What’s my credibility in giving tips regarding this seemingly hard core challenge?
Well, I’ve been an avid passenger for half a decade now. You see, I have no other choice of public carrier than a bus that would force me to travel along EDSA for four long hours or buy a car that I will just drag along EDSA for years due to my poor and close to none driving skills (if starting an engine can be considered a skill).
If being an MRT passenger returns a bachelor degree, I would probably earned one.
Name it, I’ve experienced it. Or at least my fellow passenger did that I witnessed or heard first hand.
So now that you’re convinced or I am convinced that you are, here’s my quick and not-so-dirty tips:
1. Bring a huge bag and stuff it with all sorts of things that you won’t probably need but would be of great help.
What for? SELF-DEFENSE.
Use the bag to protect yourself from the constant push and pull of people. Then use it to intricately and gently push other people as well, just so they would get a grasp of how you’d need to get to the office on time because it’s almost 9 and you’ll gonna be late and you don’t want to receive a memo. Just don’t push too hard, okay?
2. Travel alone.
It’s easier to fit in a small tiny little space if you’re alone. I learned to contour myself just to fit in. Less hassle, no queue. It’s like a magic trick: find a spot that your feet can step in, then contour your body to fill in the tiny spot.
If your feet can step on it, you can fit in. Promise!
3. Chill! Really, just chill. Don’t be grumpy and vent your frustrations every second.
No matter how many times your foot was stepped on;
No matter how many undisciplined fellow passenger have overtaken you and just pop from nowhere to your front;
No matter how effortlessly you are moving from downstairs to platform because a huge flock of zombies, I mean people, are pushing behind you–ready to eat your brain, uhm, ride the train rather–just chill!
If you’ll complain every minute and shout at all people who pushes you, then you’ll earn more enemies than sympathy and you’ll be grumpy all day. You’ll carry the same attitude to your office (or wherever you’re going) and you’ll most probably ruin their day too.
You don’t want that, do you? Yes, vent out your frustrations once in a while, but not every minute. If riding an MRT is a daily routine, complaining all day will flush your strength down the drain.
4. Make better use of time.
Read a book that has been sitting in your shelf for years now.
Write an article to your blog that nobody reads (yes, like what I’ve been doing). I’m using Evernote in case you ask. It’s a great app in writing down notes on the go using your mobile phone.
Write a love letter that you’ll never gonna give to your crush. If you’re like me, I draft my letters in Evernote then transfer it to a stationery. I like the traditional way. But I don’t write letters to my crush. I just, write it in my heart. LOL! 🙂
Do all this while listening to your favorite rock and roll band and rock your way up the platform.
Or..you can listen to podcast that would stir up your mind and think about the essence of life. I love listening to podcast from Michael Hyatt; Bo Sanchez; Steven Furtick and VCF about leadership, finance and living your life to the full.
Don’t just fight boredom. Make better use of your time for it can never be replaced.
5. Be vigilant. Always put your bags in front.
I’ve never been pick-pocketed in MRT (just elsewhere) but I hear a lot of stories about it. You can flaunt your gadgets and do the things I suggested in #4 but you should be extra careful about all your stuff.
I don’t think they’ll hijack the train and get all the belongings of the passengers. How can you do that when you’re face is almost next to the armpit of your fellow passenger?
I also can’t imagine them snatching your gadget because they cannot run nor hide inside the train.
The best thing they can do is to dress up (yes, they look like professionals.. after all they’re professional pickpocket) and ingeniously get your gadgets or wallet from your bag or pocket.
6. Avoid rush hours.
If you don’t want to be pushed around and experience real life boxing and jabbing, make sure you’ll come earlier: around 530 to 630 am. Most of the people during this time are still in their pajamas, snoozing their alarm clock and promising to wake up after five minutes that would really take them an hour.
But if you belong to “most people” like me, prepare yourself then for battle because the war begins at 6:45 am to 10 am; 5 pm to 8 pm; and anytime in between–specially when the train malfunctioned; or the power supply is off on some stations or whenever there’s technical problem.
7. Avoid bringing your children (specially babies!) during rush hours.
I really can’t take to see a child being squeezed and smashed inside the train. If there’s a storm surge last Typhoon Yolanda, there’s always a zombie-like-people-surge in MRT every day. So please do your child a favor: ride a cab or bus or just avoid travelling during rush hours.
8. What’s yours?
I know you have stories to tell too. Either you keep it to yourself; discuss it with a friend or comment below. Whatever way you want.
MRT is like my second home. (Naks! I’m just kidding, of course. It’s my third.)
It is a daily routine for me. During the years, I learned to:
Accept the pain when someone stepped on my foot;
Overcome the struggle in fighting my way up the platform;
And embrace the challenges in finding the shortest route from North to get to the platform with minimum amount of time..
EVERY.. SINGLE.. DAY. 🙂
So I hope this brought you creative ideas and tips that would somehow guide you in riding the MRT.