Thursday, 13 March 2008
Well, isn't that purty?
Despite my hatred of riding in jeepneys, this is an awfully nice specimen!
I hate to ride in jeepneys because they are crowded, uncomfortable (even with few passengers), slow, open to all elements (including vehicular exhaust), dangerous to get in and out of (especially in the rain), and some of my friends have had their pockets sliced open by thieves to steal their wallets while riding. Also, most in Manila look nothing like the one above. Well, they could, if any of them ever got a coat of paint! You can see a lot of nicely detailed, beautifully painted jeepneys in the provinces though.
Most around here look more like this:
You can tell it has seen much better days...and those were long ago...like when Imelda Marcos was a youthful songbird.
Most around here seem to be extensions of the Catholic Church:
Gods Gift, Gift of God, God's Blessing, etc. adorn the top front of many a jeepney. They are dangerous vehicles with no safety features whatsoever...well, they have brakes. They kind of work. They are a rough ride, too; with their balding tires and leaf-spring suspensions. Between the danger and the rough ride, it may be important to have God on the front, sometimes there is Jesus, or Jesus, Mary, and Joseph on the sides either spelled out or their images airbrushed on the sides. Kind of a ready-made, long, holy hearse for a mass of commuters.
So I almost never ride in jeepneys. Never on my own, anyway. Never without coercion, usually from Edson.
In a strange way, it would be sort of fun to bring one like the one at the top back to the US. It would never be allowed on any road in any state, but it would sure attract attention, even if only a static display at a car show.
For more on jeepneys, click here.