Friday, May 18, 2007

On and Off the Road

I always commute when I do field work but today I got to hitch a ride with the office vehicle which was to bring the promo collaterals to the field office for the BIG event. Frankly I'd rather commute for all the wrong reasons. I'm such a sleepy head that I sleep almost three-fourths of the way every time I go out of town. Yeah I know it is a travel hazard but I really couldn't help it. Either that or I get nauseous and you know what comes after that. So the idea of commuting and being awake for the whole 4-hour trip makes me nauseous as it is. It didn't help that I had to strike some friendly conversation with our driver if only to make him feel that we he wasn't driving for some aloof employee who never even bothered to.

What I didn't expect was that I actually enjoyed it! I managed to pull up a friendly conversation and learned a few things that I might have not known had I dozed off to dreamland. Here goes his 10:
  1. He has four children, three are working and the youngest is 9 years old.
  2. He's Baptist by affiliation while his wife is a Catholic and his youngest child is going to a school run by the Adventist church
  3. All his 3 children were scholars during their college days.
  4. Before working for our office he was working as an OFW in Saudi. He was entertaining the idea of working in Saipan. Never had second thoughts about not working there with the kids growing up the way they did.
  5. He loves gardening and does some landscaping at home.
  6. He used to own 80 fighting cocks and plays with some well recognized people long before their political careers even existed
  7. He's got this slip disk condition on his neck. Had to take medication worth at least P2,000.00 a month, go on rehab sessions thrice a week. But because of the activities coming one after the other, he's missed his medication (can't take it while driving, makes him groggy) and he hasn't had therapy for a month now.
  8. If he gets a good deal, he'd rather retire early and find work somewhere else.
  9. Wouldn't be seen eating Jollibee food products unless it was for free.
  10. He goes fishing during weekends.

Another intimate conversation over lunch

The reason why I had to go out of town was to facilitate this request by the provincial office to have this equipment appraised for disposal purposes. And since I was from the regional office, I had to be there to supervise the activity. Anyhow, after we went to the site to get the inspector to do her thing, we headed for a quick early lunch. We treated out guest in one of this roadside restos which serve lutong-bahay. We ordered chicken binakol, chopsuey and lumpia shanghai. The food was good but it was nothing compared to the intimate conversation we had with our guest.

Here's her 10:
  1. An engineer by profession.
  2. Used to be in the regional office maintaining the status of a weekend mom and wife.
  3. She's been recently relocated to the field office from a regional office assignment.
  4. She requested for the transfer after her husband met an accident three years ago
  5. The request for transfer took three years to be granted (it's the bureaucracy...)
  6. The husband was paralyzed hip down because of the accident.
  7. He was on catheter for a year.
  8. The doctors never thought he could walk again. But because of his conviction, he is now on walker.
  9. Kept a diary of her family's struggle to keep the faith despite the odds
  10. Prefers home cooked meals over fast foods.

On the way home
I wanted to engage our driver into conversation but this time, my physical exhaustion from the 8 hours on the road just took its toll on me. I slept around 50% of the way and when I woke up, I felt light headed. Then it was time to disembark and embrace the reality of the office again.

wow... some interesting day... I enjoyed the road trip and the conversations. there's just so many things to know about people's lives. hmmm, i think i would like to do this again... well then, until the next road trip!

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