...it just happens.
I love taxis. Not only am I spared the hassles of driving in Manila's hostile traffic, but I also get to either think about what to do for the day, or just have a chat with another fellow slave in the Philippine system.
Taxi Drivers are good conversationalists. First, because driving around Manila's congested streets turns their brain slowly into mush, they jump at the first chance of any verbal communication.
Second, when you talk you know theres almost no way he can swindle you into buying or doing anything you dont want to. He doesnt need you to say good things about him, or even help him get hitched with a pretty friend of yours. All in all, You dont go thinking what his hidden agenda is. Its just an honest, if not intellectual discussion about anything under the sun.
Lastly, you never meet him again, and the same goes for him. So he'll most likely tell you about the secret escapades he does behind his wife's back, how he was bribed into buying votes for a certain candidate or maybe about the activities of that secret mafia organization in his neighborhood.
So you'll end up knowing how he saved up for his own taxi through his hard work in Dubai, how his modest income supported 5 or 6 kids that now end up as doctors or nurses, or basically about the interesting people who rode that day before you. You end up finding out how they really feel about FPJ, the FilAms in the PBA, the idiocities of the MMDA and how much better the good old days were. The number of stories are endless.
Because as far as they're concerned, the cab is their confessional box and I, the passenger who will never be seen again, am their absolver.
Yup. I love riding cabs.
Anyway, I rode cab again this week and this is probably the most unique conversation I ever had. Well, maybe besides the one where he talked in detail about being the secret love slave of three different matronas at the same time. But that's another story.
Normally, Id shy away from writing in Filipino, but I really have to write it down as I heard it.
So there I was chatting away with the usual stuff with this cabbie and he suddenly asks me...
Taxi Driver: Teka, saan ba ulit yung pupuntahan natin?
Me: Ah malapit na. (mentions place)
TD: Yan nga ba yung malapit sa madaming nagshooshooting? (I live right next to a production house)
Me: Opo. Yun nga! Dun nga po tayo pupunta.
TD: (suddenly looks at me using the rearview mirror) Hmmm...
Me: Bakit po?
TD: Artista ka ano??!
Me: (gapes in surprise) Ndi po!
TD: Oo artista ka! Nakita na kita sa TV!
Me: Imposible po. Iba po yon.
TD: Ikaw yon. Pa-autograph naman para sa anak ko.
Me: Ndi po talaga ako artista!
TD: E bakit ka pupunta dun??
Me: Dun po ako sa katabing bahay.
TD: Sigurado kang ndi ka artista? Parang nakita na kita sa TV dati. May teleserye ka ba?
Me: Ako po??! Wala ho akong kaalam alam sa pag-arte. Ndi din ako bagay katabi ni Judai.
TD: (laughs) Ikaw ba yung komedyante na sumasakay taxi??! Nakakatawa ka e. Siguro pagdating natin dun papakita mo din ako sa TV ano?
Me: Si michael V po yon. Ang raket nya mag-drive ng taxi, ndi po maging pasahero (laughs)
TD: Ah oo nga. Alam ko na! Nasa Thats ka ba dati?
Me: Lalong ndi po! Wala po akong ka-talent talent sumayaw! (laughs)
TD: Ahhh... E ang lapit mo dun sa madaming shooting. Bakit ndi ka nadidiscover?
Me: (i suddenly couldnt help but laugh out loud) Siguro po dahil ndi ako karapatdapat madiscover! Lagi ako dumadaan dun, kahit na anong pagpapacute ko... sinusungitan lang ako ng mga gwardya at driver...
TD: Sigurado ka? Kahit extra?
Me: Ndi po talaga. Gusto ko nga sana mag extra kahit rapist lang ni Aubrey Miles e...
TD: Hahaha Hindi bagay sayo. Masyado ka mabait tignan.
Me: Kaya siguro ndi ako kinuha don...
(the production house comes into view)
TD: (suddenly serious. He rolls down his window and...) Gusto mo tawagin natin yung direktor? Para madiscover ka. Ok lang sa akin...
Me: Wag po! Rinerespeto po ako dito.
TD: (Rolls it up again) Haha sige ka.
Me: Kuntento na po ako sa buhay ko. Baka ipartner pa ako kay Jolina...
TD: Hahaha sige. 170 pesos po.
Needless to say, I tipped him generously. Best laugh I had this week.