I thank God for our trains, because even if they’re decrepit and crowded, they do get you around. And they’re always a sure way to find your bearings whenever you’re lost. Wednesday night I found myself in Escolta, where I’ve never been before. I was actually coming from Intramuros, but I was just so relieved to be out of Comelec after waiting two hours for a five-minute interview that I hopped on the first jeep that passed by. As soon as I realized it wasn’t going to bring me to Lawton, however, I got off to find my way back.
Escolta was as messy as the rest of Manila. And it had just rained, so you can just imagine what the sidewalks were like. Luckily, LRT1’s tracks were visible through all the tangled electrical wiring and chaotic signage. Carriedo station, it turned out, was just a block away.
The trains also have a way of leading you to secret nooks you wouldn’t have found otherwise. The UN Avenue Station was connected to the sparsely occupied Times Plaza, where, I was very delighted to discover, there was a well-stocked Booksale branch on the first floor. It was the perfect way to cap a day of tiring legwork—still nothing like poring over musty bargain books. I bought four new titles, one of which is an interesting memoir titled “Sex Tips for the Living.” I hope to be able to read them as soon as the hell week’s over.