Joy Ride

#sol22- April 26, 2022

Last Wednesday we had our faculty meeting- busy reflecting on this year’s units and making some preliminary plans for next year. It was a happy surprise when we got through the agenda, as there was a LOT to do. I walked out of school on autopilot and hopped in my tuk-tuk. The ever capable Mr. Bo was at the helm, so I settled back in my seat for the ride home (10-15 minutes). We only got a bit down the street when we stalled…

A minute later Mr. Bo had his moto going again and we went on our way again when…we stalled again. This time Mr. Bo got out a screwdriver, jiggled wires, and more, but no luck. Oh, no!

This being Phnom Penh, within two minutes another tuk-tuk driver pulled over, eager to scoop up a passenger (me). Mr. Bo was negotiating with him in Khmer- sorting out price, location, etc.

“Are you okay, Erika?” I heard a minute later.

It was Chett, My colleague, who was passing by on his motorcycle. He pulled over to check on me.

“Do you need a lift?” he asked.

“Oh, no, I am fine.I think this tuk-tuk can take me,” I assured him.

“Why not hop on here?” he said, patting the seat.

“Um…” I hesitated.

“I have only ever been on the back of a motorcycle a few times for a few blocks,” I said. “I’m too wimpy!”

“You can do it! I will drive extra slowly and carefully,” he said.

Mr. Bo nodded approvingly, he seemed to prefer this solution.

“You don’t have a helmet for me,” I reasoned- trying to gracefully extricate myself from this scary scenario.

“Oh, yes, I do,” he said, pulling his wife’s pink helmet out from the storage compartment.

A minute later and a quick strap adjustment and I was all kitted out.

“Bong, can you take our picture?” Chett asked Mr. Bo (bong means ‘brother’, but is slang for ‘guy/dude’).

Thus, I have a picture of me sort of smiling before taking off on my terrifying ride home. On reflection, Chett did drive safely (I assured him I was not worried about his driving, but the driving of those around us) and I was happy to pay him in mangos (Mr. Bo had given me 8 mangos from the province and I shared the treasure equally with Chett). I am grateful to have been rescued, but I am glad to not ride a motorcycle regularly.

before the ride
the sweet reward afterward

One thought on “Joy Ride

  1. Erika, what a cute photo. I’m glad you shared it and that your ride home was safe on the motorcycle! Nice slice of life!

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