Solo jeepney ride, that is.
Yesterday, a little before noon, my son and I undertook a grand experiment...well not that grand to be honest. In the grand scheme of things it's probably mediocre. Still, useful lessons ought to be learned, so we, or at least I, thought it to be a worthwhile endeavor to teach my son how to ride a jeepney by himself.
Actually, he taught himself. I wasn't there with him. If I were, it wouldn't be a solo jeepney ride would it?
I drove him near his school, which was beside Sto. Domingo church in Quezon City, gave him a couple of bills, and gave him the four cardinal rules of jeepney riding: (1) Don't draw attention to himself; (2) Don't display any expensive stuff like his cellphone or PSP; (3) Keep his eyes peeled, and to trust his senses. If he thinks something is off or looks suspicious, find another jeepney; and lastly (4) Look cool.
Unfortunately, he botched the last one, since the first thing that happened when he got off the car was that his shoe came flying off, no doubt because of his laziness in tying shoelaces properly. After retrieving the errant shoe, he retreated back to the car to put it on...an auspicious start to the the first of many experiences in taking public transportation.
A year or so ago, his Mom told me he didn't want his son to take public transport. Frankly, I think its inevitable. He's already a teenager, and in a few years he'll be in college, he won't always have someone to fetch him, nor would he probably want to be fetched in certain circumstances, so he might as well learn now. I suppose mothers tend to be overprotective of their brood. In my case, I'd prefer my son get out into the world and learn the important...and even less important stuff by himself. That's the only way he'll get to learn responsibility...something he won't learn if his parents are always there to shelter him from the world or bail him out of everything.
Well, so I left him there by the side road, and drove back home. Others may have waited until he got himself on a jeepney, but not me. I just drove right out of there. Was I worried? Not really. It's a rite of passage. All of us do it eventually, he so might as well get a head start. Besides, how hard is it really? I've seen kids half his age take jeepney rides by themselves, with backpacks perhaps as heavy as they were.
I got home, and just did the usual. About 15 minutes later, he got home, and that was it.
Obviously, it won't be his last.