the bus ride to Infanta

3:38 PM

Perhaps, deep down, I do loathe myself.

It is the only logical explanation I could think of as to why I would subject myself to another of these trying trips. (And well, there is also the fact that I decided to help my friend C with her research.)

It is almost the end the year and it didn't matter that I've explored the forest of Borneo in the rain and almost suffered a concussion due to roots sticking out of nowhere. It didn't matter that I skinned my hand and toes while climbing Mt. Pinatubo or that I had to literally fight my instinct to flee and stayed on board Yangon's circle line despite the assault to my senses.

Because yet again, I found myself saying no to comfort and boarded an ordinary bus (Read: No AC.) bound for Infanta, Quezon. I waited for it at the bus bay of Robinsons Galleria amid the smoke-belching buses and jeepneys. The bus was packed and I mean with grown-ups and kids sitting along the aisle because it would nearly be impossible to endure the four-hour journey standing up.

The bus smelled of sun, sweat, and the occasional whiff of sewer as it wound its way up and down the Sierra Madre mountain range. The children cried to the tune of Micheal Learns To Rock, Black Eyed Peas, and Nikki Minaj and believe me when I say I wanted to weep with them. It wasn't enough that the sounds caused me a first-class headache but the rain opted to pour that afternoon which meant shut windows. My acute claustrophobia started to act up and the only way to survive was for me to close my eyes and shut out the world.

No, I didn't go to sleep so I still felt my seatmate's every breath and the road's every curve. The ride went on for a couple more hours until darkness had set in and the road was only illuminated by our pair of headlights.

I knew we were near when we passed by rows of houses and beach resorts. This made me feel both excited and surprisingly sad - excited to see my friend C again and quite sad because I apparently enjoyed the journey. (It definitely was the farthest my P170 has taken me.)

I alighted at the bus station where C was waiting for me with a charted tryc, ready to whisk me away to our lodging.

Standing room only. 
Here's my view for a couple of hours.
This sleeping woman sat right behind me. 
To my right is this boy, sans shoes, clutching his mother's thigh. 


Sleep, evidently, was a good way to pass the time. 
Night was upon us yet still I was on the bus. 

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