The quintessence of travelling

You’re back on the bus, off to a destination no one has ever been to (at least that’s what you think).  Seated in front of you were two giant European girls talking to each other in Dutch or Finnish and on the aisle a woman in her 20s brandishing her well-earned sunburned skin; she’s with the two girls seated in front, the biggest among the three. You really got no idea what language they’re speaking, but you know they’re not conversing in Bisaya.

You checked out the view outside, nothing changed. You’re still at the bus terminal in Manila. So you got off the bus to buy some Ponkan (etymology unknown, but you didn’t bother Googling it up because it’s not the most pressing concern of the moment) oranges. You spotted an oldish lady outside selling those round fruits. You tried to haggle, your modus operandi: accusing her of selling bruised oranges, even hinting they’re rotten. She sounded defensive, indignant. You began feeling like giving in, even almost afraid of her, but they’re just oranges so you gave her her fifty pesos anyway.

You got on the bus. Now seated, you realized you forgot to buy your hardboiled eggs and hopia. So your friend volunteered to buy them for you. Before you could say no, he had already left the bus. A while after, he’s back with three hard-boiled eggs and your all-time favorite hopia. You smiled beaming with gratitude.

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The bus conductor began his all-essential headcount. You almost kicked the European tourist in front of you whose way of grandstanding was to stand on the aisle, distracting the conductor from completing his task. You gave her a criminal look. She acquiesced and kept her quiet the entire trip. You spotted her again in Nueva Vizcaya. This time, however, she avoided your stares. Good, you thought, she should know where she figured in the great scheme of things.