Monday, 10 January 2011

A Blessing in Disguise?

Midway through an uneventful morning, wandering round Pakata taking photographs, the Head of JS school arrived in her 'new' car. She parked it beneath the shade tree, got out, greeted all who were around and put the bonnet lid up, possibly expecting everybody to admire the engine as much as the bodywork and interior design, or alternatively, about to seek advice on some mechanical difficulty; a small group assembled near the open bonnet and from their rather solemn demeanour I assumed it was the latter. They gave the engine a serious staring at, which would have had just as much effect as thrashing it within an inch of its life with a bunch of twigs - Basil Fawlty style! More people arrived plus a wandering cockerel, and eventually the car was surrounded. Then a religious-looking guy started chanting. I didn't think voodoo stuff would work either and in any case this was a moslem chap. Soon everyone was reciting or joining in prayers, palms of their hands upraised - not for some mystical resurrection of the engine, my friend told me, but as blessings for the safety and no doubt the courage the driver would need to display on a daily basis; also for the wellbeing of any future passengers. It was a surprise and a nice thing to do, effected with sincerity and affection. I challenge the AA to offer such a service as part of their customer care package alongside Relay and Homestart. They could hook up with the Anglican church and maybe offer discount MOTs while -u-pray. The possibilities are endless!Twenty minutes later and procedings did not look a though they would be ending any time soon so, curiosity sated, I took my leave and went to hail  a taxi home from outside the school gate. The one that eventually stopped had a boot lid that refused to shut. At every junction some well-meaning passer-by would attempt to close it forcibly and at every pothole  or speed bump that we ignored- which was pretty much all of them -the lid crashed down, making the rest of the vehicle shudder. At first I thought we were being rammed from behind and fully expected to hear the sound of springs, hubcaps and splintered plastic falling into the road. Clearly this vehicle had not had the benefits of a blessing ..... or had it, as I live to tell the tale!  

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