Sep 26, 2015

Philippines (3) --- taxis are for the faint-hearted --- connubial bliss

We've arrived in Baguio yesterday, and this morning we decide on a stroll through the city. Let's go to Mine's View, which is a neighborhood in the northeastern part known for it residential vibes and views. "You know where it is?" Chang ask as we are leaving the hotel. Michael, flapping his internet maps, answers in the affirmative.

We stride past a terminal for Jeepeneys (a taxi-bus hybrid)...

and a construction site, where the construction crew reacts with
loud cheers to Chang's photographic efforts.

Otherwise, the first 15 minutes pass uneventfully, 
but then we get a repeat of yesterday.

Chang chokes on the traffic, the pollution, the noise (not shown). He covers his nose with the decollete of his T-shirt (as if this would help against the exhaust fumes). He then uncover's his nose and says: "Let's take a taxi."

All this happens near the Botanical Garden, where the local mountain 
people lie in wait for tourists for picturesque picture-taking. 

(Didn't we just say?)

Michael don't want to take a taxi. Michael has already made his position clear, repeatedly: he wants to get a feel for the place, and you getter a better feel by walking. "Taxis are for the fainthearted," he adds (he is also scared of taxis-taking, he never trusts the driver). He continues in his stride. Chang follows reluctantly, nose covered by T-shirt. "Let's take a taxi," he repeats. Michael turns him down. We go through this cycle a few more times, then Chang explodes. BANG.

Michael is prepared for this---(for a change)---since he's contemplating a short story about a miserly character who's mistreating his lovely boyfriend all the time and in particularly now as they are visiting the lovely Php (Philippines). And the best way to mistreat his lovely boyfriend is by provoking the short temper of said boyfriend. "Okay," he says, "we go back to the hotel now, I will accompany you, and then I will take off again, unencumbered, and walk to Mine's View all by myself. ALONE."

"No," Chang protests (predictably), "I had enough of your. I can go back all by myself."

There would be split seconds of hesitation on both sides now, were it not that the miserly character is so well prepared. There's no hesitation on Michael side; he's already strutting forward. Chang has no choice but to turn around and head back to the hotel.

This is basically a win-win situation for Michael: (1) he will be able to continue walking and inhaling the stimulating exhausts of the Baguio traffic; (2) he will see Mines View; (3) he will get a break.

This is too good to be true, Michael knows. And so, ca. 20 seconds into this, he turns his head to check on the away-fuming Chang. But Chang has already bethought himself and turned around to catch up with the miserly Michael. He grabs Michael's arm. "We take a taxi now," he says. He hails a taxi that appears out of nowhere. Michael has lost, as usual.

These must be the mines.

1 comment:

JP Villanueva said...

I heard this story told, but it's much more entertaining reading it on a blog. :-)


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