Monday, August 20, 2007

My Date with a Stick Shift.....

During my sight seeing trips in Iran, I visited quite a number of tourist attractions, of which one of the most pleasant to one’s eyes was the botanical Garden in Tehran. It was absolutely breathe taking, a place where you can sit and relax, watch the beauty of nature combined with an artificial stone path way, and take in a breath of fresh air. The ‘Jamshidieh Stone Garden’ located on the front slopes of a Kolakchal Mountain, in the Niavaran district of Tehran, an area that the rich and the mostly affluent reside.

It has open air amphitheatre, hiking trails to the mountaintop, and picnic areas, several restaurants, as well as traditional teahouses (houses of culture).

But this blog is not about the spectacular garden, nor the weather, or how we could benefit from such a place here in Bahrain. No, not those things, but rather what happened after we left that beautiful place.

We arrived there by four in the afternoon, but sadly had to leave early because it was getting dark, and we had still not climbed to the very top. There were six of us, and in most places in Iran, at least 5 people can get into the small paykan (car) personal taxis’, excluding the driver.

So we got a cab, me and an acquaintance sad in the front. Yes, the both of us sat on one seat, we had to squeeze in though and there in lay the problem. The other four sat in the back.

NOW, 99.99999 % of all cars in IRAN are manual, so the driver has one hand on the steering wheel and the other on the Stick shift, forcefully guiding the stick from one gear to the next.

Unfortunately, since I was sitting on the inside, gears one and two were, well let’s just say they really got acquainted to my thigh and left cheek, and I'm not talking about my face here.

As I felt the driver change into third gear, yes I say felt, not saw but felt, because now the stick shift was touching the under parts of my left thigh.

He then looked at me, and with a embarrassed grin asks if I would give him permission to shift into fourth gear.

I got the message and had to take it like a mannnnnnn, fourth gear was right under my bottom and no matter how much I squeezes and squirmed, twisted and turned, I just could not shift it, the goods i mean, away from the in evitable, so I gave in and took it like a man.

During the trip, all I could think of was, STOP, NO TRESPASSING, DO NOT ENTER, PRIVATE PROPERY, and for the love of god, pleeeeeeeeeeeeesseeee nooooooooooo BUMPY ROAaaDDDS!

By the end of the trip I had gone to third base and back with the stick shift gear box, at least three times that come to mind, but fourth base was safe, cause I had my cheeks shut iron tight, and when I pounced out of the cab as it stopped at our final destination, and pushing my acquaintance during my rush, I could have sworn I saw the gear box wink at me……