When I was small, the other thing that made me extremely anxious was when I travelled by a cab with my parents. Since my family had a car, we usually didn’t use any public transport or cabs. But on those occasions when we travelled by trains to visit our relatives far away, my parents would arrange a cab between our house and the train station.
In my hometown, every cab had one automatic door on the back, and the driver would open it to welcome the guests into the car and to let them out upon arriving at the destination. As the passengers, we were expected to use that door and not the one on the other side, even though the other door could be opened manually.
When a cab arrived, my parents would immediately usher me inside through the open door so that I would be the one to sit at the far end of the backseat, next to the door I was not supposed to use. Then, once the cab brought us to our destination, my parents would pay the driver – in cash, of course – while I patiently waited for them to move out of the car so that I could also get off.
This part was always nerve-wrecking. First of all, I felt trapped as I saw the open door on the other end and my parents taking forever to make the payment, completely blocking my exit. But what worried me even more was the thought of being left behind.
When both of my parents got off, what if the driver didn’t notice me and closed the automatic door and drove away?
I never wanted to be left behind in the car with a stranger. That must be avoided at all costs!
As my parents finally finished the payment and started moving out of the car, I would almost push them, desperate to get off the car.
“Hurry, hurry!” I would say as I tried to crawl out of the car.
But my mother, who didn’t see what was happening in my head, thought my panic was complete nonsense.
“There is no need to rush, Sweetie, you must calm down.”
Even after hearing her stern warning voice, I couldn’t be calmed down. I would jump off the car right after my mother and heave a sigh of relief as I saw the automatic door closing behind me.