Friday, August 21, 2015

Driving around Manila, listening to a Swing Out Sisters' song about a fool

Today, in Manila on a long weekend, living a #Travelife, I decided to take a new set of wheels on a first test drive.

I drive everywhere in the world, but I haven't driven myself in Manila in something like 20 years because the traffic here is just crazy and many drivers simply don't follow rules.

And never was this more apparent than today, as I drove myself to my cousin's house just a few minutes away to pick her up for lunch, but driving on Manila roads for the first time.

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She texted me: "Am I going to be safe with you behind the wheels?"

I drive Japan-style, so that's a definite yes, I texted her back.

Anyway, today made me realise what a problem we have with traffic in Manila. When I'm in the back seat of a car, I observe the Big Picture but never really the details. But today, I finally got up close and personal.

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So many drivers in this city don't observe or keep their lanes, so two-lane roads -- which are the quite shocking norm in this overpopulated metropolis -- become one-lane roads.

Many drivers don't use their blinkers either, so you can't really tell if a car in front of you is going to turn left or right, or go straight. This really slows down traffic and it's a domino effect once one car does it.

We already have bad roads and poor infrastructure, but the bad driving on the roads of Manila simply makes everything much worse.

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Just as I finally drove up to my cousin's house to pick her up for a Japanese lunch, it started pouring so hard that we couldn't see two feet in front of us.

So in her usual dry way, she said to me as she got into my car: "You picked a great day to drive yourself in your new car."

Anyway, we had a very nice lunch of sashimi and sukiyaki good for four persons, even if we were only two.

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And then after I drove her back home, I put on the radio and got set for an easy drive without traffic back home. I enjoyed this immensely, being by myself in my car, without a driver, listening to music.

Swing Out Sisters came on the radio, with the song "What Kind of Fool Are You?"

This made me smile, as I remembered someone I used to know, who I think this song describes to a tee. Remembering this person, but only the good memories, made for a nice ending to a rainy but enjoyable afternoon in Manila, living a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful #Travelife.

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