Jeepney Snapshots

by Esther Elizabeth Suson

Tic.

On my way to Pasig City Hall to do tax stuff, I was sitting in the jeepney front. (Which I should stop doing, because the fumes make me dizzy). I was front and center, but whoever designed jeepneys meant for two passengers to occupy the front seat, hurrah hurrah. (In other words, no or less wandering pinkies).

Our jeep had a bit of a hard time changing lanes (well, he wasn’t supposed to be, but who’s counting), so he was kind of just resting slantwise across two half-lanes.

My front companion-passenger, without a change of expression, put one hand out the door way and “blinked” with his hand, creating a “signal” that halted the vehicles behind so that ours could pass. Then he brought his hand back in, still without change of expression, as if it was the most natural thing in the world for his hand to be used as a signal light.

Tac.

While on my way home from tax work, the rain was pouring so hard that the large jeepney side-view mirrors were rain-spattered until they were useless. The driver, cool as a cucumber, pulled out one of those manual wind-shield wipers that gas attendants use, and proceeded to give his side-view mirrors a washing in the rain.

Toe.

I was on my way to Tramo for the Market!Market! terminal, in a jeepney. I was in the corner by the back entrance. In front, and at the far end of the seats nearest the driver, were two young men that I couldn’t stop looking at.

No, not because of any blessing of extraordinary beauty. As far as I could see, they were as alike as the proverbial peas in a pod. Both were a regular sun-brown, both had on large white baggy t-shirts, and plain black turned-around caps.

Okay, I thought. That’s just coincidence.

And then at their stop, they hopped off together, same cap, same shirt…same brown shorts and same black flip-flops. I stared at them until they rounded a corner, trying to make sure I wasn’t seeing double.

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