September 26, 2005

On children…

Posted in Randumb at 2:15 am by Iram

One of the cutest things about little kids is the way they can mix things up or get things wrong, and not even realize the profound difference it makes in what they’re trying to say. I was just remembering an incident from my recent trip to Pakistan. My cousins were very eager to see me drive, because most of the women they know don’t drive and they all knew that I had my own car back home. Unfortunately, most cars in Pakistan are manual, which is an animal I have not yet learned to control. So, after a few days of explaining the fundamental differences between an automatic and a manual car I finally got my youngest cousin, Maria, to understand why I could not possibly drive her father’s car down the street. Of course, the next day, Maria’s elder sister began pestering me with the same request: to drive down to the store at the street corner. But, before I could respond, Maria piped in her response with all the pomp and pride of a student who has finally mastered her first lesson: “She can’t drive this car because she drives an artificial car!”

Whether the mix-up from automatic to artificial was one of pure innocence or if it was the expression of the basic Pakistani male sentiment that manual cars are the only ones worth driving, I will probably never know.

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