Captain Clueless works on my street.
This is him:
Every morning he arrives in his tuktuk plying for trade as people come and go in the lane. He’s a friendly chap, always has a cheery hello and a how are you to say when he sees me (we’ve now progressed to high fives) and never fails to try to get me to take a ride in his tuktuk.
On the rare occasion when I do avail of his services the following happens:
I tell Captain Clueless (let’s call him CC for short), in broken Khmer admittedly, where I want to go to.
He responds emphatically, gesturing for me to jump in and refuting my requests of ‘how much’ indicating that it’s up to me.
We head off in vaguely the right direction.
At some point (usually between 1-3 minutes in to the journey) CC will turn in totally the wrong direction.
I will yell “Chop, Chop!” (it means Stop!) in a firm but friendly way and CC will turn to grin at me before adopting a puzzled expression.
I will repeat my request to go to wherever and gesture back in the correct direction with CC nodding vigorously as he performs a skilful 1 point turn oblivious to the oncoming traffic.
We will chug along happily for a few minutes until I realise that CC is going to keep going straight until I give further instructions at which point I will indicate for him to turn.
Having turned, I’ll again ask CC to stop and get out my trusty map (now tattered and torn through over use) to point out where we currently are and where we need to be.
I will repeat this at least 3 times before CC lets out a knowing Ah! Before diving under the seat for his own map.
We then repeat the process on his map with me locating and pointing out where we currently are and where we need to be.
We set off in the right direction, my map wedged under my leg for quick access if needed and CC’s propped in the seat back presumably for the same reason.
We eventually reach our destination, through a process of broken Khmer instructions, questioning glances in the wing mirrors, gesturing and possibly a touch of divine intervention.
Having arrived I give CC what I think is a fair price. He nods, smiles and asks “what time go back?”
I reply (under my breath) “not on your bloody nelly mate – never again”, smile, shrug and head on my way vowing never to ask him again.
Until the next time that is. After all, he is a nice chap.