This morning, upon arriving at my destination (finally got home, yay!), I handed the taxi driver a hundred peso bill and a twenty peso bill.
The meter read: Php.107.00.
Without hesitating, he reached for his glove compartment, took the appropriate number of coins, and handed me my change: Php.13.00.
THEN I knew I was really back in Baguio.
For sure, there are lots of reasons I love Baguio (oh, and when I say Baguio I also mean La Trinidad, lol), aside from the fact that staying here for more than 5 years has let it grow on me.
One of those reasons is THIS: They give the exact change. The exact change, man!
I used to take it for granted, but it was one of those little things I suddenly loved about Baguio when I moved to Quezon City and the taxi drivers, for WHATEVER REASON (“Oh I don’t have change, ma’am”) would actually demand (“Dagdagan mo na lang ma’am.” Oh, the nerve!) that I freakin’. Pay. MORE than the what the meter dictates.
What irks me more is how the driver actually thinks he’s entitled to keep my change. Wow, I sound stingy.
The truth is, I don’t mind doing this. I don’t mind paying extra. I understand this is how it’s done down there. Upon moving to QC, I learned to accept that when the meter reads Php.89 and I only have a hundred peso bill, I should not expect to get back the eleven pesos I own. I don’t hate it either. I dislike it, but don’t hate it. I’m not expecting things to change anytime soon either.
TAKE NOTE: I most certainly am NOT romanticizing Baguio, and I’m most certainly not naive. Honest and dishonest men abound wherever in the Philippines.
It’s just things like these that let me appreciate my home city.