What do you do when you are stranded in the middle of nowhere? Well not exactly nowhere, we knew where we were, but that did not help.
I was living in Plano for the last few weeks and it was normal for us guys from India to impose ourselves on the generosity of the friends already in the US especially when we had to be driven around and why not!
So here we are driving along at a brisk pace, there was some traffic but all moving fast. My colleague and I are discussing some aspects of the project we were working on. In due course our conversation is more animated that we almost miss hearing a splutter and another and another and ….. Ooops.
The car stops. Luckily we are not on freeways, tollways, parkways or any of those special American ways, which could have made the matter worse.. We look at each other and at the fuel indicator showing E. We burst out laughing and that was good because in another 60 minutes we have to be in an important meeting and it is not going to help being frustrated and in bad mood.
We push the car to one side and contemplate next steps. My friend calls the road side assistance so in another 2 or 3 hours we shall be delivered! Only downside is the light is quickly fading. We try to stop a few oncoming vehicles but no luck. At last a car does slow down, a window does roll down, but some crazy character thought that we were on comedy show and started sniggering and then pulled away. We, laughing at ourselves is one thing, we definitely did not want to entertain others at our expense, not for free at least.
Just then a bike comes thundering at us. Now what? Are we in danger? Everything I had ever read about mugging in US went flashing by in my mind’s eye but we kept a cool-as-cucumber look externally. The bike stops and a young man gets off and comes towards us. Is he going to whip out his six-shooter (I had been an avid reader of westerns in my younger days and my imagination was running overtime).
Bike Guy: “What is the problem?”
My Friend: “No gas, but help is on the way”
Bike Guy using a professional tone: “Here is the deal. You give me 20 bucks and I will get you outta this mess. I will get you some gallons of gas.”
Hesitatingly my friend counts out 20 bucks and hands it over to him. In a flash he is gone thundering away. Is this another way of hold up? More sophisticated. Perhaps coming from where we did it is very difficult to trust strangers for anything let alone with money. Well, we have just to wait for vehicle roadside assistance to come by and bail us out.
In about 10 minutes we hear the same thundering sound of the engine. Another member of his gang perhaps? No it is the same guy. He now has a jerry-can strapped on his bike. He stops a couple of yards away and whips out the jerry-can that’s strapped on the side of the bike. 😀
We fill up the gas and thank him profusely. We were also pretty much ashamed of ourselves. I promise him that one day I shall write about this incident. Thanks Yosif!
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