Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘In Traffic’

Lock your car doors

December 12, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: In Traffic, Places 4 Comments →

At a quarter to two this afternoon we were sitting in traffic in the Guadalupe interchange en route to Rockwell when a group of kids surrounded the taxi. There were about six of them, pre-teen, early teen, in T-shirts and shorts. One of them hopped onto the back of the van in front of us then somersaulted onto the roof of the taxi. The other kids stuck their faces in the windows and pounded on the doors. It was like being in Mad Mad: Beyond Thunderdome, or getting stuck in open auditions for a Glee remake of Fame, which is scarier. Then the kids started rattling the door handles and trying to open the doors, which were locked.

The driver looked straight ahead and refused to notice the rumpus. We have heard of thieves lurking in intersections, opening car doors and grabbing whatever they can (It’s Xmas). The kids may have been high on solvent. We were listening to Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants (50th anniversary edition). It is hard to be fazed while listening to hard bop. Then the traffic started moving and the wild ones went off to harass another car. They could still be down in Guadalupe, freaking out random motorists.

What kind of city do you want?

December 03, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, In Traffic 3 Comments →

Manila skyline photo from the National Geographic.

From our column Emotional Weather Report in the Philippine Star.

A week from now Manny Pacquiao will meet his Mexican archrival Juan Manuel Marquez in the ring for the fourth time. Many believe that Marquez was the true winner of their last bout, which Pacquiao won by a split decision (and that Pacquiao was the winner of his fight against Bradley, the result of which seemed like a correction). Of all Pacquiao’s opponents it is Marquez who has been the greatest threat, if not the match for the Filipino champion. Will Marquez have his overdue victory, or will Pacquiao end all debate at last?

I won’t even venture a guess. However, I can tell you in all certainty that in the morning and early afternoon of December 9, the streets of Metro Manila will enjoy very light traffic. There will be few cars on the road; everyone will be watching the boxing live from Vegas. It should be a good time to do your Xmas shopping. The only time city driving will be this pleasant is during Lent, when the residents go on vacation. As no one will listen to my suggestion that we barricade all access to Metro Manila (So they can’t come back in and we can de-congest the streets forever!!!), we can only hope that Pac-man goes on fighting. His matches offer us the rare reprieve from the daily hostage situation on the road.

Public Stress Relief Station

November 15, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: In Traffic, Places, Projects 4 Comments →

Street artist fra.biancoshock installed an ingenious antistress station in a Milan bus shelter consisting of bubble wrap sheets in three stress relief dosages: 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and 10 minutes. via Laughing Squid

Offices could have a padded cell in which stressed-out employees can scream their lungs out, punch the wall, or break a set of cheap plates (bit more difficult with padding).

Can we do this here?

November 09, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, In Traffic 7 Comments →

A bit Tulfoesque, but it could work. Remember when traffic cops with megaphones insulted people who were jaywalking? Was that effective?

Pavement driver ordered to wear ‘idiot’ sign in Cleveland
BBC News, 8 Nov 2012

A judge in Ohio has come up with an unusual punishment for a dangerous driver.

Shena Hardin will have to hold up a sign saying “only an idiot would drive on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus” after she did just that.

Witnesses say she used to routinely drive on the pavement to avoid waiting for the school bus as it stopped to pick up and drop off children in Cleveland.

The incident was filmed by someone on the bus using a mobile phone.

Hardin will also lose her licence for 30 days and pay a $250 fine.

Project: EDSA anti-pollution campaign wins global prize

October 23, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Announcements, In Traffic 1 Comment →

The Boysen KNOxOUT Project: EDSA campaign has won the 2012 TBWA Disruption Award Grand Prix.

The urban renewal initiative was undertaken to lessen air pollution on the highway using large-scale artworks created with air-cleaning paint.

The Boysen KNOxOUT campaign beat 80 submissions from all over the world for the top prize. Congratulations to Jackie Ongking and the entire Project: EDSA team for bringing a great idea to life.

Eating and singing while driving

September 26, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: In Traffic 6 Comments →

After an extremely stressful weekend (Our cat Saffy was at the vet to have some teeth extracted; she’s fine, we’re exhausted) we decompressed by visiting Uniqlo in MOA. There’s no therapy like thin Merino wool sweaters at Php990. Feeling pleased with ourselves, we lugged our purchases to the taxi queue and jumped in the first cab.

The driver was courteous and genial—he outlined the route he intended to take, for our approval. As we drove out of MOA that Korean song came on the radio and he noted the popularity of dancing Gangnam-style.

Typical weeknight on Edsa

At the traffic light we noticed that the driver was eating. Not popping snacks in his mouth, but eating a meal with a spoon and fork. Ordinarily we’d worry about the driver taking his mind off the road but traffic was moving slowly and he seemed alert enough. Then that song by No Doubt started playing on the radio and he started singing along.

To recap: Our driver was driving, eating, and singing at the same time. As we had been de-stressed by shopping we didn’t mind at all. If you recall that song from the 90s it goes, “Don’t speak…dadadada…Don’t tell me cause it hurts.”

Cheerfully the driver sang, “Don’t speak…dadadada…Don’t tell me cause it’s hurt.” Suddenly we remembered an entry in our collection of eccentric old lady stories.

Some years ago, our friend and his sisters were spending the weekend with their aunt at her farm. His sisters wanted to get pedicures. “Tita,” they asked their aunt, “May nagma-manicure ho ba dito?”

“Ah oo,” said Tita, “si Cely. Andiyan siya…andiyan. Sa phonebooks ko.”

The girls looked in the notebook next to the telephone. They looked under “C” for “Cely”. Nothing. They looked under “M” for “manicure”. Nothing.

“Tita, wala ho dito,” they reported.

“Andiyan yan,” their Tita insisted. “Hanapin ninyo diyan sa phonesbook.”

They looked under “P” for “pedicure” and “parlor”. No such listings. They tried “S” for “salon”. Nothing. “B” for “beauty parlor”. Wala talaga.

“Sigurado akong nariyan sa ponebooks,” said Tita, who was instructing the maids to prepare lunch. “Ilabas niyo na yung srim (shrimps).”

After going through all the possible listings they found Cely’s number at last. She was listed under “K” for “kuko” (nails).