: good for him, but grades can really only do us so much.

You check your CRS account and take a quick look at your grades, which have just recently been completed, and find that while they are in no way as spectacular, they aren’t that bad either. You realize there really is just one word to describe them–“mediocre.” And you cringe, because you don’t really want to be described as mediocre, but the truth is right there beside your Facebook profile tab, biting with every click.

So, you realize you’ve written enough for the day, wrap your blog entry up, and remember that you still have to get your lunch and do some cleaning.

As you punctuate the last paragraph, you thank God that you’re normal, that you’re okay, and that you have a blog where you can write silly little things like this.

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One thought on “On Third World traffic and graduations. Randomness.

  1. grabe naman yung contemplation sa buhay. tsk. nagagawa talaga ng summer.

    we can’t really be great at everything. di nga ganun kataas ang grades mo pero bongga ka naman sa social life.

    haha. di ko pala napanood movie mo na gawaq nila kim at icee. 😛

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