A horse cart in Padang, Sumatra
Before you travel, do you check up on the weather of your destination? I always do. Knowing that it's hot or cold is not enough. I'd like to know how hot is hot and how cold is cold. I'd also like to know if it is the rainy season or the typhoon season. Such knowledge will help you to pack the right clothes, and bring the appropriate stuff.
I had wanted to go to Manila. Thank God I didn't. I'd checked up and discovered that around this time of the year there is the threat of typhoons. Much of Manila now is flooded, and 140 people killed as a result of Typhoon Ketsana.
But one of the things that no one can predict is earthquake - like this one which hit Padang resulting in 75 deaths and thousands being trapped. Although Padang lies on the western side of Sumatra yet tremors were felt in Singapore.
It was only in January this year that I was in Padang. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time can ruin your trip. It may even be disastrous to you.