There was a time in my life I want to travel alone. In as much as I want to talk a lot at home, I prefer a silent journey.
After graduating from college, I was freed from the hassles of scheduled learning. I believed it was time to seek true education out there in the real world.
Invited by classmates for a trip to the mountains, I did not have second thoughts to say yes. I had lived all my life in the city so going rural was an exciting proposition.
The three-hour bus ride was comfortable enough. It was the anticipation that provoked my imagination of sites to see.
“Did you bring slippers?” my classmate asked, pointing to the wet road we viewed from the window. “I think the weather will not cooperate today.”
It was raining hard. Inside the air-conditioned bus, the outside sounds were muffled though we could approximate with accuracy how the conditions were if we were actually out.
“Except for the rubber shoes I am wearing, nothing.”
“We have to wade through ankle-deep flooding. Your have to take those off.”
Walking barefoot in the murky waters did not appeal to me. Either that or let my shoes took a dive while wishing for the sun to shine bright the next day.
“I am ready for the new experience,” I said while I removed my shoes and socks. “I an’t going back home without it.”
“That’s the spirit!” My other classmate patted me on the back.
When the bus stopped at the terminal, the door opened wide. Out there was the beginning for my love of Nature.
“Come on, man! We have to hurry! That’s the last vehicle to the resort.”
Since I was the first in line to alight, I had no idea how deep the water was. Only after I watched a passing vehicle’s tires did I guess the water level was a few inches high.
As my right foot felt the cold water, it produced a shuddering effect throughout my body. I was sure my left would complete the numbing sensation.
Not quite as I expected because my left foot stepped on to something deeper, a hole in the ground that the brown water camouflaged from my sight. I lost my balance, with my heavy backpack aiding my fall.
I tumbled face down, like a swimmer jumping off the starting block. My body flopped to the ground, creating a huge splash in the process. I was wet all over.
I could have accepted my misfortune with good humor except one of my classmates added salt to injury.
“Say, did you catch any fish?”