TrenSpotting Series: Commuting with the Walking Dead

This was how it was earlier at the Guadalupe MRT — like layers of zombies shuffling aimlessly waiting for salvation in the form of a (long-arriving) train.

This picture is not my property

I swear to the Higher Power that I will no longer leave the house later than 8AM. The commute going to Ortigas was simply hell, spelled with a capital H. Blame it on the cold Manila weather or the fact that I seriously lack sleep (no thanks to Sayuri), but I woke up later than expected. After taking a quick shower, dressing up and going through the short (yet inconvenient) commute from our house to Guadalupe MRT, I climbed the stairs, then the elevator — only to wonder why entrance to the MRT was almost deserted. I shouldn’t have spoken sooner cos just after I go through the turnstile — there it was: like a scene out of The Walking Dead.

A mass of people–maybe about ten layers deep–crowded the platform, each one inching to be nearer the gap. Meanwhile, the train takes forever to arrive.

Finally, a train arrives, and the mass–like zombies getting a whiff of human brains–ambled aimlessly, pushing, pulling, cursing, determined to be one of the few who could enter the already-busting-at-the-seems train coach. The girl behind me kept pushing, making me fear for my mortality, as I was pushed nearer and nearer the gap. I sighed, took a breather and (pretended to adjust my bag) BOOM! The bag smacked her squarely near her shoulders, she took a step back , I followed suit. Problem solved.

Each time a train arrives, the crowd pushes, surging forward, arms outstretched, as if supplicating for salvation. The scene earlier reminded of the great surge of zombies as they knock on the department store glass door. Everyone wanted a piece of the train, the passengers barely remembering that there is a person in front of them, where no one comes between the platform and the train tracks. Where the danger of falling off the tracks is greater, especially if there’s a mass of anxious commuters pushing and surging forward.

It took four more trains before I got to board a less-cramped train. I held on the train railings and almost immediately pretended it was part of my limb. To hell with other passengers, I AM NOT LETTING GO. Again, someone to my left kept on pushing, pushing, pushing…I closed my eyes and uttered a silent prayer….

…welcome to the walking wounded, KamikazeeGirl!

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