Be carpool cool

How to carpool, how to remain accepted in carpool, carpooling in the Philippines, carpool
The ideal car pool faces. (Image from the web.)

 

It starts with an honest invite. “Hey, you live close to where I live, you can ride with me.” Sometimes it’s out of boredom from what’s on the radio or the old CD collection. “Yes, good to talk to someone while I drive.” But soon–play Psycho theme–you realize your supposedly temporary companion has gotten fond of the free ride. He begins to treat your car as his, he appears out of nowhere to just to ride with you. He becomes your nightmare. You begin to pray he’s not around. You begin to escape and evade–often futile. The woes of carpooling.

All is not lost, however. If you are among those who benefit from carpooling and sooner or later feels that your driver are making up alibis to ditch you, I suggest following some courtesy to redeem yourself. (Trust me, drivers like me, will start to like you around again.)

1. Offer to pay for gas every now and then. Yes, do not abuse your driver’s goodwill because at some point he will start to think, “What’s in it for me?” The answer at the very least is: gas.

2. Ask permission. Not all the time that the owner of the car can accommodate you. Just like how he gets bored with radio shows, he also gets bored having someone tagging along. Especially for free. So a short SMS from you and an affirmative answer from him guarantee a guilt-free ride.

3. Be infrequent. So you decide not take part in the gas expenses. Fine. But please make sure that you do not expect to ride along for free on a regular basis. That’s rude. In this case, riding only twice a year is perfect.

4. Be observant. Drivers have moods so be sensitive. If they get chatty, talk. If you receive a short answer for a long question, pipe down or better yet sleep. And if they start turning the car stereo’s volume up, do not compete with it.

5. Do not slam the door. In carpooling, the last impression lasts so how you exit the car matters. Not slamming the door is already like a mutual thank you.

(Drafted this while at a Honda car dealership. I got new brakes. Might use this to encourage seat belt use–of free riders.)

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Mood: 1/10 Honks! (It’s been a long time since I took a leave on a Friday. TGIF.)

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As Low as a Low Beam

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This is actually my second time. The last time was when we checked in at a hotel in Makati and I have to take the bus to work due to color coding.
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Mood: 6/10 Honks! (I’ll try to be friendly inside the FX.)

“…and those who own BMWs.” (I was telling wifey about the three people in this world: the poor, the rich, and the contented when a shiny brand new bimmer passed by. Talk about distraction during a financial discussion.)

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This is my first post in Status format.

Knock, knock!

Contrary to my goal, again, I’m failing in my goal to fill my need to write more posts and Marcus has a lot to do with it. For wifey and me, parenting lately has been a lot crazier than before. Don’t get me wrong, despite nerve-wracking moments with an active 3-year old we seem to spend more enjoyable times as we witness his rapid development and antics that come along with it. Nowadays, our one and only boy….

…has become more articulate than ever. Other than saying our names clearer, he can now say Manny Pacquiao.

…can recognize Toyotas and Pajeros and other car brands. He can just spot Hondas before. (When he was more than a year old, he screams whenever he sees wheels.)

…has transitioned from nursery rhymes to more mature music. He used to just like GTO from the movie RV and lately he surprised me when he showed to me that he can dance to Top Gun’s Danger Zone and Mighty Wings. He also goes ballistic when he hears Party Anthem and Moves Like Jagger.

…continues to impress us with his pace in learning to use cellphones, computers and home theater. (Thankfully, he has not figured out why his favorite cartoon show doesn’t appear however he press the TV’s channel button. Yes, I locked it.)

…seems to start understanding that littering trash will result to flood and that whenever he sees some of the Sendong video footage, he’ll look for his clothes and tell us to donate them. (This one makes us feel so proud.)

Well, this is just a knock knock and I have to cut this short because sooner or later, he’ll be up and ready again to keep our day busy…and stressful…and fun. Parenting is exciting, isn’t it?

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Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Thankful to be home.)

Ghost Sightings

San Vicente, Batangas. We’ve been here since yesterday to spend our Halloween weekend together with wifey’s family. So while the rest lazily settles in front of the TV and watch the movie Robots on DVD, I’m thinking of testing their newly installed internet connection and try to post a blog for the very first time from here.

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One of my blog rules dictates that I should not write anything that hundreds or even thousands other bloggers (and even professional writers) will for sure write due to its current popularity or just for the sake of doing so.

But there is always an exemption and one of which that cannot be avoided is Halloween. It’s that time of the year when the grinning plastic pumpkins, skeletons, and scary costumes come out. It’s also my cue to panic and think about what gift I should be giving to wifey–Halloween is also when she celebrates her birthday.

It’s a good thing that this year is a lot more different than last year. Back then, wifey and I had to go to Batangas separately because I was still busy at work; we also had no car yet after selling our old Kia Pride; traffic was worse then. I remember arriving by lunchtime after leaving work at around 8 AM with the last two hours spent travelling from Turbina to San Vicente.

This year is a lot better. (Though I miss covering the hundreds of microprocessor chips before a cold shutdown. You’ll know what I mean.)

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While on our way to Batangas yesterday and while driving at a snail pace in the middle of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), I honked at another driver when he tried to get into my lane without signaling his intention to do so. My wife commented, “Aba, that’s the first honk for today!” I was laughing hard after realizing that she’s actually taking notes of it. Then she added, “I’ve actually started measuring your mood by the number of honks you make.” Ti abi.

That short exchange on my driving habit made me smile. I’m now thinking if it would be a good idea to indicate my mood using “honk” score – 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest. Not bad. Thanks wifey for giving me the idea. Oh by the way, happy 32nd birthday.

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Not to be outdone by others who have given their own scary ghost stories, video captures and even trick or treat experience, I might as well post my own. This one though isn’t fabricated in any way. This one is real and I captured it on October 31 when I was in the parking lot of SM Dasmarinas just minutes before sunset.

I was having our car seat cover replaced with fake (which others will call faux just to make it sound a not so cheap) leather and decided that it would be a good idea to take pictures of it to show how it will be done and to see the improvement right after. After I got my camera from the trunk and aimed it towards the workers I saw what appears to be a couple of ghostly figures inside the car after the pictures came out of the LCD screen. Scroll down to see the pictures…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gotcha! These are Ace Hardware employees in their Halloween costumes. Kudos to these guys. Waiting for the leather seat to be installed wasn’t boring at all.

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Mood: 5/10 Honks!

Wanted: Dodge Viper Photos

(originally written for my multiply.com blog)

Calling all my multiply.com contacts. If anyone of you is planning to drop by Ayala Town Center for whatever reason this weekend, I’ll be very glad if you can bring along your lovely cameras and take photos of my favorite Dodge Viper.

After watching Step Up 2 last night with my wife and while still high with the hip-hop beats and controlling myself to do my shameful mimicry of the B-Boys steps on our way to the parking lot, we saw some activity at the fountain area. The commotion gave me the feeling that something special is going to be on top of the constructed metal frames. I was right. Just outside was a beat up lorry with a shiny red or maroon (can’t get exact color as it was dimly lit outside) Dodge Viper waiting to be unloaded. I almost dropped to my knees when I saw it but the only thing that prevented me from doing so is the 1st commandment . (Hey, it’s Lenten season and hopefully you know what it is.)

I can imagine right now the throng of Viper fans or just curious crowds it has attracted since the mall opened today. And most probably, any local celebrity in that area would be over-shadowed by this car’s presence. They may even just be contented enough to get near it and most likely dream that they have the money to own one – just like I always do.

So this week, I’m expecting photos of it coming from my multiply contacts. And whoever posts the first picture will have my respect. Hahaha.

Good luck! I’ll wait for it.

Is Man Never Contented?

The first time I heard the cliché man is never contented was way back when I was in elementary. I never knew its meaning would become clearer and clearer as I grow older. Back then it was just begging for He-Man action figures when I’ve got the small plastic toy soldiers; wanting to have Legos when I’ve got freebie building blocks from sari-sari store junk foods packs; dreaming of having BB aluminum slingshots when I already have the bayabas wood piece; and imagining of having Tonka toys dragged around instead of the Milo cans transformed into trucks with wheels cut out from old smagol (slippers). All these wants I never got.

Twenty plus years later this phrase remains true.

The recent change from our stereotyped Kia Pride to the highly praised Honda brand gave me the feeling of a paradigm shift. I felt as if I just exchanged my push cart to a Bugatti. The change was drastic. From having our first car being pre-owned and the second car brand new.

If having the Kia Pride made me search the web for support groups then it’snowonderifI’vealreadyspentsometimebrowsingandlurkinginHondaforums.

But then reality struck. And it sucks. My precious Mary has its flaws and weaknesses too. Some of the owners find their City as having poor suspension, dashboards that are easily scratched, rusting hinges, poor gas mileage, rickety interiors and so forth. I did double check if I’m not reading my Kia Pride’sforum.

Are these bad reviews true or are these just sour graping? I checked and found my own list of the Honda City 2008’s pros and cons (so far).

Pros:

Power Steering.

Very silent engine. I find it necessary to honk every now and then to keep inattentive pedestrians from straying near Mary while I’m passing.

Spacious interior and boot.

Four cup holders. Who said you can’t drink and drive?

Cons:

Manual antenna. My Kia pride has powered version.

Very tight boot and gas lever. Having a Rolex is a bad idea. But then again who has a genuine Rolex and a City.

Audio player is not MP3 capable. And there are only two speakers located in the front. I pity the rear passengers.

The side panels and ceiling are prone to dirt stains due to the fabric material.

And so it is proven once again that man is never contented. Gid. Of course this is both a good and a bad thing. It becomes good when one aims for a better life but it becomes so bad when one keeps on having more wants than needs. It becomes worse when someone keeps on staring at the seductive Toyota Camry while inside a brand new Honda City. Ti abi.