There's an informal parking lot in front of the building, which is the source of much interest and anxiety. The latter emotion is felt if you've parked your car there, and have to extract it from the maze during the middle of the day. The interest comes from watching someone attempt the same maneuver.
Watching the cars scuttle in and out of a narrow opening one afternoon, the conversation somehow veered to 'dream cars'. And I racked my brains trying to figure out if I had one. No automobile trundled along that thought highway. And then, I made the unforgivable mistake of claiming that my current set of wheels was my dream car.
The room erupted. Dream BIG, the chorus hectored, referring to my bitty hatchback – the Nissan Tiida. You should think about driving a Corvette, said one. This time, I didn't blurt out my first thought, which was, 'where would I park it?' I wouldn't hear the end of that one.
But that’s how I am about cars. Maybe it’s to do with gender, but I’m unemotional about pickup and power and engine and doodahs. Just tell me a tank of petrol costs 60 bucks, and it roughly takes 10 days to 2 weeks to work through it, and I'll thank you for sparing me any other details. I get it serviced at requisite intervals, but ask me about mileage and depreciation, and you’ll get question marks where a face ought to be. It’s not that I don’t care at all, but you won’t find me giving it a name or referring to it by gender. It’s and it as far as I’m concerned.
It's got scratches on both sides in front and a wee crack in the bumper. Scars earned shortly after I got my driving stripes. I thought of getting it fixed several times, but the wily insurance people seemed determined to punish me for my transgressions. Scars build character, I reasoned, and let them stay.
And now they’re just as much a part of the car as the quiet cream interiors and generous leg room. There are no dozens of accessories hanging from every surface or overflowing compartments and boot. A single Buddhist good luck charm dangles from the rear-view mirror. And a few coins in the parking bay. For an inveterate accumulator like me, that’s quite an accomplishment. It fits neatly into parking slots, and doesn’t take up too much mind space either. Except for the one time the battery gave up the ghost.
I say, forget about dreaming big. Think small.