Monday, April 10, 2006



I had just gotten off from work. weary and troubled, I ride the bus, trying hard to relax. I can’t. I have some work related problems that I need to figure out. I also have a couple of very small home front issues that need sorting.

the Kunduktor comes:

“sanpo sila?”

“Alabang galing Ayala.”

I hand him a hundred. the fare is P29.

“mamaya napo sukli.”

I nod and shift in my head to a work problem. Less than a minute passes and the Kunduktor hands me my change. I accept it without saying a word while trying to concoct a possible attack angle to my problems in the office.

he leaves. we arrive in Alabang. I stand and as I disembark from the bus, I ask the Kunduktor for my change. we stare at each other. I get pissed and ask him again:

“yung sukli sa 100, Alabang galling Ayala.”

more staring. He relents and gives me my change. I walk towards the jeepney station. I prepare my fare. In each of the front pockets of my jeans is a 71 peso set.

god. I just stole P71 from someone.

I feel bad. I could try looking for the guy but then needles lost in haystacks are a lost cause. Lesson learned: be wary of your change while riding the bus; It goes both ways - I could’ve lost P71. it’s a very common occurrence while riding busses when you give a large bill for the fare:

“mamaya napo sukli.”

danger danger. you could forget that you have change and just go down when you reach your destination and make the Kunduktor richer. or, the Kunduktor could forget that he already gave you change and give you change again; I am a living breathing example of this.

my fear of course, is that somewhere out there is a very angry man who thinks he got scammed by a passenger. and this man remembers my face and he has practiced a revenge scenario in his head should we meet again. Its ok. I remember his face too. All I need to do is look at the Kunduktor’s of the busses I ride; at least for the next few weeks or so.

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