Just recently we sold off our much loved 4x4. My beloved’s answer to the question, “Whats the best feature of your car?” was “The fridge. Its equipped with a fridge to cool off my drinks.”
But alas, the good times had to come to a stop. About a couple of weeks ago the car simply just died on us. Disappointed? Of course, but we have had many good times with the car. Went to umrah quite a few times. Drove all the way to Makkah and Madinah with his parents in that car. Not to mention numerous trips to Bahrain.
To illustrate my ignorance about cars, when I first moved to this country I remarked to my beloved, “Wow the roads here are very smooth! I don’t really feel the bumps at all.” Little did I realize much later when I took a ride on another friends car that our 4x4 had a very good suspension system, rather than the roads being smooth.
Surprisingly many friends (even family back home) were surprised to hear that we sold off the car. Some even offered to buy it over from us. The problem with the car was its transmission, a new transmission suffice to say would buy us a new compact size car. We had the option of buying a second hand transmission for the car which would cost only a fraction of a brand new transmission, but who’s to say how long the second hand transmission would last? And what if we sold the car to a friend and the transmission dies on them again in the next few months? We don’t want to deal with any of those issues. As it happens the second hand parts dealer offered to buy off the car when my beloved brought the car in for repair.
Now that the car is sold, we rented a mid size Corolla to get around town. And I tell ya, there is such a huge difference as to how people react to us! Because of the numerous terrorist/bomb threats in this country, there is a checkpoint for all cars before entering the underground car parks of the major shopping centers. In our 4x4, they normally just check the engine, peeked at the boot and waived us through. In our rented vehicle, they actually made us wind down the window (no powered window! Yikes!) and asked us where we were going. “Going shopping of course,” we answered. But seriously, does it mean that in a smaller car, now we’re considered less worthy of shopping at the Mall?
But I have been digressing, now with the option of buying a new car, my beloved has spent many many many many hours devouring car magazines, car related websites and talking to petrol head friends, discussing the many virtues of various cars. Suddenly he has a valid excuse to go out gallivanting with his petrol head friends at the local car souk or the various car dealership to test drive the cars. Its amazing how guys, whom otherwise he’d only have exchanged 5 words with, become good friends when it comes to trapezing round at car junk yards and car souks!
And its amazing how his male friends would have a long list of suggested models and even the “going rate” price of the cars readily stored in their head. And many more who volunteered to accompany him to test drive various cars! (I suppose its a bit like women and shoe shopping.)
If you’re wandering why there is an absence of women interest in cars in this part of the world, well we’re living in a country where women are legally not allowed to drive. In fact I sometimes think women are not even allowed to think (but that’s another gripe altogether.) If previously, a couple would go out together to test drive a vehicle, its something that is not done here. No women is seen at the car souk or even the computer souk. One brave woman who actually had the guts (or didn’t know any better) told us how she was stared at, as if she was an alien creature from outer space when she is seen at those areas.
For now, I have to content to temporarily being a “car-souk widow” while my beloved goes to the car souks in search for his new toy. For once I am glad that we’re living here, where petrol is still cheaper than buying water.
As long as the passenger seat is fairly comfortable for long drives, and makes me think that the roads here are reasonably smooth, I’d just have to sit at home and gripe a bit more on my blog. J
If I could choose any car I want, I think its would be the H2. Where else can you afford the petrol for this mini giant anyways? Or have the roads wide enough to accommodate the car. Better still have the H2 attached with mini missile for you to fire on cars that annoyingly try to do a U turn at the traffic light from the right most lane. (It’s a left hand drive here.) I bet the 14 year old drivers would think twice before cutting in front of us while we’re driving at 120 km/h.
I first saw the Hummer in Calgary about 11 years ago and was instantly in love with it! Of course the original Hummer looks nothing like the H1, H2 and H3 now, but even then I knew that it was a car I would want. Perhaps if we forget about owning our own house, and resort to living with our parents for the rest of our lives, eat 2 packs of magi and drink tap water everyday, my dream can be a reality. (Or find a rich footballer to marry me.)
But a girl can dream can’t she?
Photos courtesy of Hummer.com where you can oogle and salivate at the beauties.