FEW THINGS are more disorienting than seeing so many sandaled scantily-clothed and sun-drenched brown brothers and sisters carrying around tablets, iPads and iPhones as if connective technology and dressing down were, taken together, the most natural thing in the world.
I counted, because I had not much to do. One out of every twenty passers-by while I hunkered down in my little corner of Air-Conditioned Generic Mall in Pasig was carrying a touch-screen, MegaGig and WiFi-sucking gadget that everyone had grown dependent on. How could so many people afford these pricey things? How could people go to work, work, go home from work, perform family obligations and still log on substantial hours on the Internet? Simply because every other waking minute is devoted to these machines.
I counted, because I had not much to do. One in every ten passers by was wearing the barest of footwear, in all colors of the rainbow, thong sandals, jandals, slippers, flip-flops, Havaianas, Crocs, it mattered not that the wearers were going to work in office attire, were attending business meetings or were shooting off to the gym. It was as natural as Florsheims and sensible shoes, and the more comfortable you were, the better.
It’s a sign of the times that people are relieved it only takes two hours to get home, where before it took three. The irony is it should actually only take, with minimum traffic and judicious time management, one hour. Color-coding, use of counter-flow and lane supplements during rush hour fail to obscure the reality that there are simply too many vehicles and not enough roads for 14 million people in Metro Manila.
But because we are so used to suffering and enduring inconveniences in road transportation, two hours instead of three is heaven on earth.
Before I say any more, I’m catching the next jeepney to Galleria.
Thanks for reading!
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