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The mate had warned me, if by the third straight time you’ve still ridden the bus with multiple stops from Gensan to Davao, you’re hopelessly in need of a new pair of glasses. True enough, provincial buses with multiple stops is a thing in itself nowadays; a stand-alone oddity just like the slow boat to China. As for the latter, I still don’t know whether such ride exists. I don’t even remember where I heard such junk.

But back on the subject of bus transport, I still find it a bit amusing that when they say “regular”, they actually mean to stop in every municipality between major destinations. So, if one were really in a great hurry to get from point A to B, then, finding yourself riding a multiple-stop bus is sure to be one of your worst nightmares. I’m thinking ‘different strokes for different folks’ though, because during my first experience, a couple of foreign tourists were enjoying every minute of our slow journey.

And that keeps me wondering, is it just me, or why does everyone appear to be so nonchalant? As the bus slowly trudges on, every person on board is loose, chatting softly among themselves and smiling. Even the driver isn’t harried; occasionally butting in when he can with gusto as though he wasn’t at the wheel.. If it were the old days, I wouldn’t even be surprised if a lit cigarette was loosely hanging on his lips.

A soft beep from my phone signaled a where are you message from my matey and at that, I’m awakened from my brief reverie. On a non-stop bus finally, I said with pride. And I get a big smiley icon in return. Three is a charm,

I thought as I slunk back in my seat. Indeed, fast travels these days are the thing. But wait, a lightbulb inside my head suddenly lit up, you’re not jet set material! Why hurry, as I watched the countryside zip by, a longing inside slowly set in, and the beaming faces of those tourist couples flashed in my mind. Next time.


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