I remember the first time it pulled into the garage. It seemed too big and elegant at the time, like no other car we’d ever owned. It was a dark gray, or as my mother called it, “Feerany”. We’d jump at any chance to have a ride, even if it was a short drive to the dullest places.

Around 2 years later, our Daewoo earned its new name. When my sister got her driver license and started to ask frequently to use the car, my father was often reluctant to let her take it and many times he refused to let her. So she was like: “Fine, let 3azeezeh stay parked forever then!”

I remember very well the first time we got far on our own with 3azeezeh. It took some effort to convince my dad, the over concerned parent, to let my sister, the new driver, hit the traffic-stricken roads of Amman alone. But you can say we were saved by the bell, the telephone bell that is. There was that friend of my sister who my father didn’t particularly like. She gave my sister a call, and me, and idea. I told my sister we can tell dad that this girl called and she wanted to come by. If you give us the car we can go out and spare you the agony of her visit. We did as we planned. I went straight to my father and told him that, and then left the room waiting for the plan to take effect. A moment later, he my dad called out for my sister with these exact words I can remember: “Hala… khodeeha!” (Hala, take it)

We dressed up as fast as we could lest he change his mind. Then we set out for our tiny trip, passed by her friend Nancy who was working at Burger King at the time, dropped her off to work and then dropped by my uncle’s house, where we picked up my cousin Rania and her friend Rasha for a short drive. After that on the way home, my sister decided to bring dad something he likes, you know that kind of strategy. At that time there were few things my father loved more than knafeh, and it was a good choice actually to put him in the mood.

Many factors contributed to 3azeeze’s decay over the years. All of us had our fair share in turning it from the shimmering gray giant to the worn-out veichle it is now, with a malfunctioning accelerator. Even I had driven it once or twice, though I don’t have a driver license, and it’s no secret I don’t have more skills at driving than an ostrich does at hiding. Which reminds me, did you know that when an ostrich tucks its head away in the sand it’s looking for water, not trying to hide?

I don’t think I can by any means mention all the accidents 3azeezeh went through. But perhaps the worst was the one we had on the way from Kerak to Amman in 1999. We decided to take the notorious Ghor Al-safi road instead of the usual highway. There was a problem with the steering wheel, but we didn’t know it at the time. So at one turn of the steep road the car suddenly spun out of control. It was spinning so fast that I felt like I saw my own face with my very eyes, before it crashed to a stop. It was horrifying, but we were really grateful it wasn’t worse. The car was spinning near the edge of some 400 meters deep abyss, and yet it didn’t fall down, nor did it hit the rocks on the other side. The spot it hit was a dusty patch between the rocks. Certainly Allah satar.

I remember how I stepped out of the car without so much as looking to see where I was setting my foot. Elhadmdu lillah it wasn’t near the edge, or I might’ve ended up rolling down the valley. There was so much dust filling the air that I couldn’t see anything around. My uncle, who was driving a head of us with his family, said that when he saw the accident and all the dust he didn’t think we made it. His wife’ was blushed with fear and their daughter was crying hysterically.

Although we couldn’t see it at the time, but there was something funny in all this. As the car lay crashed on the side of the road, with one of the rims tainted black and tossed away from it, my little brother who was  3 years old at that time was standing near the wrecked car weeping and crying out: Inkasar 3ajal el Daewoo 😦 He cried so hard that at last my mother had to pick the burned rim off the ground, and walk around holding it in one hand, and holding my brother’s hand with the other. We were too shocked to notice how hilarious they looked!

I had a bag of candy in the car. Naturally, I forgot all about it, as I stood there traumatized, with my shoulder hurting so bad that I couldn’t even tie my own hair. Then all of a sudden my cousin, who was 9 years old, came to me holding the bag of candy, and was like: Are you gonna eat this? I don’t know why I never reminded him of it, now that he’s a grown up 😀

Now my father is a really good driver, but the problem is that he takes it as a hobby, so he likes to try his maneuvering skills from time to time, not to mention his psycho-driving theories: How to scare other drivers into letting you through, which makes it a little bit of a roller coaster ride with him, and gets him in trouble sometimes. My sister is his alter ego in that matter, with some few differences in attitude. My mother, however, is one of the best drivers I know, she doesn’t drive as if she was chased by the CIA, but at the same time, she’s not so slow as to make you wanna jump out of the window. No wonder, for her father owned a driving training center and she learned to drive at an early age. So as you see, except for me, driving does run in the family. I have an uncle who has a hobby for obtaining different kinds of driving licenses. He’s got a license to drive those big trucks and trailers, not that he needs it, but it’s just a hobby. I don’t know, maybe I do possess some driving skills of my own, but I used to think of driving lessons as a burden, so I don’t know if I even enjoy it! Besides, when it comes to driving, I have really slow reflexes.

There’s been much talk about 3azeezeh the last year: What are we gonna do with it? Especially with 3azeezeh #2 coming into play. Of course 3azeezeh #2 was much younger and more elegant, not to mention smoother with a full power steering instead of 3azeezeh’s rudder. I think 3azeezeh would’ve been jealous if it could, for my father was really fond of 3azeezeh #2, and never ceased to give my sister instructions as to how to take a good care of it. You know how girls think all the car needs is fuel and a cute puppet stuck to the rear window. Not to mention a yellow bumper sticker saying: “Daddy’s girl” or some such thing. Sadly though, 3azeezeh #2 kicked the bucket when my sister crashed it on the day of her engagement. A killer Mercedes slammed it to the side of the road, leaving it creased like a low-grade test paper. Anyone who saw how it looked wouldn’t probably believe the driveress of that very car was celebrating her engagement few hours afterwards.

And so, all the talk about selling 3azeezeh after my sister left Jordan was gone with the wind, and once again we found ourselves face to face with 3azeezeh. I don’t know what’s to become of her, or whether she will have a new name having a new driver at home, but for me it will always be 3azeezeh, the car I’ll probably never dare to drive.

Originally Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 on http://oeliwat.jeeran.com/archive/2007/8/304456.html


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