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Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994
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Archive for the ‘In Traffic’

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).

Taxi tale of the week: Why the virtuous die young

August 30, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: In Traffic 6 Comments →

The taxi ride to Bonifacio Global City took less than ten minutes, but in that short span our cabbie managed to cram current events, corruption, religion, and thought police into his spiel.

“There should be a computer that monitors what people are thinking!” he declared while AM radio announcers discussed the search for a replacement for the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo. (We wondered if he’d seen Minority Report.) “So when a politician accepts a bribe, everyone will know about it, and he will be shamed.”

“If they are capable of shame,” we pointed out. “The corrupt seem pretty proud of themselves.”

“Then they should be assassinated!” the taxi driver said. “We finally get an honest official and he dies.”

“If only he’d taken the bus,” we mused.

“You know what happened?” He proceeded without waiting for an answer. “Robredo was a good man and devoutly religious so he had no fear. He put his life in his god’s hands and accepted his fate. He didn’t recognize danger, he thought he would be protected.” The taxi driver shook his head vehemently. “It’s bad people who worry about their safety. Because they have reason to! That’s why they’re always surrounded by security guards.”

In a snap the cabbie had solved the mystery of why the good die young and the bad live long.

“If they ask me to become President of the Philippines I’d say yes immediately,” he went on. “I would sign a contract. For six years everyone has to do exactly what I say. If at the end of those six years I haven’t fixed the Philippines, they should cut off my head!”

What a radical idea. Then he went on about how only a dictatorship would work in the Philippines because we are an insubordinate, hard-headed people who will break the rules if we can get away with it. We reached our destination before he could tell us how to establish a fascist state. He gave us the exact change, though, unlike many cabbies who claim to be nice.

Taxi wisdom

August 19, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: In Traffic No Comments →

“The sweet lie is better than the bitter truth.”

Until you’re found out and the truth bites.