Two seemingly unrelated topics came into my consciousness one rainy Friday evening.
at 8:19pm, thunderstorms bringing light 2 mod rains are affecting bohol, butuan & Surigao that will persist til midnight.
— PAGASA-DOST (@dost_pagasa) August 31, 2012
Suffice it to say, it was really raining hard. I was ready to call it a night by taking my nightly shower. Then, I experienced a scary-funny moment. This Googley Gooeys’ illustration may have slightly expressed what I felt that moment.
I wish it was only a phone call. No, it wasn’t. I was in my birthday suit ready to shower when I felt the EARTHQUAKE! I hurriedly scampered to find my clothes. My thought process at that moment was, “Whatever happens I want my clothes on!” While heavy shaking was happening, the power went out and I was not yet done putting my clothes on. I could hear my aunt calling my name while I struggled into my clothes in the dark. When the shaking stopped, we checked the house and the damage was only a broken wine glass and figurine. Thank you, God.
This is the report from USGS website. I marked where I was by a purple star. So close.
There was a tsunami warning but we were not asked to evacuate because (as you can see) we do not live near the Pacific coastline. Still, it was a scary experience. It was the strongest earthquake I have experienced so far.
As we were huddled together in my aunt’s living room, somebody was calling us outside. My uncle’s friend was looking for him. He was driving in the rain when the earthquake struck. Oh my, that was scarier than not having clothes on during an earthquake (HA!). I don’t think that driving during an earthquake is part of the driving lessons when applying for a driver’s license. Most earthquake preparedness kits tell you to stop the car when there is a earthquake while on the road. I wondered what my uncle’s friend did. I never asked.
Earlier in the day, I read a friend’s status update on Facebook about how efficient her driver’s license renewal was. I don’t drive so I do not own one but my father did and I have seen some markings. In his license, it indicated “NON-PROFESSIONAL”. Apparently, if you drive for a living, you should get a “PROFESSIONAL” driver’s license. At the back of the license, the type of vehicle you are allowed to drive is also indicated.
Driving is a skill. And it occurred to me to Google how vehicles get transported. There is a service in the United States called auto transport. Cars, as many as 8 vehicles, are hauled across the US at the back of very large truck in two levels like a two-decker bus. This is proof that driving is indeed a skill. Driving a truck that is like a huge car shipping machine is a challenge. Road safety is the primary concern. Plus, driving also requires strength to maneuver a huge truck.
I guess there are people with innate skills in driving, strong muscles to steer a very large vehicle and stamina to withstand long drives. Driving is not one of my skills. I am a backseat driver who commands whoever is on the wheel, usually my cousin. I could not wait to get off a vehicle primarily because I have motion sickness.
And this would be me if I am stuck in Metro Manila traffic.