Catajan: Jeepney convo

WHEN in a jeepney, one cannot help but eavesdrop and become part of the lives of the people you ride with in the cramped space of the Pinoy jeep.

Last week, two old folks were chatting while taking the short commute to town. Both were seated in the designated area for seniors and looked aged enough to deserve the positions at the far end of the dilapidated jeep I was riding mid morning to town.

The woman, who was chattier than the man, was talking about the revolution in the market area, the banning of plastics and the prohibition on vendors to descale and gutt fish. She spoke in a horrid tone, like it was the end of the world.

The older male seemed disinterested but relished the conversation replying in subdued tones yet engaging the woman in more topics, which I think he does not really care about but just wanted someone to talk to.

The chat turned toward the topic of the kids of this generation, where the male was complaining about “kids” living in the digital age and not having time to be kids.

He launched into the story of his grandkids who were living in the same compound as him did not play around like he did when he was a child, but instead engaged themselves in gadgets their parents bought for them, glued to their screens all day during weekends.

He also complained of his kids not taking care of him, detailing how he has been mistreated and ignored in his own compound that he built specifically for his children.

The woman, using not so hushed tones, then replied that they should be kicked out of the compound, meriting the exodus because of their foul behavior.

The man then responded that he would rather suffer silently and let karma take over and eventually, everything will be alright.

The two then launched into another conversation, this time about traffic in the city, leaving the telenovela like topic of the man’s children like it never happened.

I was thinking, why allow yourself to suffer needlessly, if you can call the shots? And why tolerate bad behavior when you can do something about it?

I was enraged, mortified by the behavior of the man’s kids and thought why do we allow these things to happen.

Then it was time for them to get down from the jeep, with the man getting out first, attempting to help the woman who laughed and said she could still manage.

They left quite happily, with the rest of the passengers looking bewildered, probably thinking what I was thinking, getting wrapped up in the conversation of two elderlies.

And we wonder where telenovelas get material.
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