Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Trip

Let me tell you about a short trip I remember, one of the many that I took when I was in my mid-teens (a time when The Thinker was still just a twinkle in her daddy's eye).

I was coming home from school, riding a jeepney, one of the legacies of the Americans (adapted by my ingenious and ingenuous countrymen), and a popular form of public transportation here in the Philippines. That particular trip, which I took once a week, would've normally taken an hour or so. But because of the circumstances of that particular ride, it lasted way less than that.



I was a freshman at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, staying in the university's freshman dormitory during the week. I didn't have classes on Wednesdays, so I would head on over to my parents' office (they had their own company) to spend the day with them. That particular morning started no differently from other Wednesday mornings. I boarded the jeepney and settled down for the journey. The vehicle was full, but that's a normal thing here, especially during rush hour, so I didn't think much about it. I just looked at the passing scenery and submerged myself in my thoughts--something I usually do on journeys.

After a while I felt something pressing against the right side of my chest. I tried to nudge it away, but realized in a split-second that something was wrong. I looked down and lo and behold, what did I see?

A hand.

A palm pressing against me, covered by the big bag that the man sitting next to me had on his lap. The unvinvited, unwanted, invading hand curved somewhat to cup that part of my anatomy when he saw my face swinging towards him: my eyes agog, mouth opening and closing in shock like some bewildered, retarded fish.

Imagine this scenario, if you will. We have a female teenager (me) who had been living a mostly sheltered life prior to then, unexposed in large part to the evils of this world. Also, at that time, I had never had a boyfriend--never been kissed, never been touched, never been anything! And then here was this very ordinary-looking man cupping my right (non)boob! In some godforsaken jeepney on an otherwise unremarkable morning. And he wasn't even remotely cute. :-( (God, how I hate that word.) It was like my mind couldn't make a connection between what my eyes were seeing and the alien, unwelcome hand on my body. If this incident had happened to me now I would be raising hell. But I was different then--in the age of innocence, if you will. So I didn't make a fuss, just got down from that jeepney and boarded another one.

[Oh, as an aside, I think that a person who takes advantage of minors should have his balls cut off with a blunt, rusty knife and then shoved down his throat. Or alternatively, coated with the hottest wasabi or pepper in existence and pushed way, waaaaay up high and deep inside, where the sun don't shine.]

Anyway, we come to the point of this post. That trip left me relatively unscathed (apart from the nightmares I had about it). But all of us are on that bigger journey known as life, and though we may come across people who touch our privates uninvited, or we hit a big bump in the road, or get a flat tire, we have to find ways to deal with them and learn from them. Such things can happen on any journey, it's up to us how we deal with the unwanted and the unexpected. And I think we all should [celebrate!] make and take the most of what we can from this trip. Because, like it or not, the trip's going to end someday, baby.



25 comments:

Kiyotoe said...

Point taken as usual Lizza. It's really easy to lose sight of inevitable end to this "trip" and we get caught up in so many of the wrong things and end up missing so many beautiful, interesting, new things that we come across during said trip.

We gotta learn to slow down and enjoy the scenery.

Bond said...

Lizza: Unfortunately that same story happens no matter where you live. I have many female friends who have been accosted in the NY Subways...Some men feel as if - when in a crowded situation they are allowed to take advantage...

I do agree with your penalty for those who do what was done to you

zeroimpact said...

Yes, the trip called life is long and eventful. As you have said, the journey's going to end someday
It's these people taking advantage of others that makes the society a bad place
Agree that they should be punished and We should ensure our children are well educated on what to do during such situations, if it happens

mist1 said...

That whole fish description was really disturbing.

Laurzei said...

Very well stated as usual, Lizza. This "trip" called life...as we know it. One day at a time. One moment at a time. We live, we learn and we move on. Wouldn't you love to confront that BASTADGE now?! I would like to pull a karate kid on someone like that ass clown!

Anonymous said...

Girl, you absolutely preached today! What a great post. I too was put upon by a stranger (remember my What If post?) so I know the feelings and strength we have to use to help us get back up, repair that flat tire and just deal.

PS-along w/the punishments you've listed, an artery should be pierced w/a needle so that the perp can slowly, and knowingly bleed to death.

Debo Blue

Lizza said...

Kiyotoe: Doesn't happen a lot to you, I'm sure. Because you seem to see everything. :-)

Bond: Yes, sick buggers. Hope your week started off well, Vinny. And that the concert and get-together was good.

ZI: There will always be really bad people. Let's just hope we don't belong to that group. :-) Have a great week!

mist1: Oooooohhhh, it totally slipped my mind that a beautiful koi reads my blog. A thousand apologies! Forget about that fish in the post and turn it into a horse or an iguana.

Laurz: Haha! Yep, that would be so satisfying.

Debo Blue: An apt punishment for pervs, I agree. :-D

CSL said...

The trick, and one you have obviously learned, is not letting those things ruin our lives. Good for you.

CSL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terra Shield said...

What a traumatizing thing to happen!

Michael C said...

That is so weird. Strange people cup my chest all the time!!!
;-)

Prometheus said...

Umm.. aww cmon Liz. Be a sport. Don't be wasting wasabi on them nice people. Prometheus has some nice friends who worked in Banbuqiao. They have these nice means of making such people see the error of their ways. A deep breath and some nice convincing sessions later (involving having a bag full of angry mice tied to u-no-where), those nice people realize the error of their ways.

On a side note, Prometheus remembers this girl who was travelling with him and was similarly groped. Well, the girl for some reason thought it fit to call Prometheus a violent jerk and promptly dumped him for having caused certain damage to two of the groper's teeth. Wimmen ah tell ya, never cud figger dem out.

ian said...

This is why I love road-tripping. I feel the journey is equally as important as the destination. Many times, much more so.

Happy trails on your own journey!

Ian

Kyels said...

People like to take advantage of others in especially those innocent ones.

The world is indeed a bad place but like what you've said, the journey will end.

Sidney said...

What a traumatic experience! Good you are strong!

Matt-Man said...

I would NEVER touch anyone in an unsolicited (I wanted to use that word someday) manner. However if some hot babe pressed up against me and grabbed my ass, I would feel compelled to turn around say "thanks". Cheers!!

Natalia said...

I think people need touching. And in a society that doesn't do the touchy feely thing much...people let out their needs in inappropriate ways. Suckage maximus.

-N

Lizza said...

CSL: The best we can do is try. Sometimes we succeed, we don't.

Terra: It was a long time ago, but yep.

Michael: Oohh, you sexy thing, you! ;-)

Prometheus: Those sessions sound interesting. Good way to feed mice.

As for your (unappreciated) chivalrous act, well, I don't know what to say. Except maybe to suggest that you stop trying to understand women. :-D

Ian: I agree, and thanks!

Kyels: I still think there's more good than bad.

Sidney: Thanks. It was a crappy experience, but it didn't scar my spirit.

Matt: Hahaha! I bet hot babes do that to you all the time. And maybe some hot men, too? ;-)

Natalia: Suckage maximus indeed. I like that!

Diesel said...

That happened to me once. I blogged about it a few weeks ago. Except it wasn't my boob, and it was in my car. Friggin' men. The guy in my story didn't get off so easily though.

Lizza said...

Ooohhh, I gotta go delve into your recent archives.

Tammie Jean said...

Great post Lizza! It's true - there will always be bumps in the road, and the unexpected, and how we handle it is the important thing. Well-stated!

Lizza said...

Thanks, Tammie Jean. I guess it boils down to how we look at things.

H said...

Wow. that happens ALL the time on buses in Delhi. And regardless of how often it happens, it's the most disgusting, apopleptic-fit-inducing piece of shit to happens.

So. When I read this right now. I got really really angry, because I happened to relive a lot nasty episodes from my teen years.

And then i read your suggestion solution. HAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAA. It was so cathartic! Man, I wish I'd read it way back then.

Lizza said...

I'm sorry it brought back unsavory memories. But GLAD you were able to laugh at the suggested punishment!

Scott from Oregon said...

I was jammed into a Tokyo train once, and some poor young girl got her hand wedged between my legs. The train was too crowded for her to move it at all, and everytime she did move it (or tried), the train got more crowded, if you know what I mean...

She got off at the next stop just to collect her thoughts...