Sunday, October 10, 2004

What Goes Around:

Well, I've been carless for less than 48 hours and my noble resolve to remain carless is over. Here's a run down on my travel adventures since then.

Friday- Theft +2 hours: I've already blogged about the ride on motorcycle through a buffalo herd.

Theft +6 hours. We have a previous dinner engagment so Zaman and Oleg travel via motorcycle while Hubby, girls and I pile into one of those aforementioned rolling wrecks that pass as taxis here. Usually mirrors, tail lights, headlights, and shock absorbers are considered optional equipment, while beadwork windshield decor, decals of beautiful female eyes peering seductively through shades out the back windshield, and little disco lights dancing around the license plate are all standard equipment. A fast and furious drive later, barely missing a high-speed collision with a minivan. We painfully extract ourselves from the taxi in the restaurant parking lot, glad to be alive.

After dinner our hosts graciously insist on driving us home which means that 6 people will have to fit into a car meant to hold four. While the car had all the proper saftey features funtioning, and was driven by a law-abiding gentleman, it was quite a crush. Poor Aniriz had my left hip in her unprotected stomach the entire trip.

Saturday- Theft + 24 hours: Hubby and I have to go the the police station to get a copy of the First Information Report. High winds force us to favor a taxi over the family 2-wheeler. We enjoy a short but bouncy ride to the station without any near-death experiences.

After waiting 2 hours and watching the continuing drama of a police station in Pakistan, the clerk with our report shows up. We walk 4 blocks through the heavy wind to a nearby plaza to make copies of the offical originals. (The police station hasn't a single computer, copy machine or any other hint of modern 21st century equipment.) The wind thinks my 3 foot long scarf (duputa) so necessary here by Pak standards of fashion and propriety, is a giant kite. I struggle to keep the scarf on my body in order to prevent scandalizing the neighborhood by indecent exposure! We return the originals to the station and take another short and safe taxi ride home!

Sunday- Theft + 40 hours: Saturday night I invited Zaman to accompany me to church in the morning and he accepted my invitation. I awaken to find the day cold and rainy; no hope of going by motorcycle. Hubby leaves for the daily restaurant shopping, promising to send a taxi to the house at 9:30. I make Zaman breakfast, and go to get dressed. He eats breakfast and falls out of the chair, onto the floor dead asleep. (Nocturnalitis strikes again!) I figure, okay, I'll go without him if he just tells the cabbie how to get me to church and back.

I wait, and wait. At 9:50 the taxi shows up. I'm already late and upset. I scream like a banshee to ressurrect the near-dead Zaman. (Ouch! Did all the noise come from me? My throat hurts.) Zaman - barely awake - and I go out to talk to the driver. The conversation is in Urdu, but I have creepy feeling that he's giving out the directions to the previous church address. I say, you had better go with me. Zaman agrees and we head back into the house.

I think he will throw on some clothes and be ready in 3 minutes, but NOOOO. He disappears into the bathroom, then 5 minutes later I hear the shower start! I yell down to Aniraz. (Understandably, she was already awakened by my glass-shattering scream) She comes up and on my request sends the cab driver away. I'm ranting around the house. "Where was this driver at 9:30? Church isn't like a tea-party, where you can pop in any time. I'm so late, I've missed the sacrament (communion) and I'm in such a BAD mood I don't think I am fit to take it anyway!"

I throw myself into my room to fuss and fume and lick my wounds in private. When Hubby returns home at 12:00, I lay down the law. "That's it, I'm sick of being carless. What goes around, comes around. Go out and steal me the first grey Mehran you see." I'm ready to turn to a life of crime, all just to get to church. May the Lord forgive me!


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