Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Traffic, tote, and bookstore

Traffic in the metro has become unbearable lately. Unbearable as in 2-hour commute unbearable. 2 effing hours, at least. And that's just the ride home. It's gotten so bad that a few minutes of continuous rain make the highway an instant parking lot.

You know that bit of advice about not reading in moving cars because the ride can get bumpy? Screw that. There are just long moments of complete standstill you forget you're actually in a vehicle. Fortunately, these are when it's most conducive to reading.

So traffic has become my reading enabler. I've long accepted the fact that the terrible traffic in the city is a way of life, a crappy way of life, but we just have to suck it. Like last night for instance. Just one look at all the red taillights and I thought it'll me at least 3 hours to get home.

So what does one do? You wait it out. I figured that since I'd be reading when I get home anyway, I might as well just read now in a cafe after a light dinner before going home. So I ordered a latte and read my Gaskell. Take that, traffic.

A couple of years ago, I had a good friend make me tote bags with a customized book-ish quote. I gave all of them away as Christmas gifts to friends, bibliophiles and otherwise. I loved those totes; they're very hardy as they were made of denim.

Then during the long weekend, while I was cleaning my closet, I found a spare tote! I did my happy dance! Totes are ideal for carrying books, yes? In Manila, where security guards are always inspecting your bag, totes are perfect, being zipperless and all.

And then 2 weeks ago, my book club had a joint book discussion with another book club. It was a first, I believe. Unfortunately, we talked about The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, which I abhorred. Ghastly, that novel is. The discussion though was interesting.

Anyway, we had our discussion at Uno Morato, a new hangout place that is both a restaurant and a bookstore. Their stock, all locally published, is quite impressive. Food's good too. So I'm definitely coming back. Here's to more bookstores in the city!


Monique said...

Oh, last Christmas I also gave away tote bags, too! I had my friend made them for me as well, and I feel so happy when I see my friends using them. Perfect gift, truly. :)

Before I got married back in 2010, I used to travel all the way from Ortigas (I used to work there) to San Pedro, Laguna, and traffic wasn't all that terrible in EDSA, even after a downpour. It would take me around 1 and 1/2 hours, tops, and that's fair enough because I would actually pass through 5 cities every day. Now, I shudder to think how much I will have to go through with that kind of commute. :(

Peter S. said...

Argh! I hate how we all rearrange our lives because of that traffic situation. So terrible!

Jack said...

Hi, Peter! I, too, kick it after work occasionally when the traffic's crap, and work on a book. Sure beats sitting still watching your fuel gauge go down!

Having two book clubs mix for a session sounds like great cross-pollination. Consider this your invitation to visit my on-line café for writers to hang out at I know, that's kind of an ad, and if you don't want it in your comments, that's fine. I just want you to be aware of it in case you might find it interesting.

Take care and be safe, my brother, and I'll catch you down the road sometime...

Peter S. said...

Hello, Jack! Yeah, traffic sucks.

Thanks for telling me about the online group! Heading there now.

Lynai said...

Hi, Peter! When I read about terrible traffic in the metro, I feel glad I live and work in the province hehe. :)

And oh, now I think I have an idea for Christmas gifts (aka tote bags). :)

P.S. LOL on your abhorrence of the Fikry book. :D

Peter S. said...

Hello, Lynai!

You're so lucky to be living far away from the craziness that is Manila!

Ruby Escalona said...

Hey Peter!

Don't know if you still remember me, but I was once active in the book club before I moved away :)

Gosh, the traffic last year in Manila was terrible. That was really the boiling point for me and tadah, I left. I figure if I'm wasting 4 hours of my life for 22 days (when I need to go to work), that's a waste of 88 hours for a month - approximately 44 days in a year I'll never get back.

That's a month and 11 days. And I could be doing something more productive with that.

Nevertheless, I did read like 5 books per month because of that stupid traffic situation. Now, I'll be lucky if I get to read one in a month!

Peter S. said...

Hi, Ruby! Of course I remember you! Good thing you left! It's becoming really unbearable.