Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The Reason why Manila Rain Sucks

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If there is anything more distasteful than hay fever, that would probably be rain. I like rain, generally. But the thing is, I like rain when I am indoors. I can curl up in a chair with a cup of coffee in hand, and slowly get some work done. Or I can read. If it’s raining at nighttime, and my room isn’t busy turning into a swamp, I can sleep really well.

So yes. Generally, I like rain. I do not like rain when I have to run errands.

Let's take yesterday, as an example. I had some business over at the Manila City Hall, then I had to head to Tayuman to visit the local Land Transportation Office before dropping off some papers over at Nina’s house (which was close by). At the same time, I had work to do. So my schedule was going to be work first in the morning, then head out to city hall in the afternoon, and take it from there.

This was easy enough, as city hall was no more than ten minutes away from my house if I take the Sta. Cruz bus, and Tayuman was fifteen minutes away via the LRT-1.

But this was not to be the case yesterday, as the rain turned the Paco-Ermita border into a turtle-paced purgatory. It took me an hour to get to city hall; it was close to 4PM when I completed my business there, and it took me another fifteen minutes to skirt puddles as I walked to the LRT-1 Central Terminal. This should have been a five-minute walk from city hall.

The biggest problem here is that this bloody city, and it’s people, aren’t really prepared to deal with rain. Whenever it’s raining, there’s panic in the streets, as people rush to get away from the downpour (or run through it, to play in the rain). It’s every man for himself when this happens, and when you’re just a pedestrian trying to slowly make your way from point A to point B without getting too wet, and without troubling your fellow pedestrians, the folks who welcome rain with the dignity of a drowning rat become a needless hindrance you want to trip with your umbrella and choke out of exasperation.

The same can be said of the public utility vehicles. These guys are trapped in between having to decide whether the urge to stock up on passengers is more important than the knee-jerk instinct of preserving their vehicles’ functionality by swerving away from puddles and potholes without caring for whether they’re cutting corners or not.

If Manila, and it’s denizens, were more prepared – mentally and physically – for downpours, maybe I wouldn’t hate the rain so much. But as it is, the general discomfort that one experiences when walking in the rain is doubled by the fact that the people walking with him are bigger dicks than Sarah Palin. And this is what makes Manila a living hell whenever it rains.

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