January 5, 2015 – The Commute

I rode a bus to work for the first time in a few weeks.

That probably is the dullest introduction that you will read today, maybe ever.

I do not want to make it seem like a “first world problem” thing, but it is significant, at least for me.

My wife and I are working in the same company. Our company is located in the Philippines, but we follow US time zones. That means we work in the graveyard shift. I normally follow her schedule when I can, since her department is a little stricter with their schedules. As for my department, as long as I am not leading a training class, I am free to go to the office anytime I need to, as long as I complete the regular nine hour work (minimum).

A few things made me change that, though. I have observed that we are not spending much time with Alpha (our son), only 4 hours at the most. With all the work that we need to finish, we tend to stay in the office longer than what is expected. When we go home, sometimes we just play with Alpha a few hours and then we have to sleep for the next work night. There are days when we are just so tired that we just give him a kiss, and fall asleep, even if we don’t want to.

I decided to move to an earlier shift, and if possible, go back home during lunch and accompany my wife to work. Only problem is, traveling at night is a scary thing. There are times when my wife has to travel by herself. She normally takes a cab to get to work, but even then, her safety is still a concern. A lot of news about devilish cab drivers abound, which validates our fear.

If traveling via taxis are scary, utilizing buses are equally scary.

Buses can be held up. Yes, the entire bus, including the 40+ passengers are held up, and it is almost a regular part of the news. When I have to go home late at night or during the wee hours of the morning, I normally bring the least amount of money that I can, and I leave my gadgets at home. This still does not make me a hundred percent safe.

My first bus ride after a long time away from the public commute was a mixture of my regular paranoia, and discomfort. It’s been a while since I sat beside a complete stranger, and it did not help that the bus reeked of body odor.

At first, I was more “Oh s**t. Am I getting smelly?”

After a few quick sniffs, I realized (to my relief) that it was the bus chairs.

Traveling by bus is cheaper, so I guess I got what I paid for.