By virtue of the number of years that I have been taking public transport in London, one would expect that I am already accustomed and used to the thrills and frills of daily rush-hour commute. But no, I still struggle and I do not have a standard drill and don’t have standard route. Most commuters have their daily rituals while on bus or tube (reading books/newspapers/iPads, playing solitaire on their phones, listening to music, some take the time to get more sleep, while others just stare in oblivion). My morning train ride would depend on many things!
If I find a seat (very rare), chances are I would read emails I received the previous night or draft an email response to someone. If I don’t get a seat and there’s enough room to extend one arm to at least 45deg angle, enough to be able to hold my Kindle and read, I would read. Or if someone catches my attention and curiosity, I would stare at that stranger until the time comes when one of us gets off the train. Or if I am lucky and the train is not loaded with giant commuters and I can see and read train adverts, I would read all sorts of adverts – from mobile phones to gallbladder problems to holiday promotions, dating websites, etc. But most of the time, the train is jampacked and the distance between people are just few inches. That’s when I will do my mental prayer and at times, would ask extra help from my angel so I will not pass out from suffocation.
Today, my train ride was different for I missed my stop! Soon as I hopped on the train, I smelled something similar to the smell of Dunkin Donuts! I tried to look around to see what it was but there were no signs that someone was eating a donut! Plus, knowing the fact that there’s no DD in the UK – it must be something else. But, my sense of smell and recollection suggested it was DD. And in my heart, I believed it was.
From that momentary sniff of something familiar, my thoughts traveled back to Manila! I remember a very dear friend who used to do part-time job at DD and everytime we would meet for our regular YMCA meeting, he’ll bring some donuts for us. I also remembered my college days. On my way to school, along Aurora Blvd was one of the main DD shops. Despite the pollution, one can smell a freshly baked donut when you pass by that area. There’s also a DD shop near school. Having DD for snacks is a luxury during those times! One would normally eat banana que or fish ball or pande-coco but if it’s Monday (when you normally have your full week’s allowance), one can afford to buy a donut! My favourite all through these years are choco honey-dipped and choco butternut! 🙂 I also remember all the bus terminals and airports in Manila! I can guarantee that even until now, a bus terminal will not be a bus terminal if it doesn’t have a Dunkin Donut or Mister Donut stall within the vicinity! Airport terminals sell boxes and boxes and boxes of these donuts. I do not know what’s with these donuts and we Filipinos are maybe not aware that these donuts have actually been part of our culture and history! I remember when Gonuts Donuts opened their first store at The Fort. One would think that people are queuing up for a major lotto draw but they were actually queuing up to buy a box of donut! I was one of those who would drive to the Fort either during lunch time or after work and even if I can only eat at most two donuts, I would buy two boxes! Then came Krispy Kreme! I think their first store was also at the Fort (Serendra)! I was also there, queued up – during their first week!
Aaaaarrrghhhh! I missed my train stop! I missed my destination! All because of very compelling thoughts about donuts! Made me realise that no matter how gripping my feelings and thoughts are towards certain matters, I should not lose track of my journey and my destination!