TrenSpotting Series: Deodorants–and what it’s for.

I have a question.
If you knew you will be sharing space (both maneuver and breathing) with other people, it is polite to use an antiperspirant or deodorant, yes?

The new work requires me to ride the MRT at all times — first, because riding the cab every day would put a big dent on my salary; second — because it’s faster and allows you to avoid the traffic hell that is EDSA and third — because no cab driver in his right mind would ferry a passenger going to Ortigas during rush hour.

Anyway, the fact that I am now one of the 350,000 daily commuters relying on the MRT to shuttle to and fro from work also exposes me to tiny little things that make tren commuting far from boring.

Take for example the use of deodorants. More than keeping your ‘pits white — deodorants are there to make sure you don’t contribute to Manila’s worsening air pollution. Aside from exhaust coming from buses and inconsiderate public and private transpo, we (the train-riding public) is also exposed to the inconsiderate few who provides reeking havoc to our noses during the daily commute.

I take the MRT’s “ladies only” carriages each time I ride the MRT because I do not fancy the thought of my ass pressing against a stranger’s ass, especially if it’s from the opposite sex and because (no offense intended) I am confident that women smell better than men. I have this weird belief that even if I am shoulder to shoulder with various women, at least they would smell of cologne, lotion, deodorant and not of sweat (again, no offense to all the men commuters — It doesn’t mean that you don’t smell as good).

Wohhhhhboy…there is always an exception to the rule.

Like take for example earlier when I had the (mis)fortune of standing behind a college student, with her hair cropped before short, her shirt and jeans combo, and with a backpack slung low on her shoulders. With all available square meters occupied, I have no choice but to press against this student and well, yeah — let’s just say that my nose was promptly assailed by the weird combination of sweat, cologne and unexplainable smell, like a faint mixture of dried fish and baby powder. I KID YOU NOT.

I had no chance to maneuver away, considering I was sharing a single space with three more bodies. It was simply luck, me–wedged behind her, treated to an olfactory display of smells I never knew existed. With each lurch, each movement of the god damned train, my face moves towards the back of her head.

With three more stations before Ayala Avenue, I had no choice but to hold it all in– and not breathe as much. It was so bad that it made me think that if I had an deo spray in my bag, I would have gladly given it away to her. Just use the effing deodorant, for Christ’s sakes!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Anna says:

    OMG!! I feel for you!

    1. lanilakwatsera says:

      I don’t know whether to laugh or cry Anna! 🙂

  2. fizzywoohoo says:

    My MRT rides are not as long as they used to be but my heart goes out to you. I know what you’re talking about and the years I’ve spent commuting from GMA to TAFT I’ve collected my own set of “horror” stories. Here’s just a little & friendly warning from me to you…yes, I take the “ladies only” car as well but when push comes to shove, sometimes the ladies there don’t act quite so ladylike and when that time comes, I pray that you control the inner bitch in you haha..unless the other girl really deserves it! haha!

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