The rainy season is upon us. Haiti has two rainy seasons: April-June and October-November.
The rain nearly always comes at dusk or night.
My truck was in the shop last weekend getting the clutch replaced so I had to drive my motorcycle around in the rain. Consequently, I got soaked on two separate evenings. Being on a bike in a tropical deluge weaving between bumper to bumper slow-moving traffic is an adventure. The streets can quickly turn to rivers. And the rain is cold.
The hardest part about being in a torrential rainstorm is not being able to see so well. I have to move my helmet face-shield up and take my glasses off because water gets on them and I can’t see through. They should invent motorcycle helmets with windshield wipers.
On one of the evenings traffic was light and I was bee-bopping along at about 30mph through knee deep flooding. This made two jetstreams of water shoot out from the sides of my front tire and it was quite sensational. It felt like I was water-skiing. I was so happy I wanted to shout and I remember thinking how grateful I am for the opportunity to live adventures like these while going about my daily business.
Another evening last week I was in my truck and the street flooding was beginning (this was before the clutch had gone out all the way). At one point I went through a low section of the road and my front end submerged… I kid you not, it felt like I was in a submarine as the front headlights shot two beams of light underwater through the murk. Miraculously, after a few seconds I drove up the other side and the car didn’t die, though it did start glug-glugging and wouldn’t move for awhile.
This reminds me of another time earlier this year when Anachemy and I accidently entered deep water on a bad road and my truck died (same truck). In this case the water wasn’t moving, just deep. I felt water at my feet and realized it was coming in the door! I opened up the door got out and the water was nearly up to my waist! Fortunately, it was still underneath the level of my intake and exhaust manifolds (barely, I checked). A group of Haitians appeared and pushed us out. Unbelievably, the truck fired right back up again and we were off.
Yes, my (t)Rusty Toyota Pickup does get abused. For instance, I routinely carry 2,500+ lbs in the back when the rated capacity is only 1,110 pounds.
But you know, those ratings are low. Like the carrying rack on the back of my bike. It has a sticker saying don’t load it over 22 lbs. Why, the other day I put a 110 lbs of flour on it and it still drove ok! Not great, but ok. In fact, I may have had to sit up on the gas tank to make the steering work…
My dirt-bike is only 125cc so not the most powerful. There is not enough power to do a wheely, for instance. Unless, as I found out one time, the rack is loaded with more than 22 lbs (like a couple 5-gallon Culligan water bottles as the case may have been). With this load I gave it a little too much gas starting and the bike flipped over backwards on me! Like a bucking horse. That was funny. Neither I nor the bike was hurt, only embarrassed, though I couldn’t stop laughing.
The only bad thing about my poor truck and bike is that they frequently break down, and I don’t know why.