Monday, August 10, 2009

Driving Again

They say that if you can drive in Manila, you can drive anywhere in the world. Well, I got to drive here! And it wasn't just those less than a kilometer trips that I've tried a couple of times in the past, nor just the manouvering of the car when we couldn't find a parking space and had to park behind another parked car, and I got the honor of going forward or backward in case the owners of the other parked car needed to leave.

I actually got to drive all the way from Quezon City to Binangonan and back again. With traffic and all, about a two-hour drive one-way. And we survived.

It was the occassion of Mark and Rona's wedding (which I'll try to blog on another day) and since many of our relatives in Binangonan would be attending the wedding that was to be held in Cavite, we brought the two SUVs. Jojo and Benjo were in the Honda, while I drove the Toyota with my co-pilot Joselyn, who was so supportive with her "ang galing mong mag-drive, mommy!" ("you drive well, mommy").

Jojo and I had our arguments beforehand when I practiced driving with him at my side after driving the kids to school. Some wives have probably had similar experiences. The more agressive Jojo wanted me to beep at the cars and overtake, etc. After our argument, saying our "sorry's", and trying to accept each others way of driving, we settled on having Jojo lead the way while I tried to follow. He wanted me to lead, but even if we've travelled to Binangonan for the umpteenth time, I still had no confidence in my sense of direction.

The hardest part of driving ended up to be ... trying to follow Jojo, who did his best to slow down and wait for me. The traffic was difficult, but it wasn't as hard as I thought, and I did find that the horn was needed mainly to warn other motorists.

There are so many things to consider when driving in Manila: different modes of autos, from the big busses that zig-zag across lanes, jeepneys who don't bother to stop on the side, tricycles that are too slow for the regular traffic that it's necessary to overtake, the pedestrians who are everywhere and want to cross wherever they choose, and the not-so-friendly streets, some with holes and others with bumps, where you have to slow down so you don't end up bumping your head on the roof of the car! Whew! If that sounds like a lot of hard work, it is!

So I'm proud to say that I drove in Manila, or to be more specific in Metro Manila and Rizal. Though I've had many years of driving experience in the US, it is only now, 7 years later, that I got to get back on the wheel. And it felt good.


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