It happened right at the traffic lights of A4. We were in the middle of a three lane motorway when it happened. A BP vividly stood on the left of us and Gillette within a few meters away. I was behind the wheel and had just started changing the CD from a Somali Mix to a Mohamed Mooge Liiban’s classics when we heard a clunk of metallic object hitting the road surface. It felt like something fell from underneath the car and hit the floor. My worst fears were ignited, and reassured when I got out of the car and examined the incident – The Exhaust of the car fell off!
With care, we moved the car from the main road, onto a side-road besides BP and parked it in a parking bay in front of an off-licence. My friend suggested that we remove the exhaust and drive home, but upon assessing the damage we found that the petrol was leaking too! We didn’t have a lot of bean to spend and thus had very limited options: walk to the nearest station to get a train and go home!
The idea seemed plausible, since we can neither take the car nor call the AA recovery to tow it for we weren’t a member. Before the exhaust fell off, we had passed Osterly station about five minutes earlier. So it was within a walking distance, but my friend thought that Hammersmith station would be a better option. We started our journey on foot from the Borough of Hounslow towards Hammersmith – walking along the A4 motorway, since that’s the only route we know.
We had now been walking for about a good half an hour, passing by Gunnersbury and EMC2 tower when we came to Chiswick Roundabout. It was only then we’d realised that we were miles away from our destination and regretted the decision we made. But it was no time for regrets now, and Hammersmith station was still about 5 – 7 miles away. We stopped for a while, to mull over the decision we’re about to make. Should we go towards Hammersmith which is about another hour’s walk or change route and go towards Acton, which is just about the same distance? We agreed on the latter.
So from Chiswick Roundabout we took a left following Gunnersbury Avenue towards Ealing and thought we’d get to Acton Station this way. Now my friend knows this route by car, so this route usually entails miles and miles of walking if reached by foot. Upon reaching the overhead bridge just past Gunnersbury Cemetery, he suggested we cross the road and take the side-road – Princess Avenue. I disagreed, loathing the idea of getting lost in the area and having to return to the main road again. I dreaded the long journey, and the uncertainty of his plan. But he had the courage of his convictions and led us to Princess Avenue. This then led us to a serene and predominantly white neighbourhood. We passed Trafalgar way and finally reached Acton.
The first signs were the herds of Somalis roaming the street – then a sigh of relief. The Nomads of Somalia used to proclaim upon seeing birds that there must be water nearby. In our case, upon seeing the Somalis we assumed that there must be a restaurant nearby, for our stomachs were empty and our feet were sore. After walking a few more paces we came to Leeban restaurant from where we filled our stomachs and took the weight off our feet. A cold chill ran through my vein, accompanied by thin needle stabs from the long walk. My muscles were aching, heart pounding and sweat dripping from my head. never have i walked for an hour and 15 minutes. Reaching my home on the other side of London – Woolwich – was just the best thing that happened to em on the day, as my warm bed awaited me!