I drive a 1992 Corona Diesel Taxi Model. That was also the year my father bought it. Seventeen years later and the old wheel shows no signs of slowing down.
When she was shipped here bright and new; she was an advertising-metallic silver. The years down the road plus the wear and the tear made her go for a face lift. My father gave her a jacket of emerald green! It was loud, garish and divine.
The intervening years down the road has brushed aside that loudness and that garishness. Now she looks jaded, in a good way.
An Englishman sipping tea at The Zone said it was a good looking color. I'd had some reservations about the green and mean paint but now i'm beginning to like it. My father was quite a dash of a man. He did things with gusto. Whether it was cutting up meat in strings or driving a car.
I never mastered the technical know-how he did.
Today i ride his trusted beauty and find myself learning how to drive, all over again. Machines are like people: You treat them right and you get rewarded; treat them wrong and well, you're likely to get stranded.
Its not enough that you can drive; you must have the drive in you.
Yesterday i was on the road down to Chhukha. My second of the week. The task was pretty simple: pick up some contraband and have a nice ride.
I had Harry with me the first ride. I think i've been hard on him. I feel bad. I hoped the ride would cleanse some of that. These rides do. You're stuck inside of a mobile like Dylan sang with the Thimphu blues again.
Its an opportunity to rediscover the road, the hills and the mountains. The bond you build is a bonus. Nothing quite comes close to sitting in a moving chair, having a conversation and knowing you just gottta sit it out!
We drove down to Chhukha. The three of us and an German Shephard. His name is Lala and he's just the most comfortable dog i've ever come across. He's been to bars, cafes, restaurants and even to the disco! He knows his place in the Sun and will not succumb to anything less.
The local dogs will bark and bark and Lala will just go about his business. Like Eastwood in those spaghetti westerns- cool and unencumbered.
The day was glorious. The sunshine bathing us as we drove sipping Tiger beers and talking about the higher ideals of life and the art of living it smartly.
Sometimes the road does things to your head. It makes you pursue dreams and visions that might be called nigh impossible in other settings. Here it was the perfect subject. Then Mr T injects in one of his treasured favorites: " There is always room for adjustment."
I can't recall in what context he said it but man, every time he injected that timely phrase we had a chuckle.
I said something about the old lady really in need of a revamp. The hood at the back kept going bonkers every time we hit a bump. She really does deserve a revamp, i say out loud.
Tad comes the rejoinder: "There is always room for adjustment!"
With that we kept driving on and on. The sun was now fading away. The mountains had us in a spell. I put the music out. The silence of the mountains began to sing. The conversation died. The old lady trudged on winding curves and bends.
The phone buzzed. The spell is broken. Mr Phantom riding a Royal Enfield 500cc toward us from the other side with the contraband says we can rendezvous in Chhukha.
"But what about the check post?" i ask.
"There is always room for adjustment" says Mr T. With that, we meet up a kilometer away from the check post.
There is a drizzle and a faint shower. The sun's gone. We meet Phantom much like Cage in the "Ghost Rider." He looks like a cool cucumber riding that machine.
We exchange stuff. The ride back is relaxed.
I'll not tell tales of what happened after we touched Thimphu. Suffice it to say that "There was no room for adjustment!"