The idea for this video came to me very early on the World Race. We had just left the Manila airport to meet our leaders and start day one of the eleven-month journey. No idea could have come to me earlier.
The Philippines have one of the most unique forms of public transportation: jeepneys. They are smaller versions of the buses that pick you up for school in suburban America, usually dangerously overfilled with people, and painted with anything that would’ve made a horrible tattoo in the ’90s. I loved them.
I loved them because I knew immediately that they were a Filipino thing; that they were to Manila what yellow cabs are to New York City or what red phone booths are to London. Anyone anywhere who had been here would recognize them and think of the Philippines.
I realized then, minutes off the plane, that each country would have these idiosyncrasies. I was delighted to think that I could identify them in traffic.
I love being on the move. I talked about that at length in an older post, but it is simply the elements of stillness and rapid forward movement, simultaneous, that makes things make sense. It fits with reality, with being in-between, with already-but-not-yet.
We spent a lot of time in traffic on the World Race. And set against the right mindset (and the right song), a stressful, bustling city easily and consistently became serenity, and my biggest reminder that we are all just trying to figure this “life” thing out, trying to make it by, and barely doing so. Mostly, it made me feel like we’re all headed in the same direction.