Met up with James briefly last night before we both went home (we live in the same area). We took a bus (the last time I rode one was for my immersion in January 2011) and the air con was in full blast; it was cold and they were playing boring movies. Ayala to Cubao took around an hour. It wasn’t really the traffic but the buses waiting for passengers at each possible bus stop (mostly near Ortigas) that took so much time.
We got off at Cubao and had to walk to the opposite side where all the FX’s were parked waiting for passengers. James said it was dangerous going home that late at night and I didn’t really believe him (it wasn’t that late and I’ve gone home far later when I used to go to Ateneo and take the jeep home at 11pm, but then again Cubao is not Katipunan). The mall that connected the stations was already closed so we had to walk through the narrow, smelly streets near the wet market to get to the other side. The sidewalk was pretty much filled with men sitting down, not really doing anything except maybe chat and wait for something and stare at the people walking.
I was in a pink dress and beige jacket with my olive dollshoes and it wasn’t surprising that I felt a bit out of place. Even James in his purple polo and corporate clothes seemed like it made sense that he would pass through it (like a man going home from work), but not a girl who looks like she came from nothing but a stroll in the mall (or park).
So now I understand why James said it was dangerous even though, maybe not really. Not if I get to Cubao before 9pm, before the mall closes so I can walk through it and not outside. Maybe not if I wore denim pants with a shirt and sneakers to blend with everyone else, like a usual passer-by on the way home in the evening. Or still, probably not if I were a boy instead of a girl. But even boys get mugged.
The ride on the FX took another hour because of the traffic from Cubao. I realized it took me just as long as my mom to get home when my dad used to pick her up from Makati every night. I thought maybe I shouldn’t take the bus even if it was convenient to be able to sit down because two hours wasn’t worth it.