Saturday, 8 November 2008

The Car is Dead, Long Live the Car

Volvo S90

I am not the born car driver. There are some people who seem to be integrated in their car when they drive. All the actions, the petrol (gas) tank, the sparking plugs, clutch and break seem to be part of peoples bodies, but not me. A car is something to get from a to b with. As far as I am concerned it can take longer, or quicker, it does not bother me. If I get a red light then I get one, it will turn again to green eventually. I also do not have to have the fastest car, just one that works with no problem. Unfortunately our dear old Volvo S90 began to give his last breaths. There were a few repairs to be made, that we decided it was time, after ten years, to have it replaced. My husband worked for Volvo many years so we sort of became Volvo drivers. Actually in the good old days when we both needed a car for work, he had the volvo (and was welcome to it as far as I was concerned) and I had a Fiat - over the years starting with a Fiat 127 (a sweet little car), then a Panda (also very sweet) and eventually I had my Uno for at least six years, which is a long life for a small Fiat. Afterwards I had a Brava, and then Mr. Swiss went to the eternal retirement grounds so we decided one car was enough. It was also decided the car would be the S90 Volvo. Not that I minded, driving an automatic just suited me, no stupid gears to change, just foot on the accelerator and that was that. It was just a little bit too big for my taste, but if I found two empty parking lots together (three even better) then I managed to park with no problem.

Anyhow last Friday our next car was ready to be picked up. We drove off to the garage knowing that it was the last time we would sit in our good old Volvo S90. I managed to suppress a few tears, especially as it was making strange noises from the side where one of the wheels were and the area around the bumper (now what did the car drive into to make such noise?) Nevertheless we arrived safe and sound at the garage to learn all about the next car - a Volvo V50. Something a bit lighter with the motor, and even a bit shorter. I was told it was two centimeters wider which I was not very happy about. Anyhow the garage owner was ready and waiting for us. We transferred a few odd things from the old car to the new (mostly first aid stuff - me being a first aid person) and then the garage owner told us all about the new car (in Swiss German of course). Luckily Mr. Swiss understood cars better than me as all I really wanted to know was how the car moves. Turn the key and then foot on the accelerator, the rest did not really bother me, but there were a few things with this car that were not the same as with the last car.

Eventually we drove off - well my husband drove and I sat next to him getting used to the feel of the new car. He had to bring the new summer tyres to the tyre dealer where he looks after them for us until next summer and Mr. Swiss found it would be a good idea if I drove home from the tyre center. I told him it was not a good idea as I did not really know the way so well and in a new car that would be a bit risky. Anyhow long story and discussion cut short, we eventually arrived home, Mr. Swiss driving.

Knowing that I should really learn to drive this new masterpiece I gathered my courage in both feet and hands and said I would go for a drive in the new car. Mr. Swiss was very helpful and said he would come too. I am still trying to remember if I invited him. Anyhow I decided to do the route to work, as basically this route and the one to the supermarket are the only two I ever do. Luckily I found the way ok and really did not have big problems. I found that the break and the accelerator were a bit nearer together as the other car, but by the time I had got to the place where I wanted to be I had the hang of things. Mr. Swiss did give a few instructions and advice on the way, but quite honestly I was not really listening, but sort of doing my own thing.

Eventually we arrived home safe and sound and I found, yes, I can drive this car. As I said at the beginning there are people that live in symbiosis with their cars, I don't. On the other hand I did pass my driving test the first way around (after 80 driving lessons). Ah, before I forget, here is our new car.

Volvo V50

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