Choosing between stress and paying for sanity
“Traffic” has ceased to become an excuse for tardiness, at least in Metro Manila where commuting is a hell of a chore.
It’s a reality, but there are ways around it—at a cost.
I made ride-sharing apps Uber and Grab my best friends since a traumatic holdup incident some time ago forced me to stop taking cabs—and I still don’t drive.
When I expect to be stuck on the road, I bring entertainment with me—book, e-book, downloaded Netflix shows, and a trusty power bank.
I mastered the art of applying makeup in traffic. Winged eyeliner in a moving vehicle? I’m a pro.
I always carry a teeny bottle of minty lola oil to calm my nerves.
Perhaps the best decision I made was moving from flood-prone Manila to a box of an apartment in Makati a couple of years ago. Being able to walk to and from work was a game changer since, after that, everything else kind of fell into place.
Within my radius opened several establishments: a mom-and-pop café that serves the best coffee and grilled cheese sandwich, a Japanese restaurant that sells wagyu sticks, a carinderia that serves authentic bagnet, bulalo and dinakdakan daily, a basic spa and a gym (which I have yet to visit). Even my dermatologist was within the neighborhood, till she moved abroad.
I guess I got lucky, because that one time Uber canceled on me after waiting for over two hours (this was just from Poblacion to Ayala!), I was stuck in a party with James Reid—and an open bar.
My method works and often leaves me broke. But I am still thankful since, between stress and paying for my sanity, I choose the latter—just don’t don’t ask me how much my Uber bill costs.
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