Sunday, March 2, 2008

Jaywalker defies cop

Two days ago, I got caught jaywalking in Claveria but because of sheer bravado (for lack of a better ‘sounding’ word), I was able to walk away with my police record untainted.

I could have avoided the confrontation with the cop because I saw him standing near City Triangle. He was looking at the pedestrians and standing there in an arrogant pose that said don’t-you-dare-cross-the-road-or-else! I remember thinking that if the cop weren’t there, I’d cross the road without a second thought. So why not just stop pretending to be a good citizen and just be my jaywalking self? That’s exactly what I did. I thought: Heck, if the cop reprimands me and makes a scene, I’ll just argue my way out of it. Everything’s in my favor anyway:

It is 12 p.m. and I haven’t had breakfast yet. If I use the pedestrian crossing, I’d have to walk back some 10 meters, wait ten minutes for the traffic lights to say ‘walk!’ and while waiting, get scorched by the sun and consumed by carbon monoxide. Besides, the cars are some 50 meters from where I am standing along the Roxas-Claveria intersection. They’re near Marco Polo still waiting for the traffic lights to turn green. Surely jaywalking under these circumstances is okay?

Hell no.

My blatant display of hardheadedness in the face of authority does not sit well with the traffic cop. He motions me to stop walking and approaches me saying in a much too loud voice that I should have used the pedestrian crossing. Everybody turns to watch my reaction. Instead of cringing in embarrassment, I reply in an equally loud voice: “But it’s too far! And besides, when I crossed, the cars were still far, far away over there!” (I point in the direction of Marco Polo.)

The cop acts as if he hasn’t heard me. Cop: “Jaywalking is a crime. You should have used the pedestrian crossing.” Me: “I’m sorry. I won’t do it again.” Cop continues ranting. I tell him again that I’m sorry but he continues ranting. He apparently wants to embarrass the wits out of me. I take a long hard look at his ugly face and turn around, calmly walking away but fuming inside at his lack of indiscretion.

Cop shouts after me: “You could get in prison for that!” Oh really now. I allow myself to be provoked and face him again. Me: “Just for jaywalking I can get put in prison? I don’t believe you!” Cop: “Yes, jaywalking gets you in prison.” Me: “I don’t believe you. I’ll research to see if what you’re saying is true.” I walk away again, the cop still ranting behind me. (Research! I can’t believe I said that!)

That was more or less how our exchange went. Hardly civil. Almost a shouting match. I’m glad I kept my cool because later a friend confirmed that community service or prison is indeed a punishment for jaywalking.

Maya the jaywalker. Why? Upbringing probably. It’s the result of living with a mother who defies authority and breaks red tape all the time – and gets away with it. She’d probably say, “It depends on your arguments. Not all rules are good rules and often there are exceptions to the rules!”

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River tubing with Yani

Bayani arrived two weeks ago from Laguna. We first went mountainbiking and then went tubing in Sibulan river.

Never heard of river tubing? The contraption is actually an inflated inner tubing of a truck’s wheel. It looks like a gigantic doughnut with flat rope webs converging in the middle of the hole. You have to sit in the tube with your legs hanging out and let the current drag you downstream. If you can’t swim or are unsure about navigating the tube on your own, then get a guide. If you’re big, get two guides. They’ll push and pull you all the way down the river – over rocks and boulders and tiny waterfalls. This wet roller coaster ride takes about three hours from start to finish. But if you’re not ready to try the uh, dangerous sections near the jump off point, you can always take a short cut and do the less dangerous sections. Rent a tube for 40 pesos. Pay your guide 200 pesos.

How to get there? If you’re coming from Davao City, ride all the way past Talomo and Toril. When you reach the San Miguel brewery, slow down the car a bit and watch out for a dirt road at the right side of the highway. Take that dirt road all the way to the river. You can’t miss it.

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