I never thought I’d ever get a car. I’ve been taking public transport for the longest time; running for the buses, battling the crowds, squeezing with strangers, taking in the smells. As a person who can take a lot of shit, I bore it all because I didn’t think there was an alternative, until I was stuck in office for a good 40mins one day coz I couldn’t find my way out without a car. the shuttle bus schedules were screwed up and it was too expensive to take a cab during evening peak hour. So I stood there and grind my teeth and thought, THIS IS IT. I’ve finally hit that breaking point where I got so sick of relying on the unreliable public transportation.
so after doing a little bit of research on car websites, trawling forums for advise, asking people a lot of questions and trying to figure out the maths, I finally made a trip down to a secondhand car dealer with my dad to check out some cars. The original intention was to get a Honda Fit or Jazz coz it’s fuel efficient, no frills and reliable.
The dealer is a friend of a friend, around my age. so when we got there, he greeted me like a friend and immediately greeted by dad as “Uncle”, just as I was about to introduce my dad as Mr [surname]. So what came out of my mouth was “Uncle [surname]” and that was how the dealer referred to my dad as for the entire transaction.
So while we were circling what’s available, the Suzuki Swifts caught my eye. I have always wanted a Swift ever since I sat in my colleague’s Swift. it’s small, compact and cute. it has a lot of character and it called out to me. Among my girlfriends, 3 of us all want the same white Swift. we even squealed and called one another copy cat and joked about all owning a white Swift each, parking them side by side, and then driving off in the wrong car coz we are all bimbos like that. so it wasn’t very difficult to persuade me to try out the Swift.
We drove around the area as we tested the car. at one point, this lorry almost swerved into us and my dad honked at him. He then turned to me and announced rather solemnly that the car horn works. alrighty-o daddy-o. when we got back to the lot, we seemed pretty much decided on it. I hesitated as I thought that I should take my time, look around and try out other cars although I was pretty much sold on it. We climbed into a Jazz for sake of. my dad and I looked at each other and unanimously agreed that the Jazz wasn’t me at all. the Swift was more like it.
So the dealer sent it in to the mechanic for checks. meanwhile, my dad let me take his car out to brush up on my driving as the last time I drove, I was still in my 20s. we practiced parking in the basement carpark. at one point while i was concentrating really hard on reversing within the lines, I didn’t realise my neighbour was sitting across from us in his car, watching me peer owlishly around me until my dad pointed him out. Luckily they were on cordial terms so they waved at each other while my neighbour waited patiently until I reversed out of his way.
When I finally went to pick my car up, I was partly excited and partly anxious. I was doing such an adult thing, buying a CAR and getting a bank loan for it. I had to do stuff like pay attention on the road instead of spacing out, checking blind spot and waving at motorists who give way. The first few days of driving, I was anxious all the time. I was anxious before I got out of the house, anxious while driving, still anxious after I parked the car. i’m even anxious about whether I take out my cash card or not. I’ve learnt not to grip the steering wheel so tightly, but I’ve yet to learn how not to clench my upper arms when a big truck or a Malaysian bike roar past me. I think after a few months of driving, I’m either going to get some nice muscles or turn into a bundle of nerves.
So if you see me drive past, please don’t flash your light at me, nor honk to get my attention. Just tell me about it later on Twitter or you could foursquare that location. I’m busy keeping my eye on the road and staying in one piece.