48 Hours with Guha

Feelings of excitement began firing in my hypothalamic region and shot through my entire nervous system upon receipt of a message from Julie on the afternoon of March 14, 2017: “We’re here. Resting up. How about renting a car for a few days?” the message read. We had planned this in October 2016 when Guha and Julie stopped in London for a night, on their way to New York during a trip from India. Guha had expressed his wish to be driven around London and England, sight-seeing; his wish had materialized remarkably fast, and I was the designated driver. “Lucky me!” I thought. I could ‘hang out’ with Julie and Guha, and ask all the seemingly unanswerable questions that constantly plague the waking state and create a nagging conflict within. Guha is an expert in dealing with such queries and furthermore his scientific background assures that a logical explanation will be furnished, replete with indisputable factual evidence that grinds the myth-making machine – the mind – to a halt. “We’re on,” I replied to Julie’s message and we decided to commence our driving-holiday the following morning. Guha was jet lagged and already fast asleep.

Richard with Guha and Julie

Wednesday,  March 15 was a serene, sunny morning with mild temperatures and the feel of approaching summer. It was a perfect spring morning as I made my way to meet Julie and Guha at the Leonardo Hotel near Heathrow using public transport. The trip is a short one as I live 15 minutes-drive from Heathrow though it takes half-an-hour by bus. I arrived and waited at the reception. It didn’t take long before the distinguished pair alighted from the lift and we greeted  each other. I was very happy to see them; I embraced Julie and seconds later warmly grabbed Guha’s palm for a firm handshake. Guha then inquired if I wished to have something to eat to which I replied that I had no wish to have anything as I had had my morning oats and actually ate very little. Guha seemed especially happy with my response that I ate very little and quickly replied, “Good.” Julie then suggested that we hire a car straightaway and we were soon seated in a taxi headed for a nearby area with car rental companies. I then passed my regards from Professor Narayana Moorty to Julie and Guha. Julie then inquired about my friend Odeh whereupon I took the opportunity to fire the first question to Guha; “My friend Odeh says that the self is the recognition of one’s inner voice. What do you think?” “For me, the self is inherent in man to allow for the experiencing of a subject-specific functional reality which alludes to the uniqueness of each human being possessing specific and unique traits that result in a person’s own distinct way of responding to life’s challenges,” Guha responded and went on to briefly explain the importance of the self without which one would not have experiences. Odeh Turjman is a Palestinian musician and friend of mine who contacted Prof. Moorty after reading U.G. Krishnamurti, and describes his own experience as akin to that of U.G. We soon arrived in a nearby street that was home to a string of car-hire companies.

We first went into Hertz which Julie has dealt with before, but didn’t like their deal in spite of their offer of luxury cars. We then walked a few minutes to reach Europcar where I had my driving license and all other details ready for hire. “Do you have any debt you haven’t sorted out? How long have you lived at your address,” asked the customer service agent who was serving us. “Excuse me?” I retorted with a contorted expression on my face in disbelief that my address had been flagged as rejected. I have no debt history, have lived at my current address for over 10 years, am a registered voter, pay my taxes and have a healthy bank balance and credit. Now, you can understand why I was absolutely shocked and livid. The world is “going to the dogs,” I thought infuriated. Maybe it was a consequence of the security-paranoia-identity-theft-computer age where information databases are running our lives in every aspect. If a glitch in one insignificant aspect in the system shows  up, you are a marked man. But wait, there is another explanation.

The fact is that when you inquire from these credit check companies what the problem is, they never have an answer but look to the computer-generated response. So, we human beings have deferred our thinking and reasoning to computers. I was of the opinion that it is we who program these computers and feed them the information that we desire in order for these information processors to assist in our decision-making, not to make decisions for us. Have we really deferred our reasoning to computers? Are we that lazy and inept? “If the computer says no, is that it? This world is really going to the dogs.”

Anyhow, Julie came to my rescue. Julie has seen the world and been around it several times over. She placed her driving licence and credit card on the counter and said, “It’s okay. Place the car under my name”.  We settled on a beige-silver Vauxhall Meriva and Julie placed the car keys in my hand. I seconded the car color arguing that we needed to be visible to other drivers as I had recently re-acquired my driving licence after a hiatus stretching many years. I sat on the driver’s seat with Guha next to me and Julie at the back. The vehicle was very comfortable and totally alien to me. “Where is the hand brake,” I inquired, totally bewildered. Guha pointed to a button and said, “Here”. “You’re an old-fashioned guy,” said Julie addressing me. I couldn’t even turn the car on. Guha asked me to press the clutch and start the car. Ha! Technology has really moved on; where the hell have I been? I feel no different from the yogis that meditate in the caves or the sadhus that roam the Indian subcontinent. I received a free “How to start the car” lesson from Guha who kindly guided me into finally releasing the parking brake after several minutes. I felt totally awed by the spacious vehicle owing to my conditioning arising from my regular driving of a two-door coupe for many years. I managed to drive out of Europcar jerking Julie and Guha about as the new car’s breaks were so sensitive and required a light touch to halt the moving vehicle. “I have to get used to the car,” I said repeatedly.

We soon hit the road and drove in the direction of Gatwick Airport towards Burgess Hill where Julie had arranged to meet her old friend Lulu and her husband Eddy for lunch. Lulu knew U.G. from 1965 even before UG’s ‘calamity’. My confidence grew by the minute and increased the speed, soon overtaking cars on the M23.

Burgis Hill

The route to Burgess Hill was scenic for Guha who had always desired to see the English countryside. Guha commented on the great English motorways that are very well maintained. We drove smoothly enjoying the views that were beautifully lit by the sun that had chosen to grace us with its warmth and glow. As we entered West Sussex County, I realized that we would be in Burgess Hill too early for the lunch and therefore suggested we continue driving all the way to the English coast in Brighton. Julie and Guha readily agreed and we continued towards Brighton. I saw that it was 11 miles to Brighton and said that we would be there in 15 minutes if not more. Guha quickly responded “No, in less than 15 minutes because we’re travelling at 70 mph which means we’re doing a mile under a minute”. It was at that moment that I took note of Guha’s scientific mind that is quick to calculate and generate accurate facts. It is no wonder that Guha has a Ph.D in Theoretical Physics. Brighton is the second most visited city in England. It is the most popular British destination for UK resident holiday-makers. We arrived in Brighton and took a few photographs along the English Channel. The sun was shining bright as we walked along the coastline. I took this as an opportunity to suggest that the sun had come out for Guha, and that sages had power over the natural phenomenon. Guha found it amusing and smiled. Having posed for a few photographs and for Guha and Julie to tick the box, “Been there, done that,.” we left for Burgess Hill. The drive to Lulu’s home was fraught with twists and turns and Julie remarked that it would have been impossible to locate Lulu’s address were it not for the GPS app ‘Waze’ we were using. We arrived at Lulu’s home without incident whereupon the elderly couple decided it best to leave for lunch at The Thatched Inn immediately.

Lunch was simple and delicious. I recall that both Guha and I had jacket potato with cheese and salad, and the portions were rather generous. We all seemed to thoroughly enjoy the meal and the conversation was so interesting and fluid that we ended up being the only customers left long after other patrons had left. Lulu gave me a curious stare and asked, “How did you come into this?” I replied that I had read Nisargadatta Maharaj to which Eddy’s eyes lit up. Lulu then asked what I did for a living to which I replied “I was born retired, like U.G.” This amused everyone at the table. I asked Lulu how she met U.G. and she told an interesting story about how she met U.G. in Switzerland in 1965 at an education-themed meeting of Jiddu Krishnamurti followers. I also learned that Eddy had met Nisargadatta Maharaj in Mumbai and was a friend of Maurice Frydman who translated I Am That. Lulu seemed incredibly interested in Guha and asked several questions regarding the nature of reality. We discussed law as Eddy was a lawyer (and that is my academic background too), the changing global political landscape from liberal attitudes to that of neo-fascism of Brexit and Trump. I have to give congratulations to the Dutch who recently resoundingly rejected this global shift to the ultra-Right in an EU referendum. Having finished our dessert and becoming aware that we might have overstayed our welcome at the Inn, we took our leave. We took several photographs outside the Inn and said our good byes.

We hit the road again, this time heading back to London. Julie was truly tired and fell sound asleep at the back. It was a smooth drive and the only incident was that as I sped through overtaking a few cars, I took note of a police car a few cars behind me. I checked my speedometer and noticed I was doing 80 miles per hour (mph) and over. I reduced my speed to 70 mph, the legal limit, but stayed in the middle-lane. Soon, the police car was directly behind us and after a minute overtook us. Then it flashed and sent out a message from Neon sign “Kept Left”. I moved into the left lane complaining that I only reduced my speed because of the police car anyway. There were also other vehicles overtaking me travelling at higher than 70 mph. “You can drive at plus or minus 70 mph, and so 80 mph should be okay,” Guha advised me.

Well… great, is it not? This world has never made sense to me. One day it’s this, the next day it’s that. I thought when they say 70 mph as the legal limit, it means 70 mph. Now I understand 70 mph means 80 or even 90 judging from the speed of some of the cars overtaking me. A friend of mine Alex was recently fined for speeding when he drove at 35 mph on 30 mph road. Alex had complained that he only went above by 5 mph. I assure you one thing; when I decide one day to do 95 mph on the motorway, I’ll be pulled over and given a ticket for over-speeding. And at the time the policeman will be issuing me a ticket another motorist will drive past doing 100 mph. And I bet he’ll never be caught! Such is life. No wonder U.G. said, “Steal, but don’t get caught.

The police car left the motorway on the next slip road and Guha commented that that particular stretch of road must have been the patrol man’s turf. We left the M23 around Croydon and drove through Class A roads. We went through South London streets as I regaled Guha with stories about my life in London, ignited from my memory bank as a result of passing through this part of London where I had lived for five years.

We soon emerged in the heart of London and I drove through Lambeth Bridge in order for Guha to see the ‘Big Ben’ Houses of Parliament. At this point, Julie awoke. We drove through Parliament Square where statues of Gandhi and Mandela stand alongside great British statesmen like Winston Churchill, Benjamin Disraeli and Robert Peel. We drove along White Hall to see the British Prime Minister’s address at Downing Street and then proceeded towards Trafalgar Square where we could see Admiral Lord Nelson’s Column right before us. At the background of the 169 feet tall Nelson’s Column at Trafalgar Square is the National Gallery where you will find Da Vinci’s “Virgin of the Rocks”, Michelangelo’s “The Entombment”, Titian’s “Venus and Adonis” and Van Gogh’s “Vase with Fifteen Flowers” along with other famous works.

We continued driving through Piccadilly Circus and along Regent Street surveying the luxury goods stores and the hustle and bustle of a working day in Central London. Darkness approaching at dusk, we finally decided to drive back to the hotel. The traffic was choc-a-bloc now as it was rush-hour around 7pm. It took over an hour to get to Heathrow for a journey that would normally take 20 minutes. Guha used Waze to give me directions cutting through traffic by going via residential streets until we finally got to the M4 motorway that leads to Heathrow. By this time, Julie had conked out once again; seemed like it was her turn to be hit by jetlag. Guha was fully awake and almost as though in the driver’s seat. Guha saw everything and reacted to everything; he was the perfect co-driver and navigator. It was amazing to note that Guha missed nothing, as though his brain had no filter. He sees everything and on several levels. I’ve heard that U.G. was the same.

Kew Gardens

We soon reached Leonardo Hotel and I promised to pick up the distinguished pair the following morning as they gathered their belongings from the car. Earlier that day, Guha had expressed his wish to see English gardens whereupon I suggested a trip to Kew Gardens. So, as I said good night, I reminded Guha that we would be visiting Kew Gardens the following day.

Thursday, March 16 was a dull morning with light showers. Nevertheless, the fact that I knew I’d be spending the day with Julie and Guha, the gloomy weather had no effect on my spirit and enthusiasm. I wrapped up warm after having a bowl of oats. I have to add here that oatmeal is my staple food ever since I read Julie’s book Travels with U.G. which also includes a booklet of U.G.’s recipes. Julie’s book was responsible for single-handedly transforming my entire dietary habits and cuisine.  When I reached the hotel Guha and Julie were already waiting for me at the reception. We exchanged greetings and left for Kew Gardens.

At the parking meter outside Kew Gardens

Once again, Waze led us to Kew Gardens. I parked the car and walked towards the parking meter to make the payment and buy a ticket. I have never been good with following instructions and it took me a rather long time to figure out how to use a credit card to pay for the ticket. “I can’t understand these instructions. They don’t seem clear to me”, I complained. It took Guha less than ten seconds to identify what was needed and the payment was made. I gave Guha a studious look, smiled and said “You should be a chess player. You figure things out very quickly.” Guha smiled. While approaching the gate (Brentford entrance), I broached the subject of scientific thinking and how things function commenting that we needed Guha to help us figure out things. Julie agreed. I added that I never cared for objects in spite of my interest in science. I am a complete idiot in terms of deducing how a mobile phone works, how cars work, etc. The only mechanical inquiry that fascinated me as a boy was in figuring out how 5,000 tonnes of aluminium can float in the sky and why 60,000 tonnes of steel can float on water. Julie was quick to observe, “You’re interested in how things grow.” I was surprised by Julie’s precise pronouncement. She was right. I had been an amateur botanist and zoologist as a boy and my scientific inquiry lies in the natural sciences.

I had bought our tickets online earlier that morning and so the Kew Gardens customer service agent scanned our tickets on my mobile and in we went. Guha immediately inquired how much I had spent for the tickets as he did not want me to spend a dime. I am a pauper whose life was “destroyed” by U.G. and Nisargadatta. I earn a little money in my regular job that I began only recently which is enough to pay for my rent, bills and car insurance. Luckily, I never seem to need money for anything other than going for Salsa dancing and that’s not expensive. All my ambitions were destroyed by U.G. and Nisargadatta, and for me the statement ‘You only need food, shelter and clothing. If you want anything else, it is the beginning of self-deception’ is my living reality. Interestingly, this statement was made by both U.G. and Nisargadatta. My friend Odeh Turjman who also says the same thing recently added that you may not even need money for clothes as these you can buy and keep for several years. But I really wanted to spend money on Guha and Julie.

Guha and Richard outside Dutch House in Kew Gardens

We strolled around the gardens buying curios and admiring the architecture of some of the buildings. One particular structure captivated us entirely, The Dutch House which was  part of what was once the Kew Palace. This building stole the show and I kept referring to it for the rest of the day. Julie said that the Dutch House inspired her to buy a house in order to paint it in that striking color – vermilion. We went into the greenhouse and I observed that Guha was waiting for me to go in and then shut the entrance door behind us. I thought he did this because it was a greenhouse. Later, I saw that another entrance door had the instruction to shut the door behind you. It was confirmed what I had already established – Guha is incredibly and unbelievably observant. We took more photos inside the greenhouses and in the aquarium section observed and took video footage of a perfectly symbiotic relationship between a fish and cleaner shrimp. The fish approached the cleaner shrimp and opened its gills, and the cleaner shrimp stretched its antennae to attach itself and feed from the fish gills. It was thoroughly fascinating to watch. Having had enough of Kew, we left.

Baker Street, Thayer Street, Harrod’s

Guha and Julie wanted to take me to lunch at Woodlands restaurant in Marylebone. We drove to central London and tried to get parking around the Baker Street area that is close to Marylebone. Yes, this is the Baker Street famed as the address of the greatest fictional British detective, Sherlock Holmes. Unfortunately, parking in London, especially around Central London and in this particular area, is near impossible. And when one finally manages to find a car park, the prices are incredibly exorbitant. Nevertheless, we had no choice but to park in one of these car parks that Julie located using Waze. As I approached the car park barriers, I failed to align the car in a way as to get near the payment system at the entrance. I then tried to study the instructions and decided to get out of the car. “You don’t have to leave the car,” said Guha as I went out to read the instructions. This only added to my confusion as I did not know what to do next. Guha repeated that I need not get out of the car, perhaps exasperated at the waste of time arising from my ignorance about such matters. As I returned to the car, I could see Julie trying to stop Guha from saying anymore. “Perhaps he hasn’t used car park system before,” said Guha finally addressing Julie. I simply smiled, pulled out the ticket and proceeded to park the car.

We soon reached the restaurant i and were informed that the restaurant was closing in 45 minutes for refurbishment or some reason of that nature. Guha quickly replied that 45 minutes was enough for us to eat and leave. The head waiter ushered us in and directed us to a table in the empty but chic looking restaurant with green seats. I thought the colour green was emblematic of vegetarianism. We had our drinks, which was essentially water and green tea for me, then ordered our meals. Julie enquired whether I like Indian cuisine and I responded that I am very much Indian in my eating habits. I am vegetarian and can prepare quite a few dal dishes using recipes from Prof. Moorty. I added that my sister was married to a Tamilian and I have eaten quite a few south Indian dishes in my time. However, I am not conversant with the names except popular items like dosa, tikka, and masala. Guha ordered chick peas with an incredibly delicious sauce for me and some great looking and tasty naan bread. The food was divine! It was the kind of dish that performs an orchestra on your palate, compelling you to lick your fingers. We all seemed to enjoy the meal thoroughly. Julie recounted stories with U.G. while we discussed Julie’s tumultuous relationship with U.G. Julie informed us that it was the first time she had enjoyed a meal at this eatery with someone other than U.G. Julie is  incredibly open and relaxed, and I admire her profound, soul-searching candidness. I also observed on several instances Julie’s acute and admirable sensitivity to the feelings of others. Julie is acclaimed for her loyalty to U.G., and I came to observe Julie’s startling quality of devotion to those she holds dear, first hand. Loyalty is an old-fashioned quality in this day and age of skulduggery, naked ambition and climbing the ladder of success by any means possible. I think friendship is just a ten-letter word just the way U.G. used to say, “Love is four-letter word.”

I asked Guha when he and Julie would be coming back to England so that we could embark on a road trip to Scotland. Guha was taken aback and pleasantly surprised as though he thought I had taken offence earlier for his remark with regard to parking. “You would like to,” asked Guha in an astonished tone. “Indeed,” I responded unequivocally and enthusiastically. We finished lunch and departed from the famed establishment and proceeded to take a few photographs outside the restaurant. We wanted to capture the name of a nearby street in the background that is known as ‘Thayer St’. Julie’s surname is Thayer and thus one can see the interest in capturing the name of this street. We then headed for Harrods in Knightsbridge, Julie’s favorite shopping store. It’s not difficult to fall in love with Harrods as it is stocked with everything you may wish to purchase, from food to luxury cars. The only thing about Harrods is that you have to be prepared to spend money. In fact, two hours parking costs £25. We spent an hour at Harrods buying a few necessities. Julie also bought a chic coffee machine. I have to add that Julie has re-introduced me to coffee after avoiding caffeine for the better part of three years. I have avoided caffeine in spite of my love of the taste and aroma of coffee, in order to lower my blood pressure. Nevertheless, I think I can get away with drinking coffee once in a while with adding lots of cream..

As Julie strolled around Harrods, I took the opportunity to fire some questions at Guha. “How did the notion of transmigration take root and endure for such a long time,” I enquired. Guha replied that human culture is embedded in our genes and transmitted from generation to generation. Therefore, these  cultural expressions or images that have been recorded in the consciousness may be observed and experienced by an individual and appear to have been observed or experienced at an earlier time, thus inducing the illusion of an individual having existed before. I instantly liked this explanation as it is easily comprehensible, and has a sound basis with reference to Rupert Sheldrake’s hypothesis of morphic resonance theory which asserts that self-organizing systems inherit a memory from previous similar systems. I then asked Guha whether meat eating is adverse to human health and vegetarianism should be adopted. Guha responded that all human bodies are different as one’s diet depends on the region of their birth and what food they are raised on. It therefore depends on the individual. Guha’s responses were complete. I had no more questions relating to these two topics. I have to add however that some years back, I carried out my own experiments and discovered that meat eating slowed my physical and mental prowess. This may be attributed to the great deal of energy consumed in meat digestion as meat does not quickly leave the digestive system. Furthermore, the food poisoning I recall to have suffered from was also related to eating meat. So, my vegetarianism is supported by my own investigations.

Having enjoyed Manon Blancs pralines (food for the gods as U.G. used to say), we completed our shopping trip and with an hour to spare decided on Café Nero just opposite the road. We enjoyed coffee and carrot cake. Guha talked about the mind’s tendency to create stories and its imaginative faculty which is the bane of mankind. I quickly retorted, “Yes, this myth-making machine.” Guha seemed to appreciate the term or expression “myth-making machine” which I borrowed from his book Back to Square One. We enjoyed light conversation and then left to collect the car. As we signed off, Julie was offered a Harrods Membership Card which Guha immediately passed on to me and convincingly asked to me to sign up. I rarely take store cards but Guha’s suggestions are, in my belief, always sound. I signed up speedily and completed the process via internet later at home.

We drove off eastwards towards London Bridge and Tower Bridge. We drove over the Thames at Lambeth Bridge and approached London Bridge via the Southbank. Fifteen minutes later we were crossing London Bridge whereupon I slowed the car down for Guha to take in the spectacular views of London along the Thames. I pointed out the direction from which we came and then pointed to Tower Bridge that is the adjacent bridge eastwards. “We will drive on that bridge next,” I told Guha. We left London Bridge and drove through the streets towards Tower Bridge. “My mother doesn’t live far from here,” I told Guha who was by then admiring the magnificent building that is the Tower of London Castle. The Tower of London was built by William the Conqueror in 1078 and was resented by the then Londoners as a symbol of oppression by the new ruling elite. This imposing tower has an infamous history as it was the site for the beheading of Queen Consort Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII on May 19, 1536.It also served as the prison for Queen Elizabeth I before she was crowned, a decree issued by her Catholic sister Queen Mary on  May 18, 1554.

As we drove along Tower Bridge, Guha pulled out his mobile phone camera to take ‘selfies’ of us driving through this iconic bridge. Tower Bridge is an impressive edifice and feat of engineering that has been replicated in the City of Suzhou, China.  This bridge is also one of the quintessential emblems of London. It is the first site I visited alone as a young man on the second weekend of my life in London in March 1994. Julie had fully stretched on the back seat and comfortably dozed off as she has seen London many times before. I would love to know which cities on this planet earth that Julie hasn’t been to, as I believe they are fewer than those she’s seen. This world may be too small for Julie.

Having driven along the emblematic Tower Bridge, our short holiday had ended in style as we drove off through the streets back westwards to Leonardo Hotel. Julie awoke and soon we were enjoying light conversation on various topics ranging from London stores and places that caught our attention, to my driving. I kept missing turns and driving back to find the right turn or sometimes moving on and having Waze re-programmed in order to find the shortest routes to our destinations. Julie, however, complimented my driving though I thought she was being sweet like she usually is. We finally arrived at Leonardo Hotel and I wished the distinguished pair goodnight and drove off to my premises satisfied with the day’s events.

Friday March 17 was another gloomy morning that was characterized by a noticeably cold draft. I awoke early and was inspired to begin the first draft of this article. As I sat down to write, I remembered Guha’s words that writing had to come from passion or inspiration. Guha had said this in the car as we drove along after Nandini Kapadia’s name came to my mind and I blurted it out. Then Guha related to me Nandini’s story and how he encouraged her to write. It was then that Guha remarked that writing had to come from inspiration. He was right on the button! I began writing this article from an inspired thought that suffused me with a mysterious unexplained energy. And since I began writing, I have only been interrupted by work demands; otherwise it has been to all intents and purposes continuous.

I arrived at Leonardo Hotel at 7:15 am, about 15 minutes late due to heavy traffic to find Guha and Julie at the reception with their luggage by their side, waiting for me. After stowing the suitcases and bags into the car, I handed over to Julie the first draft of this article. Guha then pulled out a wad of bank notes from his pocket and began calculating aloud how much I had spent on them in the last 48 hours. I protested that I did not want the money back but Guha reminded me that it was our agreement. I had even suggested after they arrived in London on Tuesday evening that I would pay for renting the car but Julie wouldn’t consent to that. Well…, I am a pauper anyway though ready to spend everything I have on them. I ask nothing and my friends seem to be taking care of me. This reminds of U.G.’s phrase as recorded by Sistla Sreedhav, “Shut up and start living. Things will start pouring in as you start giving.” Nisargadatta’s teacher Siddharameshwar Maharaj once remarked that “Pearls are given to one who does not demand; but if one demands things, he does not even get the necessary thing.” Anyhow, we drove out slowly as usual from Leonardo Hotel towards a nearby petrol station that Julie spotted to refuel the car as per the car rental return policy.

We then left for Heathrow which is virtually a five minute drive from Leonardo Hotel. Soon the distinguished pair was checking in for their morning flight to New York. The drop off bay is a no-parking zone and thus I could only assist Guha in getting the luggage out and onto the trolleys which Julie found. I then exchanged a warm hug and a firm handshake with Julie and Guha and bid them adieu. I promised to message Julie regarding any issues with returning the rental car. We promised to stay in touch and I drove off.

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