Friday, February 26, 2010

Riding the FUN

To my flatmates...the laughter we share

Back to being a student, that too in a place like Sydney where we hear more about people being bitten by sharks than dogs, is like obtaining a key to a whole new chapter in life. Only, this chapter gets better because of immeasurable opportunities that circle us.

But this phase of life gets one reason short of being called heaven. If only we could own a car.

We have nothing against the public transportation here. In fact, it is perfect. But when our movement becomes scheduled and pretty predictable, it gets unnerving after a while. The skimpy stipend we survive on and the flurry of cars wedged along traffics in the biggest city in Australia portraying a daunting task to drive through makes owning a car almost impossible. So on a fateful day, when one of my flatmates walked in with a car key flashing from his fingers, it was bound to turn memorable.

He walked in, flaunted a big smile and said, “I am going to take my two ladies out for a ride today”.
Aue Karma has his way of saying things and the two “ladies”, that’s me and Ana Sonam, rolled our eyes like he was talking sense for the first time in a year of our existence under the same roof.

Like I said, Aue Karma has a way of going about. Whoever met him would concede with me  in saying the PHD pursuant is a man with a brain bigger for his size. I am definitely not hinting at his height, oh no. One day I made this mistake of calling him shorter and he asserted on standing in front of people, back to back, to see who stood taller. The observers’ verdict came in his favour. To this day, I feel they said he was “slightly taller” having understood the magnitude of sensitivity regarding his height.

Minus the altitude, the man himself is not so bad looking. I landed in Sydney well aware that I will be putting up with a person named Karma Nidup. I hopped into a cab bearing an image of a sturdy guy with beer belly, wise wrinkles and a rough accent. As I walked towards the house, my luck, a Bhutanese version of Michael J Fox walked towards me. “Are you Kesang?” asked the slim, in-shape guy, his silky hair swaying down his eyes. I was impressed.

As for the ride he offered that day, he prided in having borrowed the car from a friend of his. Without slightest hesitation, the two ladies said yes.

In any case, Ana Sonam would never say no. Sometimes I feel Sister Sonam Choki, as people would know her, should be upheld as an epitome of cooperation. She appears diffident and calm, perfect quality for a nurse. But this is where the tranquility in her ends. Let the nurse down a couple of wine glasses and a display of entertainment unfolds. Aue Karma and I still applaud ourselves for hooking an awesome dancer in a flatmate. Talk about partners in crime and we are it.

Getting back to the momentous day, we were all set for the once-in-a-Sydney-life-time ride.

Led by the hero himself, we crossed the road and walked towards the parking lot. From a distance, I could spot a brand new Corolla. I was about to shower Aue Karma another round of praise for doing a great job when he suddenly walked past the car, towards the opposite direction. Round the corner, awaiting us, stood a century old Hyundai Scoupe. A glance was enough to conclude that the car was pleading to be taken to a grave yard- too ancient to be on the road. That was when the fun actually began.

Initially, Ana Sonam and I consoled ourselves by saying, “maybe the car simply appears weary from outside. It cannot be that bad”. Having enough sense of decency, I chose to take the back seat, offering my senior the front seat while obviously Aue Karma took the wheel.

It was a three-door car so no doubt I entered from the front door. What killed me was when Aue Karma followed through the same entrance. The driver’s door could not even be opened. What more, the door was tied with a rope to the roof of the car, like some cardboard cars fixed with tapes as a solution to keep the parts intact. Should you have seen our driver crawl towards his seat, you would have urinated in your pants.

After positioning ourselves in the car, having decided to surprise a friend by visiting him, the driver ignited the car. Nothing happened. Another attempt and still nothing. Then Aue Karma pulled a thin rod from the dashboard and stuck it in a hole near the gear box. He instructed Ana Sonam to poke an imaginary knob inside every time he turned the key. The idea was bewildering and I thought the poor car nearly ripped open as we burst into fits of laughter. The sight of Ana Sonam poking the hole religiously while Aue Karma desperately tried to start the engine got me doubling out of amusement at the back.

After over a thousand attempts, the magic worked and the car coughed to life. I was yet to recover from the hilarity of the event when suddenly we realised our driver needed reminder of traffic light indicators. He was too engaged trying to figure out the road direction. We could have got caught that day but the good news is we didn’t. I feel proud to declare that we made it successfully to the friend’s place and even cat-called a Bhutanese friend walking past.

We were getting out of the car, thinking the worst part was over. Ana Sonam was trying to close the window she had opened, an endeavor to invite fresh air inside the impoverished little car. Aue Karma stopped her immediately, pressed the window button on his side, and asked her to slide her palm against the window pane on her side, and gradually try and slide it up. It was a desperate measure to shut the window and Ana Sonam pathetically performed the act. We emerged out of the car and within seconds, we were rolling on the ground, teary eyed, laughing our lungs out.

Our friend was undoubtedly astonished by our visit but he was more flabbergasted to see our ride. After staying over for sometime, we headed back following the same procedure of entering the car and starting the engine, leaving our friend slumping outrageously at the  sidewalk, having witnessed the hilarity of it all.

We lost our way several times, hit sudden breaks at traffics that nearly brought me to the front row but finally made it to the car owner’s house. The owner-friend was generous and offered to drop us home (while we had decided to walk) in his second car, a posh black Mercedes this time. The aristocratic journey back home was worth all the trouble.

As we entered the house, we couldn’t help recounting and cackling over the event that manifested into a more than anticipated episode. The incident happened almost three months ago and still tops our dinner conversation list today. So much for a joy ride in Sydney!



wai abi..second world war ga gari gisa ko..burst out lauging..u know my imagination power..hahhaha

kesang said...

haha...second world war ga repair awa gewala....and it still laugh at every thing. that's why i enjoy cracking my PJs in front of you :)