Friday, July 13, 2007

Rachel meets her nemesis

Everybody, this is Evil Deathbike, destroyer of worlds. Deathbike, this is everybody.

We have developed an on again, off again relationship during my time here in India. One minute I am on and then just as quickly I am off again.

Maxine was kind enough to lend me her lovely old bike for my time here in the country. She doesn't ride it anymore, but it was her daily form of transportation for years. Its 1950s body, brakes, and bell still work. However, it's a little tall for me, so I'll be standing by the side of the road, hop, hop hoping, and trying to get the thing going, all while dodging buses, obnoxious motorbikers, bikes, rickshaws, the odd donkey, and miles of mud.

It isn't particularly dangerous, since drivers here are used to avoiding oblivious bikers. Mostly, it's just embarrassing. Everybody is already staring at the foreign girl. I'd prefer it if they weren't also staring at that foreign girl falling off of a parked bicycle. As I was wobbling my way out of the school lot, a group of girls suddenly decided to crowd around and introduce themselves. I hope I wasn't too short with them, but I was afraid I was going to tip over and squash the sixth standard.


Max said...

Man, I want an Evil Deathbike! Just bend it to your will via creative, anti-mechanical means of torture or promises of true power among the biking/vehicle world, and you'll do fine.

But seriously, don't die. It's generally bad for your health.

Rachel Teagle said...

I totally sympathize. I tried to ride Pechous' bike on the front lawn of the UNCO house and then immediately fell over. I was so terrified I haven't unlocked it since. At least I've gotten good at walking places.

wordy_explorer said...

Hee! Thanks Rachel. I seem to be getting better. As long as I promise it power and dry weather it seems to be molified.

And yay walking!

P.S. Still trying not to die and succeeding admirably.

Kristin said...

Getting caught up, I'm very curious to know, who gets to choose the topics you write about?? Maslow's torture experiment and birthday parties?

: )

Nik said...

Rachel! Just wanted you to know that I'm reading this now too. Sounds like such an adventure! I suggest that if you're overcome by a parked bicycle and people are staring, just give them a huge goofy grin. They'll assume you're an *insane* american girl, and cut you more slack. By the way, you look beautiful in that purple...dress? I've seen you in. Can you tell me the significance of the colored dots on the forehead? What do each of the colors mean?

wordy_explorer said...

Kristin-- It's a combination of the literary stuff I wnat to write about and the science/ social science topics they wanted me to mix in for color. The fact that one of the twenty topics I picked was torture, um. . . I got nothin'.

wordy_explorer said...

Hey Nik! Glad to hear that you're reading and thanks for the compliment!

I've actually tried your patented 'look nuts' approach, once when my sandals broke and I had to wander around the school barefoot, and the other time when I ran smack into a door frame. New country, same clutz.

The bindi, or thikli, on my forehead can be meaningful, (married women tend to wear a red one and both red and yellow seem common at the events surrounding weddings and births)but they mostly seem to be there for beauty these days. Women and girls wear them in part because it shows that they are good Hindus and in part because they match their outfits.

laura said...

I sympathize with a fellow biker! I've been biking to work, and American road ragers are NOT as used to bicylists, so I know how it feels to be uncomfortable and caught on what might rapidly become a machine of death.