Saturday, December 24, 2005

Having no Control

Starting today, I have all the days off till the 3rd of January. Like any first vacation day, I slept in and relaxed through the morning. Michelle had been kind enough to invite me to her place for an early Christmas supper and as I got ready, I had a song playing in my head and a smile on my face - I could finally rest and recuperate from the exertions of the year gone by. My work wasn't done for the year though but that is subject matter for another post.

The party at Michelle's was my first introduction to Danish food and her friends. We ate, drank and talked about contemporary issues - how politically correct American society had become, what you could subject little children to when it came to movies and tv, etc, etc. It was interesting to hear the opinions of folks who were raising their kids right now and comparing them with my own childhood. Growing up in India was so different and so much more free I think. Wait, we didn't have so many distractions and so many temptations though...

After the Christmas soiree, Adrian and I drove to Kent to watch Radha and Krista play their respective tennis matches. The Boeing Employee Tennis Centre is very different from the Pro Club; it feels more like a family run club where everyone knows everyone else. Radha and Krista both played 3 set matches and hopefully, Krista won hers like Radha, in the 3rd set. We started the drive back to Redmond in the rain, hoping to get back in time to grab a bite to eat.

The conversation on the way home revolved around why there are so many car accidents in Seattle (the freeway was backed up and we both said out loud, ACCIDENT). The roads get very slick during the rains and at high speeds, cars tend to hydroplane on the slick surface. Also, there are one too many driver distractions these days, the radio and the cell phone being the primary culprits. And then, as I overtook a truck to my left, I heard a huge splash and my wind-shield was completely covered with water.

It was more than a few seconds before I could see anything ahead of me. And the instant my view of the road ahead was obscured, my body tightened, I gripped the steering wheel tightly with both hands and the adrenaline charged through me. It then occurred to me that I could turn up the wiper, but that was to no avail. And then, the water was gone...

It's a good thing that the lane markers on the freeway make an audible sound if tires ride over them. Being unable to see ahead of me, the only thing I could do was ensure I was driving in my lane; this way I could at least prevent a collision with a car to my right or left. And yes, I did just that - I stayed in my lane and hoped that no car was too close ahead of me.

Adrian and I heaved a sigh of relief when we could see the car in front again. We talked about this for some time after but we were both visibly shaken. My calves and quads were tight as I stepped out of my car outside my apartment but I was glad to have survived. Water and I have a torrid history but I have no fear now...

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