Buses here or at least the ones they call "japayuki bus" (discarded buses from japan from decades long past), are modified to have a row of 3 seaters on the drivers side and 2 seaters on the other. If you tried commuting on these japayuki buses, you will notice how notoriously small the spaces are in between seats, not only that, the 3 seater?....well, its like a 2 seater with three headrests. the one seated along the aisle has only a portion of his butt on the seat. Talk about paying in full when barely half of your ass is even seated.
Anyway, so the same scene plays on every time I take the bus. When I travel alone, I usually take the 2 seaters and sit window side. This morning, I decided to sit at the 3 seaters just because the bus is almost full. Somehow, i found myself in the middle of the 3 seater. On my left was a lady, and a guy sat at my right side. I felt like the tuna in a tuna sandwich. I thought to myself, "it coudln't get any worse that this." To my surprise, the guy started pushing me and so, to avoid any unnecessary pain, i moved a bit closer to the lady, who was already pinned to the wall. I thought the worse has passed, but the guy kept pushing every few seconds. I tried to ignore him, but I noticed the lady to me left was already agitated. I started getting a bit agitated as well. I was already considering the possibility of poking the guy's eyes out with my thumb. I was sizing him up and he was larger than me. I tried going through the possible scenarios if ever things get heated up.
I remember Joy telling me to calm down. I guess this means her constant reminders are getting through. I decided then to take a few deep breaths to calm myself down and to clear my mind. I knew it was unwise to push back, but I didn't want the lady to my left to get angry either. I knew I had to tell the guy to stop pushing somehow. I knew an apologetic approach was one way to pacify any anger he had.
With my butt starting to get numb and my hands starting to tire because of my awkward position, I calmly told him, "Pasensiya ka na sir. Masikip po talaga ang upuan natin e." Somehow, he calmed down and stopped pushing at me. "Whew! what a relief." But then the lady on my left told the guy, "kung ayaw mo.....sumakay ka sa ibang bus." In my mind I said, "Holy crap lady! Why the hell did you say that? I already neutralized the situation." Fortunately, the guy didn't hear her.
After that, the ride got a bit better despite still feeling like a tuna in a sandwich. As the bus unloaded passengers at the first stop, things got more comfortable as the guy was able to find another seat. I told the lady, "sorry about that.", but she pretended not to hear me. I felt much better when I got off the bus and started my walk to my office.
As I was walking, I had a chance to reflect at what just transpired in the bus. I was glad things turned out ok. I uttered a short sigh of relief and thanked God.
I didn't have to poke someones eyes out afterall.