Jerry’s allergic reaction to taxis and all moving vehicles is something nobody sees in all our cute little photos and mommy-jerry weekend selfies. Here’s a quick recap of the last 2. 5 years for you.
Jerry’s first encounter with public transport
When I first met Jerry I just wanted to put him in school. His father was still alive then and gave me permission to get him the birth certificate required by the school. So off I went. After a four hour bus ride and a long wait at the Philippines Statistics Authority (in Iloilo City) I was told I needed to bring back the little boy in person. So I went all the way back to Estancia.
The father gave me permission to take Jerry (he really had no clue who I was) back to the city and stay there overnight (oh Filipino kids are so vulnerable to abuse). I’d returned to the wooden shack where they were living and Jerry was lying on the floor in a raggedy t-shirt and no pants. None to be had either.
Hearing a dilemma the lady next door stripped some oversized shorts off her teenaged granddaughther and applied them to Jerry’s scrawny body. I remember his father getting some sort of rope and tying it around Jerry and the pants. The thongs I’d bought him a few days earlier were put on his feet and we were ready for the city.
Jerry (who’d met me only once before when I’d found him wandering a hot road with no shoes and cut, bleeding feet) eagerly jumped in the tricycle with me and off we went to the bus terminal.
Within minutes of the bus departing, Jerry lay his head on my lap like he’d known me forever and went to sleep (still clutching a little brown bag of rice cakes and a boiled egg I’d bought him).
He didn’t move for the next three hours when he woke suddenly and began vomiting with gusto into my handbag. Poor little thing couldn’t stop and the last hour was spent with his little head arched over my bag.
After four hours we scrambled out of that bus and instead of getting a taxi, I hailed a tricycle. Thinking it would be easier on him.
Don’t get the tricycles
Now to completely appreciate this story you have to understand that when you are a foreigner at the Ceres Bus Terminal in Tagback, Iloilo City you never, ever get the tricycle. Those cagey blokes make a living from us foreign folk. And I knew this from past experience before I even got into that tricycle. Here’s what happened.
Jerry sat at in the back, and me in the front. Big mistake. Those tricycles sit so close to the road and when Jerry began vomiting almost immediately (the poor little thing had hardly been in a moving vehicle his whole life) I turned around to find him completely off the seat, kneeling down on the wire foot frame (which barely scales the ground) and leaning out over the road vomiting for all he was worth.
I dived over the front seat while the driver kept tearing along the highway. My feet and legs were completely airborne and my abs angled over the seat top clutching Jerry by the his thighs so he wouldn’t fall out. All the while shouting to the driver to STOP.
He did. Before I could even get around to Jerry (who stopped vomiting simultaneously with the tricycle) he was taking a bite out of his boiled egg (still clutched firmly in his hand). Oh my heart melted right then and there for this fragile little boy, excited for an egg.
The driver took a turn and we ended up down behind the pier when he suddenly demanded I pay because he had ‘run out of gasoline’. We were left stranded when the tricycle miraculously started (without us in it). Oh those bloody drivers! Sometimes I’m not very polite to the Tagbak tricycle drivers when I get off the bus in Iloilo and they tell me they’d like to drive me into the city.
Things get easier
But things are a lot easier in taxis and tricycles with Jerry now. For the first year every time we’d get into a taxi (he push past me as I’d open the door ) and while trying to tell the driver where to take us Jerry would be shouting “Tita Mel open window” “open window” “bukas ang bintana” “TITA MELLLLLLLLL”.
If I kept talking to the driver and didn’t respond to him he would rattle the windows and try opening the door. He got a few smacks too. And for all you non-smacking parents I apologise most profusely and I’m sure I’ll talk it over with Jesus one day for making him cry in taxis. But man it was frustrating.
So we can mostly travel now without him exploding his lunch everywhere but he still has this allergic phobia about travel which annoys me no end (probably caused from me smacking him for opening the windows and trying to climb out). Note the photos today of him with a plastic bag. There’s nothing in it, only spit. He doesn’t vomit anymore but instead spits for the duration of the ride. It’s a big step forward from vomiting. But still completely annoying.
Well I could fill 5 or 6 of these blog posts with Jerry’s vomiting stories and I’m sure one day some of them will make the pages of the book I will write. I’m having getting his story out onto the page using WordPress daily prompts for inspiration.
Thanks for reading.
© 2018 Melinda J. Irvine