Thursday, 28 May 2015

Not the right car?

ALL my life, I have been driving little cars, the littlest being the Suzuki 800 (which I don't think is in the market any more, not even used car markets.)

I am driving a Suzuki Swift now -- my second one that is new -- and my first that comes with leather seats. In the past, all my cars have been 2nd-hand models. Besides Suzuki, the other little cars I have driven include a metallic grey Subaru Justin. But so far, my favourite, was the red Toyota Starlet which I have already extended five years of COE and very unwillingly gave it up when the extension came to an end.

The very first car I bought after I passed my driving test (my 3rd attempt), was from a used car dealer at Killiney Road. It was a dull maroon red hatchback Ford model (can't remember its name but definitely not in production anymore.)

I bought it despite it having no aircon (its previous owner has installed a little fan at the dashboard), I drove it right down to Tuas, to practise, with that little fan blowing in my face and all windows down. It was hot, but exhilarating.

There were lots of trouble of course, the aircon needed to be fixed, the water tank leaked, the lubrication oil too -- and a host of other problems. Spent fortunes fixing it up and driving it around with two pillows on my seat. I was short in height, and as a new driver, needed to be able to see the front of the car so that I could gauge its distance from the car in front of me. I needed a bird's eye view of the what's in front of me to be able to drive.

After fixing everything and I was so perfectly happy with it, I smashed it when I tried to avoid a car speeding out of a gate into the main road. My car went over the divider and into the next lane. Told the insurance agent who called me later to say that it was a write-off . He sounded very upset and mumbled under his breathe that it was his luck to have sold insurance to me.

The funniest things happened with my second-hand Suzuki cars. My former colleague once had to borrow my car for an urgent assignment. On returning and about to start the engine, he found that my shoebox of CDs was missing from its usual place on floor of the left front seat.

"Oh dear. Tien is going to be upset. Someone has broken into the car and stolen her box of CDs!" he mumbled to himself (as he narrated the tale to me later.) Then, he found he couldn't start the engine. Worser and worser! Then he realised he wasn't in the right car.

We laughed a lot about the episode each time we met. Like, why would anyone want to steal a box of old CDs?

It happened to myself too. After my dance lesson at the YWCA which used to be at Scott Road, I unlocked my car (those days, no remote control) and hopped onto my metallic brown Suzuki 800. Strange, how is it that it has this little tennis shoe hanging from its rear mirror? And somehow, the seat didn't feel right. Then I realised that I wasn't in the right car.

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