Riding the MRT when it isn't rush hour is so convenient. It takes the train approximately 25 minutes to travel from end to end. The first car is exclusively for: the pregnant, the old, the physically challenged, and anyone with kids. The rest of the cars are for men or women who prefer to ride with their male companions or women who simply do not run fast enough to reach the first car when they enter the platform area...However, let me warn you, riding the train during rush hour is a totally different story.
First, there's the long queue for buying tickets. There's one window devoted to selling tickets to people who can give the exact change. This window is also, more often than not, where you can buy your stored value tickets for P100. The other window/s are for people who haven't got exact change. Then, there's the line to enter the platform. If you're lucky, the security guards won't give the harrassed and impatient passengers ahead of you, any reason to delay their entry. Then (and here's the biggie) once you're inside the platform area, you are confronted with a battlefield.
I ride the first car all the time, only because I feel safer around other women and I won't mind losing my personal space for 10 minutes to other fellow females. Anyway, before you can get in, you have to inch your way to the door. It'll take about 2-3 cars before you can have your turn. Though no one is actually saying it, you can visualize the thought bubbles on everyone's heads: "Diyos ko, sana makasakay na ako sa susunod na tren" (Lord, I wish that I'll be able to get on the next train). Pushing other people ahead of you in this situation is quite acceptable. In fact, they might even thank you for it. Once you're in, you're in. All you have to do is wait for your stop. Inhale...Exhale...Getting out is another ordeal as you need to announce to everyone ahead of you that you are getting off on the next stop. By the time you get off you feel like you know each other too well.But once you're out, you're out. And thank heaven for that.
So, the next time you're riding the train, think, am I in the mood to get squished or not?