I have been traveling for a long time now. I have experienced getting bumped off, waiting on the boarding gate for a seat, sleeping in the airport with a child in tow in a far away land, getting denied boarding, and even missing a flight and having mishaps in hotel accommodations. I think I have experienced the common things most travelers experience in their travels once in their lives. However, nothing beats the experience you have with Mother Earth’s fury. I am not exaggerating but I felt scared for our lives for the first time. This recent brush with Hurricane Sandy is something I will never, ever forget.

October 25th was our flight to NYC. As usual, no hiccups when we got there. I have been checking the weather forecast several days before we left Dubai so we would know what type of clothing to bring. I also heard of some weather disturbance in the Caribbean areas and little did I know that “that” particular “weather disturbance” was Hurricane Sandy in the making.

So, off we went to NYC. I told myself I deserved that weekend break because I had a month-long work-related stress to shake off my system. We were surprised how gloomy NYC was when we arrived on the 25th of October. We thought it was just because the Autumn season had set in. As soon as we arrived in my cousin’s place in Brooklyn, I hit the snooze button and dozed. We went to Manhattan on the 26th to celebrate my cousin’s birthday and check out stuff at nearby favorite hang-outs while nursing a terrible cough, colds and a recurring headache. I told myself, I had to at least make the most out of this short weekend getaway. I still didn’t know there was a bigger problem to deal with in the coming days.

The news of Hurricane Sandy became very prominent on the 27th of October as it was also expected to collide with the wintry storm from the Western US. I only came to know about this when I heard some shop tellers in the nearby mart that they were being prepared for evacuation for the incoming hurricane. I was baffled and thought of the “weather disturbance” which recently brewed in the Caribbean areas. My cousin also confirmed about the incoming “monster” hurricane when the presiding priest in the mass told the congregation to take shelter on higher grounds and be careful because of the incoming hurricane – the hurricane that would soon be famously known as Sandy, the “perfect storm” or the “Frankenstorm.”


I went home right away and turned the TV on. And most TV stations were talking about the big storm that was about to hit NYC the next day which was 28th of October. The projection puts New York in the path of destruction. It was expected to make landfall around the evening so everyone in the low-lying areas and near the waterways were requested to evacuate as a mandatory precaution. And as for us in Brooklyn where my cousin stayed, we have yet to find that out.

— to be continued —