Don’t worry, it’s a 20 minute drive! – Creative Writing
It’s 8. 40 and we’ve just got off the plane. It was the longest flight of our lives. With a three hour delay while we were stuck on the plane and then the luggage getting lost. My suitcase managed to get on a flight to Miami and my mums’ to Barcelona! Sometimes I wonder, do the suitcases just sprout legs and go someplace they’ve never been before? We were tired and hungry. We had been awake for almost 20 hours at a stretch and were desperate to flop on to a soft bed and sleep! As we hurriedly looked around for a taxi to get us to our hotel, a tall, tanned lady walked up to my dad and asked him if he wanted to rent a car.
Typically, my dad thought it was a good idea. You may not know this, but my family and I, have all experienced my dad’s driving in a foreign city, and believe me it is no where close to good. So, amidst out cries of protest, my adamant dad marched up to the rent-a-car counter and asked for a people carrier. After standing around for another half hour, the lady showed us to a lift and told us our car would be waiting downstairs. We found that we had a bright green people carrier to drive around New York for the week that we were there.
After moaning and groaning we all got in the car, and my dad ad started driving to the exit of the parking lot when he suddenly braked and started reversing back to the lift where the lady was still standing and waving. He had forgotten to ask for directions. He sat back in his seat mumbling about “turn right at the light, then take a U turn and head back east on the thru way. At exit 443 take a right and follow signs to the… or was it turn right then left and then take a U turn? ”
My mum was already furious with my dad for agreeing to the idea of the car. Tight lipped, in her “this is so annoying” voice she asked my dad if he was sure of where he was going. Obviously no man likes to dmit he’s not sure so in his very false voice he assured my mum that he was positive about where we were going and that the lady had told him its only a “20 minute drive” and “not to worry”. The lady couldn’t have been more wrong. She obviously misjudged my dad and may have over-estimated him when she saw his international driving license.
“Wroom, Wrooom”, the vehicle, startedas though we were about to begin a race. It was warmed up and all set to embark on the race against time. Our course was unknown and we had one of the slowest drivers of all time. Taking it at 5Km an hour, we took 20 minutes alone to get ut of the three-storey parking lot. How long was it going to take us to get to the hotel? When we eventually got on the road, my younger brother said he needed the toilet. As usual my mum taking charge asked my brother to wait 20 minutes while we got to the hotel, while giving my dad a very wary look. I think, having a mothers instinct she knew that stopping anywhere would just prolong this dreaded journey and we would all end up traipsing to bathroom and making an even bigger mess of ourselves.
Luckily, my dad made a good guess and we turned on to the right road. It was usually my brother managed to get s to our planned destination, because my dad’s sense of direction is as good as any bird that flies into a window. Tired of directing my dad during previous escapades like this, my brother had flat out refused to do any sort of map reading. After much driving on a straight, dimly lit road there was finally a lonesome turning to the right, which my dad decided to take. Obviously, our good luck had to run out at some point, and this was the time. We were on a nameless bridge which we later found out was the Brooklyn Bridge. It was now when my mother began panicking.
We had been driving for 25 minutes already and there was still no ign of getting to Manhattan Island. While my mum was muttering to herself about how we wouldn’t make it to the hotel in time and that they would cancel our booking, my dad just said that being on the bridge gave us a view of the beautiful city of New York at night. All we had left now was to “follow the signs and arrows. ” The average person might ask, how difficult could it be to follow signs? Obviously, this hadn’t had the experience of a lifetime: A car journey with my dad. So, driving along the Brooklyn Bridge, my brothers and I were taking my dads advice and were enjoying the view, when we made a very unexpected stop.
We had just come to a tollbooth. Now, having arrived a mere hour ago we hadn’t had the chance to acquire any spare change, so my dad had to reach into his secret money belt which was tucked under his shirt, and he pulled out 50 dollars. The man taking our money gave my dad a very shocked look as he gave back 48 dollars and 50 cents. Luckily, my dad had thought that it was a good idea to ask the man how to get to Manhattan Island. He told us to take the second exit on the left and then follow the signs. We did just that. Or we thought we did. I think it was because we weren’t accustomed to the
American accent; either that or the guy was trying to lead us into Harlem on purpose. Harlem is supposedly the most dangerous neighborhood in New York. At hearing the news, my mum became really hysterical; she kept yelling useless opinions like: “I told you not to get the car! Now were all going to get shot! Why do you have to put all our lives at stake? ” My dad just raised his eyebrows and carried on driving. My brother was complaining that he was really desperate for the bathroom, and that just got my mum started again with things like: “Look at what you’ve done! We can’t even stop any where because we’re in HARLEM nd his bladders going to burst, and…. and…. ” At this point I just blocked my mum out. Before we knew it, thanks to the well-lit signboard pointing us out of Harlem we were back on the Brooklyn Bridge. My mum calmed down, but only very slightly. Anything was appreciated at this time, because it was nearly 11. 30 and my brothers and I were dying with tiredness.
My dad just kept driving. He was wide-awake. How? I don’t know, but I had a fealing it may have had something to do with the 3 cups of coffee he had on the plane. Shockingly, we ended up at another tollbooth and asked directions. Again. After about 10 minutes of nodding, ointing and looking at the map, we were finally on our way. It was like Christmas come early when we reached a turn off. We were finally getting of the bridge! Suddenly, all our sleepiness left us. We were back to a wide-awake state and were all excited to finally be going somewhere.
What seemed like 10 minutes later, we were getting out of the dreaded people carrier and were walking in to the hotel. The first thing my brother did was make a beeline for the bathroom. It seems amazing, that how ever many bad experiences we have with driving cars in foreign, and sometimes in not so foreign countries my dad never gives up.