Sunday, December 30, 2012

Rookie Mistakes - 1

Having just arrived in Kochi after about three years, I tell my dad, 'I need to visit the bank, Pops. Is there a branch nearby?"
Dad, in an effort to show off how much Kochi has moved on since I last came informs me, "Of course. We have a local branch not five minutes away."
Me: Great! shall we leave in about ten minutes?
Pops agrees.
half an hour later
Me: Right. I'm ready. shall we leave?
Poppy, who's been waiting patiently for the past fifteen minutes (having been used to years of waiting patiently for the wife, sister, daughter,and other miscellaneous womenfolk in his life) nods away.
We head out of the lift and suddenly I find myself bereft of company. I look around for Dad and and find him heading swiftly towards to parking lot.
Me: I though you said the branch was five minutes away poppy, why are we taking the car?
Pops(looking at me like I was a few cards short of a pack): You want to walk? It's fifteen minutes away if we walk!!
Me (thinking to myself): eh? what a spoilt bunch we are... we can't walk for fifteen minutes?
Dad having given up trying to convince me that walking was a bad idea, trudges along forlornly with me. As soon as we step out of the apartment, I am nearly run over by a rickshaw with horns blaring. And the driver has the gall to then turn around and advice me on how to walk on the road- nearly running over three other pedestrians while he was at it. My heart rate was just returning to normal when a huge SUV which had no business travelling in a three feet wide road gently nudges me into the open drain running by the side of the road. Dad, the veteran Kochi traveller swiftly pulls me into a roadside shop (whereupon a shop assistant looked up hopefully, ready to make is first sale of the day - or maybe the week, even, judging by the fine coating of dust on the shop shelves) and just as deftly hops out and into the next shop.
We walk in this pop-in-hop-out fashion, while dad ably guides me though the end of the street filled with drivers who I'm convinced have walked straight out of Grand Theft Auto V (or is it VI? I've lost count).
At the end of the the road, I'm met by a scene that can only be called bedlam. Anarchic Bedlam! Cacophonic Anarchic Bedlam!!
Shouting over the babble, I tell dad "Gosh, it must be a serious accident. there are even cops in the scene"
Dad (shaking his head sadly at how totally clueless I was): That, my dear, is a traffic cop. He is directing traffic. And this, is what we call a junction. We need to cross now.
My jaw drops. We need to to cross this? Is he kidding me? I have manic drivers gunning for me from four different directions now. I close my eyes, ask the Lord to take good care of my children, and make a dash for it.
Three sudden brakes, two screeching tyres and six blue curses later, I have made it across with all my limbs intact. I can't believe it!! It has to be a miracle.
At the branch I am so shaken by my experience I ask for three glasses of water. And consume them (despite the fingerprints on the inside of the glass).As we are about the leave the branch, I turn around and tell dad  "Do you suppose you could go and get the car? I don't think I'm ready to die just yet."
Poor dad. Shaking his head, resigned to his fate of having crazy women dictate his life, he steps out to go get the car. I quickly avert my eyes as a two wheeler does his best to grind his toes to pulp. *gulp* Maybe next time I should let Dad decide how we travel.