I just want to say, that I probably did one of the stupidest things today…
Riding on the back of a scooter down and up a mountain road that has been totally washed out, completely and totally no railing, with huge coffee trucks, IN THE DARK!
It was awesome.
Lets back up a bit, because honestly why in the hellz bellz would anyone with two degrees, a worried family, and silicon bakeware want to put their life at risk for a scooter.
Anders (now there will be an embarrassing story, of which Anders isn’t too excited that I am sharing about him. But I write a blog and who wants to be deprived of such a funny story? Yeah, that’s what I thought.)
Anders, gets invited to the house of a Cuban couple who are doctors. Interestingly, Cuba has sent over about 300 doctors, whilst taking in about 600 Timorese to Cuba to train them to become doctors. The US didn’t want to do this..fantastic. Anyways, Anders was invited yesterday.
‘Michelle, do you want to go to dinner tomorrow night? It’s about a hour away?’
‘Yeah, that would be great. How are we getting there?’
‘Umm, well the vehicles are either down or being used, so we’re taking my scooter.’
This morning I wake up after sleeping eight hours. Honestly, I’ve never EVER slept this much in my whole life. Eight hours of sleeping, then two hour naps in the afternoon. Really? I told Anders today that I can’t get used to taking naps, because I can’t really do that when I go back ‘home’.
‘Come on, we need to go and test out if the scooter is going to work’
‘Ok’ (thinking he was actually seriously..is he off his face. I am about 2 1/2 Timorese women. I mean, then men are the size of my thigh on a good day and the women, the size of my arm. Yeah, they can pack 3-5 people on it..like I said..about 1 of me. So two of us..really?)
‘Ok, you go and get that white helmet’. (This white helmet is like the old school scooter helmets, with no ear screen thing and it’s too big. Would pretty much do no good. Excellent!)
“Ok, hop on!’
We were off. We drove down and around the place where we are staying and then back up the hill to the Bakhita Centre. There’s a little tire obstacle course that has been set-yup for the kids to practice on so they can get their license. So Anders decides that it would be a great idea, with me on the back, in front of everyone to tackle to obstacle course.
It should be noted, that indeed the scooter is really meant for one person to be tackling this obstacle course..not two.
So we get around the outside and then try and pivot between tires in a straight line that have been spaced apart..but not very far apart. Simulating tight angles and turns. Remember, I am the weight of 2 people in Timor.
Anders goes around the first tire to the right, then around the second to the left.
We’re too heavy..aint no right going to happen again (I knew it before we tried)
Anders gives it gas, trying to get back a sharp right turn..however..the motorcycles goes left, almost hitting me into a bamboo pole.
For some reason he gives it more gas and then..
STRAIGHT into a WALL!
Now, everyone is watching us. Seriously..everyone..
I jump of the back and double over in laughter while letting Anders tries to recover any pride, dignity or status amongst the youth in regards to driving he may have had left. They were busting up.
Then we hop on the back of the motorcycle and drive for about 1 hour to the doctors house. I mean, we crossed a stream, drove down and up mountainess roads..which has NO MARGIN OF ERROR…AT ALL!
We got to the house..I was relieved..my knees hurt from having them scrunched up for 1 hours..but we were treated to the most amazing Cuban food ever. Fried chicken, rice/beans, salad, fried bananas, Indonesian wine..great conversation.
Fours hours later…I knew that we had to make it back.
In the dark.
I prayed the whole time. Not even lying. It was fun though Anders and I had a bit of a deep and meaningful (d&m) on the way back which took my mind off of the possibility of losing it whilst driving at night down a cliff…and my mother would flip and my silicone bakeware and I would have to part…
I have to say that driving on the back of a motorcycle is pretty stupid in Timor. But it may have been more stupid when it was a blind date with a man I didn’t know..who ended up running red light with me on the back.
Perhaps, tonight wasn’t as bad.
To Anders..thanks for not killing me.