Hi everyone. I hope your thursday is going amazing – i am at the car store (auto shop?) getting my car’s oil changed. finally. It was about 7000 miles over due (aaaahhhh don’t judge!! bad me!) But here’s why it took so long: i like to take it to the actual Honda dealership because they give me a free car wash with my oil change and it’s really the only time my car GETS washed, so i hold out until i can find time to go way out there because it’s not on the way to anything for me so it really requires some planning and resolve to make the trek (and by trek i mean east of hwy 15… pathetic, i know) AAAND so finally today all the stars aligned and here we are. i am in the lobby in a comfortable black chair using their free wifi and feeling good about finally being a responsible car owner. Pardon the Microsoft Paint drawings… its all i have to work with here.
I had this thing for volkswagens, and it all started on maui with my first car: 1992 Red Jetta. It was a great ‘point a to point b’ kind of car, and by ‘great’ i mean ‘functional’ as it lacked the common (and some might say essential) conveniences such as: horn, door handles, locks, radiator, etc. and you had to feed it a bottle of oil every few weeks. It was a trick to drive but most of the time things could be fixed with a paper clip or by dumping a jug of water in the radiator, and it got me around in a much more efficient manner than the bike I had been using for the past 6 months (have you ever tried to go shopping at walmart 5 miles away on a bike and carry everything home? That’s a story for another time). Needless to say, despite its shortcomings, it was a step up in my world.
Then it turned out that my next car was also a volkswagen: 1972 Green Bug. This was in colorado. Green Bug was actually a step up from Red Jetta, but it still lacked what some would call ‘desirable’ features such as reverse. Who needs reverse anyways?! Life is all about moving forward (…as long as you plan accordingly and only park in pull in/pull out spots, or on a slope so you could roll back out of the spot). I got in to fewer jams than you might expect with that car. It was also unique because it was an automatic stick shift. A standard transmission, but the clutch was in the shifter and you shift by pushing down on the stick and moving it into the right position for one of its 3 gears. Reverse didn’t work, and the first gear was pretty sketchy at best so i drove around in a state of constant second gear. The cool thing about Green Bug was that I got it for cheap to begin with, then some dude hit me in it one time because he tried to turn left from the far right lane and didn’t see me in the left lane and WHOOPS, and so i got a decent insurance settlement on it and never fixed the damage, then sold it for more than i paid for it. I MADE money on it and it was in worse condition than when i bought it. It also had been pelted by golf ball sized hail that summer too. Amazing.
That now brings me to my third volkswagen, the cute one, my special one: 1968 White Karmann Ghia. I got that car after selling the Bug, maybe few months before moving to San Diego. In true volkswagen fashion, it had its quirks: no functioning gas gauge (to add a little risk to your life), no horn, no electrical of any kind (turn signals, etc) but the price was right and it was just sooooo cute. I had to have it. But the downside was that it was a fully standard transmission. I might mention that I have a deep resentment of using my left foot while driving and so had shunned standard cars up to that point. People say its ‘more fun’ and that you ‘have more control’ but i don’t buy it for a second because what is fun to ME is not having to worry about stalling at a red light or rolling back on a hill or adding any more effort to my commute than ‘push foot on gas + steer’. But for this car i would learn. The cuteness was worth it. For this car, i would do anything.
I’m going to go ahead and skip to the part of the story, which also happens to be the end of the story, where you notice that I no longer have that car and that i drive a newer model “everything works the way it should” automatic transmission Honda. And it is finally getting the oil change it deserves.
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