Monday, January 18, 2010

Talkative Drivers

I am one of those people comfortable in riding cabs. Some people's nightmares in riding cabs are being kidnapped, drugged to oblivion, mauled to death, held-up, or vehicular accident. I wonder why the words "talkative drivers" are not usually found on the list?
(I must've done a survey to support this entry.)

I enjoy my cab rides especially when it's not traffic because the meter is also happy and my wallet, too. Having a talkative driver is a nightmare, well, drivers not listening to your instructions ending up with a more expensive fare are worse, but they're not as interesting as talkative drivers aka life-sharers, motor journalists, opinionated editors, commentators, annoying radio DJs, support group member.

Just a while ago, the few times I'm not wearing my earphones, the driver asked me if I'm already a voting citizen. I was proud I am one so I replied. BAD MOVE. (But it's worse for me if you don't reply at all.) Then he said while we were on a stop, "Ma'am, boto po natin si Erap ah." I smiled and was waiting for the punch line. There was none. It was not a joke. He was deadpan serious about it and told stuff about Erap being a victim of politics and all. I was hoping for 3 things. It doesn't hurt to ask that much, right?

I was hoping that:
1. He doesn't ask me whom I'm voting for - because obviously I'd rather die than have Erap or Manny Villar as president. And I don't want to lie on a Sunday, not that I enjoy lying or something in any other days.
2. He won't continue the talk about politics - because it's such a delicate issue to be discussed with someone driving and being responsible for someone else's life like mine.
3. I get home ASAP.

Let's wind back a few months ago. Like all stories I share in this blog, this one's based on a true story. This is probably the most awkward talkative driver scenario for me...yet. And I'm not hoping for anything that will top this soon.

I hailed a cab and was studying for my long exam. I didn't use my earphones again because there was a peaceful silence in the cab until all hell broke loose. The driver's phone rang, typical ringtone nothing fancy schmancy until he answered it while driving. Okay. I didn't react that he was talking while driving. Hey, I also multi-task, listening to their conversation, while praying that we don't hit anything or anyone, and studying for my exam. 3 > 2, I beat him. Then everything became CHEEESY and things went downhill (until we almost saw Satan) from there. They both were sharing expressions of fondness (lambing) with terms like "Oh bakit ka pa tumawag? Sayang load." "Ikaw kasi eh, kumain ka na kagad. Sasabayan dapat kita eh." "Mamaya sabay tayo dinner ah. Ligo ka muna para pag-uwi ko mabango ka." I thought my ears would bleed and red ants would swarm from it.



Then there were, "Oo may pasahero ako. Okay lang yan. Hindi naman niya tayo kilala eh." "Diba, Ma'am? Okay lang po sa inyo? Nasa biyahe po tayo diba, at wala ako sa kung saang lugar." OH NO! Now he's talking to me and asking for me to "talk" to his girl that he's not lingering around any KTVs or beer gardens! I smiled with teeth and continued reading my notes. For the love of God and His revelation, it was only 3pm. When the call ended, I was now the recipient of the words. He told me how "number 2s" or mistresses are always sweeter and much more caring than the legal wife. Have I mentioned he added, "Diba po? Mas malambing naman po talaga yung mga pangalawa eh," and I had no idea how to react on that. He told me he lives with his mistress and that they're together for a year. He told me she's still young and (READ THE NEXT FEW WORDS) even showed me a picture of her girl. All these while driving the ultimate taxi cab ride of my life. He continued on the age and sometimes asked me if I have a boyfriend or anything and yes, just like a normal conversation, you wait for the reply of the other person. So I retort what I usually say and he say things about his girl again and about education. When we're in school already, my parting words were, "Manong, baka classmate ko po yang girlfriend niyo. Sabi niyo po kasi baka ka-edad ko lang po eh!" After paying, "Naku, Ma'am, mahirap po yang ganyan! Sana hindi niyo classmate! Hahaha!"

He got the last laugh. I got the awkward life lessons.

And until now, I don't understand why I always get the talkative drivers.


MORAL: I have done an analogy before that taxi drivers are like prostitutes. People call for them when they need them, utilize their service, and after getting what you want and paid for, drop them like a hot potato (even when your destination's in the middle of nowhere). Maybe these drivers just want someone to talk to, since not everyone enjoys the luxury of 2-way radios or VHFs.

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