Wednesday, May 17, 2006



FINALLY ... here is the emu that I've been trying to upload all these days. It turns out Internet Explorer doesn't function well on Macs and AOL doesn't function well on anything. So: while using the iBook which I borrow from my friends when I'm at the "office", I haven't been able to upload on IE. And at home, using my own ThinkPad, and dialing up via AOL, no action there either. But all is changed -- because this office iBook has now been installed with FireFox -- and ta-daaaaa! Emu surprise.

All good.

Meanwhile, on other fronts (mentioned in the title), I am learning to drive. Okay, okay -- no hysteria in the audience, please -- better late than never and all that ... so it's been a stressful time for all the young trees along the driveway at my friends' home, where I am gaining valuable experience, and losing much sweat. S, the particular friend who is teaching me, has shown enormous reserves of patience, wit and serenity as we rattle up and rattle down the driveway, scaring goats and dogs and occasional (no doubt) field mice. It's only been about 10 days and there are faint glimmerings of understanding appearing in my cerebral cortex (or wherever. My liver, perhaps. I don't know where the Driving Gene is located).

The reason I am making this effort, after nearly-53 years of non-driving existence, is that I am tired of being a sort of animated parcel, in the US, always having to be collected and delivered from one location to the next. It is an immensely humbling experience, to suddenly be immobilized for lack of taxis/scooters/camels/dog sleds in which to move around. Also, when one is living in a rural area in the US, it becomes positively dangerous to be actually UNABLE to drive -- it is so much taken for granted that every normal adult has this basic skill that it could cause panic and riots if it were to be commonly known that I am Automotively Challenged.

I am discovering all kinds of interesting facts. Such as: I have two feet -- and ONLY two feet -- rather than the three most people seem to have, or SHOULD have, so that they can rest one appendage each on the Clutch, Brake and Accelerator pedals. Such as: there is such a thing as slipping backwards into oblivion when the parking brake is released. Such as: some cars DO NOT HAVE A (functioning) PARKING BRAKE. Such as: yelping and letting go the steering wheel -- mysteriously -- does NOT result in the car coming to a dead halt. Such as ... ohhhh. Never mind. I think I've said enough.

But I haven't yet actually hit anything. Which seems to me to be a good sign. At least till my next lesson ...

10 comments:

arvindh said...

Great that you got to upload the photo at last.
It was fun to read about your driving experience. It would be easier for you if you could start with an automatic model - you will then notice that you dont even need your left foot!

zigzackly said...

Sounds like you're ready to drive in (dramatic pause) Delhi!

grin

Amrobilia said...

The emu's eyes, 'neck-language', nostrils et all drive one to conclude that she's/he's (which one's right?) watching you 'at the wheel' - or letting go off of it unt screaming!

Marginalien said...

Amro -- no idea whether the l'emu in le pictoir is une femme or un homme. Ze French accent is on account of being close to ze bordeur Canadien. Zometimes ze bordeur, she h'affacts mon accent.

Frankly, it looks to me as if Emus are just crazy, multi-gendered beasts that look like straw huts on the move. The reason I was so keen to post the picture was that I wanted to share that extraordinary expression -- I KNOW the bird has a brain smaller than the size of its eye (well, that's supposedly true of ostriches, and emus are related to ostriches) but in this photograph the creature seems to be so CLEARLY smiling/leering directly at the camera ...

I dunno! I guess I was never meant to be an ornithologist. I would be talking to the birds in no time. And my brain would shrink to the size of a marble (currenly it is the size of a golf ball ... ).

Zig ... OH YES. DELHIRIUM. I am sure I'm ready for those roads but are they ready for ME?

Arvindh ... I am just getting used to the idea that I have two feet. PLEASE do not confuse me with the notion of having none! Or only one. Or multiples thereof. Or ... errrm ... whatever (obviously the brain has suddenly shrunk to mustard-seed size. Must be on account of the humming bird I saw yesterday, posing on a branch of the lilac tree -- for one instant -- before zooming off, its wings invisible once more).

pauline said...

he/she is beautiful. I'd like to see a wider angle shot sometime.

I can't imagine that you are brave enough for AOL but hesitant to drive a car. it's more fun with a stick anyway though, then an automatic seems, well automatic, like you're not really driving the thing or something.

we're leaving on the 29th, and it's rushing up on me so fast, I should really feel guilty for doing this and not locating proper luggage as I should be.

your story reminded me of my sister teaching me to drive her pinto in this big shopping center parking lot too many decades ago. the speed bumps were really a blast, till the cops came and made us go home :)

Amrobilia said...

Da monne gonne flocc!

Amrobilia said...

I think you've got the 'brain-smaller-than-the-eye' thing wrong. That's said of a tiny, ape-like, prelate-like critter, ain' it? A lemur or sommat? Or am I grong?

Marginalien said...

Dunno about the poor lemurs -- poor little beasts! -- typical mammal eyes aren't as big as ostrich eyes (in relation to their skulls, i.e.) so if a LEMUR's brain is smaller than its eyes, ooooh dear! They wouldn't be good for much more than sitting up in a branch scratching behind their ears ...

The thing about ostriches and their brains is that their eyes are kinda huge a brain smaller than one of those is obviously still big enuff to power those great glorious Vogue-model legs.

Anonymous said...

the driving gene has just been loc8ed - it lies in the nut behind the steering wheel! gt

Sharanya Manivannan said...

Gosh, that bird just gives me the shivers! I would hate to have it turn its gaze on me! Brrr!