Driving alone with Anne

Yesterday began with an exceptionally good mood, non-crying kids, easy cooking and a silent house before 8.30AM to relish my cool glass of tender coconut watching the morning traffic from my window.

The situation changed at around 8.45 when my DH asked me a favor (ஆர்டர் போட்டா அடி விழுமே!)

He wanted me to drive to the nearast mall and buy his favorite fish for dinner.

Buying fish.. ok. Driving? I am almost like a fish out of water when I am without a driver.

This was preposterous. How a little (?) girl like me is supposed to drive a SUV alone in those huge noodles of roads?

But do I have a choice? I am a very obedient girl you see..So I started.

Here you should know onething. I had my driving license at the age of 21 for which I didn’t put ‘8’ even on a piece of paper, let alone on a road (me doing a driving test would only have put several innocent lives in the ICU at that point of time, so it was a kind of a social service in the R.T.O’s point of view-எதோ நம்மால முடிஞ்ச பொது சேவை.).

I did learn driving mind you, but let us not get into that now. I think I drive ‘kind of ok’, but I have this little starting trouble (even now, I don’t understand how people start the car smoothly without making it come alive and hop along for a few seconds like a frog. Coz that’s the way I start the car…fun isn’t it?) and a little of break(ing) problem and the fear factor that clutches the inside of my throat if I see another vehicle anywhere closer to me and my hands start trembling and I am driven into a state of selective amnesia about which is break and which is accelerator and then ofcourse there is this gear problem.

With all these problems I decided driving was not my thing. (ஒரு சின்னப் பொண்ணு வாழ்க்கைல எத்தனை ப்ராப்ளம் தான் ஃபேஸ் பண்ணுவா?)

Then we moved here and bought a SUV. Luckily it was a fully automatic car.

My DH was trying his level best to make me his driver. After a long time, I decided that it was time again to test the waters (And the malaysian publics’ patience).

A little confidence from my side and a lot more courage from my family, I finally started to drive (with my hubbie by the side). My driving episodes are a separate topic, let us not dwelve into that right now.

So, this day I had to take the car alone. I was all prepared and my DH called me from office thrice before starting the engine, just to make sure that I remembered everything. I was so cool to him and was like “Come on.. it is just a three minutes drive and I have gone there like hundred times. Duh??” (ஒரு தடவையாவது முழிச்சிருந்தா தானே வழி தெரியும்)

All is well from the outside, but inside??(நமக்கு பேஸ்மண்ட் தான் வீக், ஆனா பில்டிங் சும்மா கில்லி மாதிரி)

I started the car, praying that the owner of the car next to mine had a heavy insurance plan. It was an Eclass Benz.

I came out of the parking and the security guy (Seeing me in the driver’s seat) as usual ran to a safe distance. I gave him a triumphant smile and stored away the priceless expression on his face in the back of my mind. He had just noticed that I am driving alone..

I drove to the mall (which is almost a straight road) quite efficiently with a smile on my face (who cares about the frowns on the drivers faces,who happened to have done the mistake of coming beside/around me).

Parking was no big deal since the whole lot was empty. No one to see my almost diagonal parking in a parallel parking lane(apologies to Bhagyachinu for stealing the line, but come on!!! this I did literally)

I went to carrefour and was out of it in half an hour. Now it is the return journey that I was scared about.

You see this mall is sitting in the middle of a huge network of spahetti style roads, most of which are hidden underneath or flying up above or jutting out magically from nowhere.

So mustering up all the courage I started the engine and revved up out of the parking lot exit. I was too far from the automated ticket(exit) booth that I had to get out of the car and run to the machine.

Wait! did I remember to put the car in neutral..I turned around.

Damn where is the car?

Fortunately It was only slowly going in front, since it was a ramp going up ahead. It looked like the car was sneaking away from me. (அவ்ளோ சீக்கிரம் என் கிட்டயிருந்து எஸ்ஸாயிரலாம்னு நெனச்சியா?). I ran from the machine to the car, by which time the machine spat back my card, rejecting it.

I put the gear in neutral and the hand break and came back to the machine. I gave a smack on it’s head and now it ate the card obediently (just like my kids)and rose the barrier gate . I ran hastily to the car, fearing that the gate might fall down before I go out.

Somehow, we came out of the parking lot in two whole pieces (me and my car).

My dear Anne- the sexy GPS voice (people who read my ‘me and microsoft Sam’ post would know my tolerance level with automated voices) took her own time to start up and guide me home, by which time I had already come around the mall once. And then it started…

Anne said- In 200 mtrs turn left….I turned…


Dammit…ok..big deal...let us take another round.

Next round…the same location…In 200 mtrs turn left…where the hell is the left?? But I was too late, I had already taken the wrong road and Anne was sincerely recalculating.

Next round..same location…even in a distance, I was seaching for that damn left.

In 200 mtrs turn left…What?? Do you want me to drive right into that freaking glass door?


Fifth round, I didn’t want to take the same route, so I took a left that came before that particular left, thinking that I might end up in a parallel road( how many parallel roads could there be in the middle of one mall? – பெருமாளே.. நீ தான் காப்பாத்தனும்)

That left took me into three more twists and turns and left me right in front of the same ‘first’ left. Anne was just waiting for the opportunity and she jumped in. In 200 mtrs turn left..

What????? (மறுபடியும் மொதல்ல இருந்தா??)

Sixth round…(மங்காத்தா தல ரேஞ்சுக்கு போயாச்சு) eyes straight ahead and focus on the road, I took the right when Anne asked me to go left. Anne became frantic…She started recalculating again and again…who cares I drove straight ahead in the road that lead to my husband’s office.

I wanted to drive up to his face and ask “Look where you brought me” (எப்படி இருந்த நா..இப்படி ஆயிட்டேன்).

The roads were twisting and turning in all directions like we all were practising for some race track. Then came a cross section with so many ramps and turns.

A tired Anne asked me to take the left ramp. I took….

She teased me in her expressionless voice. Recalculating..recalculating..

“What the....I took the left, you idiot!”..apparently it was not the ‘right’ left. Here I go for another three kms at the end of which came tollplaza..

A Toll plaza???

What?? Where am I going? out of KL? Ipoh.? It sure said so..the signboards cried several names half of which I haven’t even heard of. (அய்யோ..மாமா..உன்னவிட்டு எங்கயோ போறேனே).

The toll.. I had gone into the card section without realising that I didn’t have the touch’n’go card. After ‘cajoling’ the driver behind me to getback to a safe distance, I took a pensive reverse and joined the cash only line. By this time I had already become a point of attraction (விடுங்க பாஸ்..இவங்க எப்பவுமே இப்படித்தான்)

Another twist and turn and it asked me to turn right. I saw the sign board ahead.

“What in the name of god? I understand left arrow..right arrow.. even arrow pointing up and arrow pointing down.(it took me years to understand that ‘up’ meant go straight, till then I was thinking like ‘how are we supposed to go up and under the earth?’) But what I saw here was a flower arrow with roads leading out of every one of four petals.

“Why would someone sit and design something like this, is totally beyond me”.(ஏன்..ஏன் இந்த கொல வெறி?)

Unsure of myself, using all my brains I calculated and took a road.

I knew Anne would pitch in. She sure did. … ‘recalculating..recalculating..’(கிழிஞ்சுது போ..விட்டா இப்டியே இந்தியாவுக்கே போயிருவேன் போலிருக்கே. ச்சீ..மொதல்ல வீட்டுக்குப் போற வழியப்பாரு)

And then finally a road took me to a place which I identified as my favorite shopping mall. I seriously wanted to get down of the car and kiss the road instead I kissed Anne.(read-the GPS machine)

I was laughing hysterically that the driver beside me got scared and inched away from me.

Atlast I reached home and parked the car(yes..yes..only after going front and back for ten times, to squeeze right into our lot) safe and sound.

Did that Benz just inch away to a corner, all by itself??

It was just an incident. But it was something strong. An incident that changed my attitude towards something. From fear to fun.

I learned that it is not worth fearing something, when there is all the probability of the samething turning out to be just fun.

It all depends on the attitude right?? and of course the company. (I just can imagine Anne gritting her teeth right now..tee..hee)

So, for a mere three minutre journey I had spent one whole hour and 2RM toll. I went to buy salmon and ended up buying a great experience, a better understanding with my dear Anne and a handful of swearings from faceless friends and I was happy that the list didn’t end with a ticket.

And oh!..I didn’t kill anyone..Isn’t that a great news? (Well It was, for my husband)

But you know what the best part was?

I actually didn’t buy the onething I had gone to buy – The salmon.

By now you would have guessed what or who went in the grrr…ill lastnight.
(எது நடந்ததோ அது நன்றாகவே நடந்தது)
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