One of those mom things …
For 50 years I have been rehearsing this scene in my head: going down a long slopy road with no brakes.
But what happened this evening did not happen on a long down-hill road, but where we live, a short slopy road.
I have devised the strategy of steering the car to go zigzag at low gear. But this road of ours is far too narrow and far too short. I could switch to L-gear but there was no way to reduce speed by going zigzag.
Gott sei Dank! The road is a little wider towards the last stretch. I could slow the car down a little by manoevring a slight curve.
Gott sei Dank! There is a house at the foot of this hilly road. So, as the car slid out of the slight curve, I could direct it towards a side-wall…
And, just as the car was about to hit the wall, I turned the car away, letting the front side rub against the rugged wall to brake.
Apparently the 20-ft wall was too short for braking purpose, but, Gott sei Dank, where the wall ends is the side of a few stoney front-door steps.
The bumper bumped against the top step and the car stopped.
I turned off the engine and re-started the car. Strange. The brakes were there again. To be on the safe side, we still decided to cancel our original trip downtown and took the car to the mechanics workshop downhill instead.
With a scratched front side and a hole in the bumper and some metal almost touching one tyre, our sturdy old auto managed to arrive at the workshop together with us in one piece. After parking the car in the dark compound, I called up our dear old mechanic.
‘You don’t know what that little red light is for? The brake warning indicator, I think. Brake fluid leakage maybe? In any case, leave your car where it is. Not safe to drive. I will come and bring it down for you tomorrow morning.’
Gott sei Dank! We had no accident on the way down.
It had not yet started to rain and Stephen was along, so it was a really nice little walk home uphill.
2018.12.05 Tin Liu, Sai Kung, HK
Foto credit: Maria Del Pilar Marcapiña