Yahoo! My baby’s plate is finally freakin’ available! It took a while to get the plate because I requested to have a plate ending in 8, not knowing that ending 8 plates are in demand, especially among Chinoys who believe that 8 is a lucky number. Well, I’m neither a Chinoy nor do I believe in lucky numbers, but I chose 8 for the simple reason that it is my fave number. So even if my dealer suggested getting another plate, my stubborn self insisted on my heart’s desire. Now I got it and it was worth the wait. =)
And yes, the arrival of my plate couldn’t come at a better time as I received yesterday my first traffic warning from an honorable police officer hahaha… It was one of those weird incident that we got accosted after more than a month of driving without a plate, and it happened very near our place! I mean, my car’s been practically everywhere, from Manila to Quezon City to Pasay to Makati to Mandaluyong. Heck, my baby’s been to Candelaria, Quezon! (yep, my heart broke a little that my car had traveled that far. Pero hindi ko naman binili ang kotse para igarahe lang di ba?). But I guess luck was a bit on our side because it wasn’t me who’s driving the car – me the one without a license! Imagine how much trouble that would cost us.
It was also one of those rare instances that I felt shutting up my mouth would be to our advantage, since I had a dozen or so retort I'm inching to say to the police and his lecture. And I never said anything to him that sounded mataray! Well, I guess in the process, I also almost sold my younger brother (who was driving the car) down the river. The police asked who the owner of the car was and I said that it was me and then he asked me what my relation is to the driver and I said that he’s my brother. Then the police said: “eh pano yan, yung kapatid mo ang titiketan ko?” and with the merest hint of hesitation I said: “Ok.”. So how’s that for sisterly love?
As it turned out, we escaped with just a first warning scribbled at the back of the C/R, since the police didn’t have any traffic violation tickets with him (and how fishy is that?!). And no, I didn’t bribe the police with money or anything. I was willing though, to tell you the truth. I was just waiting for them to broach it, which they didn’t. So, props to these distinguished members of the police force from leading me away from my first act of bribery hehehe… Although, come to think of it, we don’t really have a traffic violation, do we? My car was duly registered with the LTO and I have the O/R C/R to prove it. It just so happens that the plate is not yet available, and whose fault is that? (The Chinese’ fault, of course, for hoarding the ending 8 plates. Hahaha. Just kidding.)
I realized why I never really warmed up to the idea of me driving my brothers around. They’re the worst kind of backseat driver! Last Saturday night, my younger brother (the one who almost got a traffic violation ticket) and I decided to drive around in the Baywalk area (which was such a bad idea, by the way, as the traffic situation there was horrendous on that particular day) to, uh, improve my driving skills. Well, it was my multitasking skills that I had called upon to salvage me, as I found myself driving (which in itself involves multitasking) and having a shouting match with my brother. I mean, I think I could have driven better if he wasn’t shouting his criticisms and making me more nervous than necessary. Among other things, he had issues with me hogging the lanes (oy, nawawala ka na naman sa linya! san ka ba talaga?!) and my distance on the passenger side (masyado kang maluwag dito!). The first one, I grudgingly admit, is a valid observation, while the second one I had to protest. In the first place, he volunteered to check on the right side as I can’t see clearly the right side mirror (mag-drive ka na lang, ako na bahala dito). And that one instance I almost crashed into a center island was because I got rattled by his loud, panicky voice (OY! SAN KA PUPUNTA?!!!). I didn’t really have to mind the center island because the road is divided into four lanes and the two lanes were separated by an island but all the lanes are going in the same direction and I was following this car because he told me to stay in one lane and the car was on the third lane and it should have been that lane we take because we’re going in this freakin’ direction! If my explanation is too long (and kinda magulo. but believe me, my excuse is valid), well, imagine me saying those words (in Tagalog, or course) to my younger brother while I was driving. So, yeah, I don’t think there’ll be much coaching happening between us. And I think the feeling is mutual.
I still like driving, but if I have a choice, I would rather be in the passenger seat. I like looking out of the window at the sceneries, at the other motor vehicles around me, and I like observing my surroundings, and not in the way that a defensive driver is expected to do, for my and my passengers’ safety, as well as that of other motorists and pedestrians.
Oh, and the best part about driving your own car? You get to sing out loud, to your heart’s content. Try doing that when you’re commuting!