My young friend continues to amaze me with his abilities. After scoring well in the qualifying exams, the universities in the US had welcomed him with hands extended. Even the visa stamping exercise was smoother than this smooth operator despite the unexpected hike in the visa stamping fees. The unexpected hike in the fees left him Rs 500 short at the entrance to the consulate. Where a normal person would have faltered, there he used his resourcefulness. He begged the amount from an elderly couple who was seated nearby for their turn in visa stamping. In his defense, he looked for the couple with an intent to return the money after coming out of the consulate. But he could not locate them. Then, there was the return train in the next few hours preceded by the mandatory bar hopping session before the return journey.
Now, he has got his passport stamped with the US visa and also purchased the tickets for the journey. I caught up with him yesterday over the phone. When I asked him about the imminent relocation, he was thrilled. “The tickets are ready and I also bought a (bi)cycle”, was his excited reply. On hearing the response, I was confused. For a moment, I thought he was foolish to travel by cycle to Buffalo, NY. While giving a lot of thought on how he was going to cross the Atlantic on a cycle, I decided to ask. “A cycle?”, I hung on to the last syllable for an infinitesimally longer time than necessary for a dramatic effect.
“Yes, a cycle!”, my friend was quick and concise. Immediately, I realized my folly. If I want a precise answer, then I need to ask specific questions. So, I continued, “Why did you buy a cycle now? You are leaving for US in another 3 weeks!”. In response, he burst out laughing. He replied, “I bought a cycle in US. I will ride it to the university! It is cheaper and healthier!”
That is some planning!
Picture Courtesy: Young friend