‘So?’ I ask, while we wait for a gaggle of goats to clear out of our way.

‘It was, er … interesting. My first time meeting a jadi-booti [herbs] type; except I’m wondering why he didn’t give me any of those,’ she says.

‘You’ll understand his ways, soon. But tell me, how do you feel after meeting him?’

She lights a cigarette. I roll down the window. We inhale our airs of choice for a bit.

Then she says: ‘You know, the problem here is not with him.’

‘Problem’. The word sends a pang of disappointment through me.

‘It’s with me,’ she continues, pokingthe skin of her forefingers with her nails. ‘I frankly don’t have the luxury of time. I’m just … tired … like this car of mine … driving to and from work every day, driving myself crazy ….’ Her head touches the steering, and a wry laugh emerges from beneath the curtain of hair that’s fallen over her face. ‘Too much repair work … total overhaul, actually … that’s what I need.’ Abruptly, she lifts her head up, and she throws me a direct look. ‘And the way he is, you know, so laid-back and slow, I’ll probably be 100 by the time he sorts out all my problems,’ she says.

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