I usually spend my afternoons catching up with my daughter. But yesterday evening, after our lovely afternoon nap, I decided to pop out for snacks that my colleague & I arranged to buy for our weekly Math meetings. To avoid wasting quality time, I decided to take my daughter. My personal chauffeur, oh sorry, I mean my husband, was not available, which meant that I must drive. Eek! I don’t usually drive without my husband. You see, I’m a manual driver back in London, I’m used to driving on the other side, and fighting for road space with on-coming traffic. My engine size has tripled and so has the size of my car!
Anyway, we make the 15 minute journey to our local mall. Only thing I had to fight for was the parking space. I saw one about 10 meters away, another guy had his eyes on it. I have a bigger engine, so I zoomed and made it before him into my spot. I felt accomplished. My friend and I laughed about it.
Once we finished, we arrive back at the car, load the shopping and stroller into the boot. My daughter is being strapped up in her car seat whilst I start up the engine so I can blast the AC in this sauna of a car.
Let me just make this clear, and I know I’m living up to the stereotype of girls not knowing anything about cars. But this girl right here, doesn’t. I admit. Not ashamed to admit it. As soon as I put the key in the ignition, the car switched on for a split second and then off again. The key was stuck and I was unable to start the car.
‘’Okay, don’t stress. It’s nothing. Blow into the ignition, give it a minute and try again’’ I thought.
Nope. That didn’t work.
To be honest, I didn’t know what else to do. We already began sweating. It was that hot! I immediately took my daughter out the car and asked my friend to take her back into the mall whilst I pretended to fix the problem. I swear it was like I was mistakenly chosen to carry out open heart surgery on a patient that was already prepped on the table.
‘’What do I do?’’ ‘
‘’I know. Let me find a guy with a welcoming face.’’
I see a guy in tradition gear. Maybe mid to late 40’s. In a crisp white gown. The Kandora.
‘’Hi excuse me, Sir. Can you help me?’’
‘’Yes sure, what’s the problem ma’am’’
‘’It’s my 1st time driving alone here, and I’m having a very bad experience. My car won’t switch on’’
I’d never been so embarrassed asking someone a question. Like seriously, how much worse can this be? Hmm, you’ll see….keep reading.
‘’What’s the problem?’’
‘’I have absolutely no clue. My key is stuck.’’ (my face began to look flushed beneath all that sweat).
‘’Ok, do you mind if I have a look?’’
‘’Maybe it’s your blah blah blah blah blah’’
That’s what I heard. It’s like he was speaking another language. But all he was speaking was technical language, so my mind shut down
**I recently saw a meme on IG that would explain this situation very clearly to you. I’ll tag the pic so you can understand what was going on in my mind**
‘’Look, I’ll be honest, I know nothing about cars. I just came to buy some snacks. Let me know if you can fix it and I’ll be forever grateful’’.
‘’Ok, open the bonnet for me, I’ll see what I can do.’’
I didn’t move an inch. Motionless. Expressionless. Embarrassed. How the hell do I even tell him I don’t know how to do that?
He laughs, ‘’Ok excuse me, I’ll figure it out.’’
That was the last time he spoke to me for about 30 mins.
Its laughable now, I know!
He somehow popped the bonnet open and went to check beneath it, and so I sat in my car sweating buckets wiping my dripping face too embarrassed to ask if he didn’t mind me waiting inside the mall whilst he fixed it. I thought I’d better have some shame and remain where I was. So I sat in the car and had a little rant on snapchat for my lovely followers. He then called his mechanic and discussed things I didn’t understand. All the while he’s using his traditional head wrap to wipe his sweat, bless him. He eventually came back and asked me to wait for 15-20 so he can go to pick up his mechanic.
Like seriously? I almost don’t know how to respond to such kindness. Who does that?!
He see’s the shock on my face and reassures me without me having to say anything.
‘’Don’t worry, my family are inside having a nice time shopping. I have time. Its ok.’’
‘’No, this is too much, Sir. Don’t worry. I’ll sort it.’’
‘’How?’’ He asks.
‘’I don’t know, but im sure my husband will.’’ I admitted.
So he sent for someone to take all my belongings out of the car as i collect my daughter and friend from the mall. Put us in a cab home, and said he’ll get his mechanic to tow my car to either my home or a garage.
‘’I did get in the cab. But promised my husband will sort the car out.’’
He didn’t want to over-step the mark, so he accepted my promise.
I thanked him profusely and we departed.
He was so humble, bless him.
Oh, you wana know about the car? The one with the key still in the ignition?
Pshht, I don’t know.
My husband is sorting it out.
PS. I blame the guy that had his eyes on my parking spot.
PPS. I honestly didn’t know how to respond to so much kindness. Like it wasn’t a big deal to him. I hate to compare, but I remember my car breaking down at 7am on seven sisters road in London on my way to work and having people pretend they can’t see me for a couple hours as I sat on the side of the road with no help.
Be kind, people. Help one another.
Or perhaps just do a mechanics course!