Friday, April 17, 2009

Found Memory #4: Jeepney’s RULE!

So, i was going to add this to the Philippines post below that i just uploaded, but wanted it in its own “found memory” post…Driving around here always brings back memories from past trips, but one Philippine icon brings back a great little memory of Lissette and I…

My first trip to the Philippines was in 1995.  I had just met my beautiful love and we were just barely falling in love…we had only known each other for a few weeks, but it seemed like much longer since we saw each other every day and spent many nights on the phone talking when we were apart.  So, when I was getting ready to head home to take a semester of school I told her i wanted to go somewhere fun before I left.  I suggested Thailand, since I hadn’t been there and she said, “how about the Philippines”?  I really didn’t care, because all i really wanted was to go ANYWHERE with this girl – freak, i would have taken a trip to a Turkish Prison, as long as we could be  could be alone somewhere…

So, we decided to spend 2 weeks in Boracay on this amazing little island that takes (from Korea) 2 plane trips, a 3 hour bus trip and an hour boat ride.  It might be a little less of a boat ride, i can’t quite remember, but i do remember it took a full day to get there from Korea and i was amazed at how long it took!

The island was amazing and we had an incredible time there.  We really fell completely and madly in love over those 2 weeks and i know if we hadn’t of gone and spent that time we most likely wouldn’t have been married, or at least not as soon as we were (5 months later)…We even ended up going back there for our honeymoon, but this post isn’t about that – it is about the transportation to the island…

When we flew into the first airport in Manila, we knew we couldn’t take a shuttle from the airport to the other domestic airport because we were told it was too expensive.  So, by walking from inside the airport (shuttle: $40 dollars) to the outside (people asking if we wanted a ride to the other airport for $25) we already saved $15 bucks – we felt pretty good about ourselves at that point…but, we knew we wanted to take a taxi and have them use the meter.  That way the driver would be honest (boy, were we naive).  I’ve been here a ton since that first trip and have taken taxis in Manila several times and it is ALWAYS a nightmare – i’ve never had an honest taxi driver and almost got into a fistfight with one after he tried to rip us off on our honeymoon – but again, that is a different post.

At this point, we didn’t know how bad the taxi drivers were.  So, we got in the back of this taxi and asked the guy to use the meter.  He said, “yes yes, get in get in”…so we did and he started driving.  He didn’t start the meter and both of us are like, “hey, meter – yo, meter” and finally while driving he handed us a thick binder with all of these numbers on it.  I didn’t understand what it was and asked him and he said, “price sheet.”  Lissette yelled, “STOP THE CAR” and he was right in the middle of the road and he stopped and we got out in the middle of traffic. 

We were pretty upset at him and tried looking for another taxi, when we saw these vehicles driving all around with writing on the sides.  We tried to read what was written and lissette found one that showed “Dom. Airport” on it, so we ran after it and once it stopped we jumped in the back.  We asked a lady how much it was and she said, “5 pesos” – which at the time was about 2 and 1/2 cents!!!  WE WERE DYING…ever since then I have LOVED Jeepney’s because they are very cool (covered in tons of crazy junk and writing) and cheap cheap cheap!!!  Plus, kicking it with the locals is great as well…

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Here is a picture of a couple of Jeepneys from yesterday when El and I went to the Shawarma shop (see previous post “geek heaven”).  These are REALLY plain looking ones compared to most…you just jump in back and pass the money through the window between the back and cab and then jump out at your stop.

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Here is another picture of us driving next to one and you can see the writing on the side (the route it is taking)…you can also see the line of them in the right hand lane – as far as you can see forward they are jeepneys…

 

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Jeepney_Benz 

This is what i mean by “covered in tons of crazy junk and writing” – love the BENZ symbol!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love you so much and miss you dearly!!!! Thanks for the memories and tears! My favorite was the bus ride ;-)!! I can't wait to see you in 3 days! Those jeepney's are so cool! We have lived an amazing life together!!!
Yours Always,
Lissette

The Fox Den said...

I love hearing your stories! What a ride...

k8 said...

how crazy is it that the place you fell in love totally foreshadowed your future life???

jaredean said...

i know! i was thinking of that while typing this post - the very country we fell in love (not the actual country we met it or even the one we lived in) has been the place i keep coming back to...

Melrose Fulgencio Website said...

Jeepney is part of the Filipino culture already. In fact, they made it more interesting by installing novelty horns. (annoying to some though) if you want to hear some of their weird sounding horns, go to http://www.onehundredjeepneysounds.com/