Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Close call

Driving around in Chiang Mai you often take your life into your own hands. People pull out in front of you all the time without the slightest glance in the oncoming direction. You really learn to be a cautious defensive driver. Road rules here are more like suggestions and are often ignored and scoffed at. Driving a motorcycle around here is liberating and very dangerous at the same time. Liberating in the fact that you can weave in and out of traffic and get to where you are going without all the traffic jams. Dangerous because everybody does whatever they want without regard for safety or rules. Maybe not everybody, but it sure does feel like it sometimes.
Every other Wednesday I go to my photography group meeting which is near the airport and it is a 20-30 min trip on the motorcycle. I could drive the route in my sleep if I had to. Last week I was on the road headed to the group's meeting and was stuck behind a slow moving truck in the middle lane. I checked my side view mirror and saw the motorcycle behind me pulling out into the right hand fast lane to bypass the truck. I thought I would follow right after him and started leaning in that direction after I had checked my mirror again and was met with blasts from a horn coming from a speeding truck in the fast lane I was trying to enter. He was going too fast to stop and looked like he had no intention of stopping. I barely turned my body and missed the guy by about a foot and a half. I felt the huge gust of wind as he flew past me and realized that I almost died in that split second. My heart was racing and I was just trying to control my emotions over the next few seconds. I immediately started praying and thanking God for sparing my life, because if the truck driver hit me I would surely be dead. A near death experience can really put things into perspective. All I could think of was my family and how I could be the best Dad and husband I could be. All of it could be taken away in a split second. The most important thing in life was my family. Have you ever had a close call with death and how did it change you?