I used to be a real stickler for being punctual. I always was on-time or early. Then I came to the Philippines, where everything (crowds, traffic, lines, cab drivers unwilling to take you where you want to go, weather...) will conspire against you...and noone else will be on time either.
On-time here is something we'll call "Filipino Time". This could be anywhere from 15-20 minutes late...and you'd still be "on time". 30 minutes late is a little late; almost a sort of Filipino "fashionably late".
How to prepare? Well, consider a cab ride the other day: 7 miles in total length; it took 40 minutes. On the EDSA Expressway.
That's right; expressway. One must not confuse the "express" in "expressway" with anything having any connotation to speed. Here, "express" clearly is intended to mean "show"; as in "express yourself". And so the drivers do. They express themselves through honking and yelling, cutting each other off, and taking up 2 lanes of traffic. They also ornament and detail their cars, jeepneys, and buses with all sorts of stickers, emblems, painted murals, etc.
They're expressing themsleves...
...in a way....
...on the "expressway".
What else did I have to think about for 40 minutes??????