Saturday, October 25, 2008

The "EsRide" or 'Easy Ride'

This was one of my nicest encounters during this Dumaguete visit. I got a chance to chat with one of the drivers of those ubiquitous “easy rides”. These were a group that plied the route to Dauin.

What is an easy ride? Well, it is supposed to be the jeep that we all know. However, it has since been commonly referred to as “easy ride” when the vehicles used became the “multicabs”. Hey, before we proceed any further, take note that many of the common folks in Dumaguete pronounce it “EsRide” (es-ryed) as one word two syllables!

I asked the manong driver why it’s called “easy ride” or “esride”. He does not specifically know. He just knows that it is now called so and times ago were referred to as “multicab”. I jokingly asked why “multicab” since there is only one “cab” hehe. The response was an equally jolly “I don’t know with Norkis why they used that name” and we laughed.

The “esrides” lining up at the back of the bell tower are bound for Dauin. It takes only 15 to 20 minutes to reach Dauin. Manong driver told me that in the past, going to Dauin required one to either take the few (but usually bigger) sarao-type jeeps or hail a tricycle, the latter being the most common. The many tricycles he said plying the route in the past clogged the highway and caused a lot of accidents. Hmm, I thought this ‘esride’ thing has its practicality after all!

The lone seat beside the driver is good for two! I tried sitting in there and it was just enough space for me. It’s a car-seat in the first place – by type, size and make – it’s the kind of seat you see on most sedan type cars. I wouldn’t even dream of riding in that space for more than an hour as I can’t stretch my legs. Now how much more if I was jammed into that seat with another person? Gosh! But manong driver was quick to validate that they usually choose the smaller persons to sit in front.

Tried measuring the “cab” – space behind the driver/engine that carries passengers and realized that it was exactly the length of my stretched arms from left fingertip to right fingertip, so that should be just about six feet. Each side of the “easyride” can/must fit seven people. So, a full “esride” has 16 passengers excluding the driver! Wow!

As we talked, tried sitting at the cab with some ‘legitimate’ passengers already on board, and we all laughed that my knee extended beyond the knees of the passenger in front of me. It did not reach his crotch though hehe! Just about 2 or 3 inches more actually, and my knee should have been ramming some groin! Argh!

As we spoke, other folks already started joining in the conversation. Thus, I learned from them that these vehicles are generally ‘imported’ from Cebu. That any new “esride” or “multicab” is not really new! And that caught my interest so I asked them to expound. Too many of them started explaining this that I wished I had a voice recorder on. Anyway, the most significant things I caught were; that the engines are reconditioned (meaning scrap/junk from other countries); that the body or cab are either imported as scraps or assembled locally from scraps; that when the multicab comes out painted it really looks like spanking new!

Oh well, yes, I believe, this is a better option than the tricycles but I’ll must be ready to pay for the price of two people if I wanted to be comfortable in an easy ride! Aw ‘esride’ diay!

For a chronology of stories on this trip, click the following article numbers:

01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18
19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35


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