Yes, I will continue with the seemingly obligatory “car post”. Please don’t be disappointed if you were expecting some wisdom from the past, just read on. Before I start let me confess that I am not a “car guy”. It’s not that I don’t admire the engineering performance, a good design or a feeling, but I’m not that much into it. For me, a car is a metal (are they in these days?) box which brings me from point A to point B. And if it does this conveniently, reliably and inexpensively than it knows everything I need. And the first hatchback I fell in love with was exactly like this.
“Take the keys, you know where they are.” my dad said in a calm voice with a smile on his face.
I did not expect that as I just got home to tell them I got my drivers license. There was no cheering, no congrats just that simple sentence. But as I was a 19-year-old teenager heading into the night on Friday evening that was the biggest compliment I could imagine.
So, I took the keys and headed to “The Car”. There’s a chance you have never seen such a gem. It was a tiny compact three-door five-seat beauty, painted to a blinding yellow color that you can not pick in any natural environment (I blame this on my mother).
As I walked to the door on the driver’s side I had a glance at the silver text on the back saying “Koral 60”. This was the only thing (besides its offensive color) which distinguished it from other Yugos. By the time that was the strongest model with the whopping sixty horsepower the name intended to brag about.
My Dad acquired it as a good catch when someone decided to get rid of it after one year of usage. It had 27k km (16.7k miles) on its odometer, thus the price was discounted enough for an almost new car. If you asked me about equipment I would”ve been like Jason Statham at the end of The Snatch.
That’s all, really. Oh, and it had those strings in the rear window. Technically it is called a defroster, but there’s a joke around that those are intended to keep your hands warm when the car breaks down at winter and you have to push it to the closest mechanic.
As I said I am not a car guy, so I let this two gentleman sum up its purpose.
Long story short, I loved it. Hopped into the driver’s seat and started cranking the engine. It started on the second try which was a good enough (most of the times it took four or five). Inhaled once more the scent of freedom, dropped the car into gear and drove off.
I cannot really tell how much I enjoyed driving alone for the first time. Like a little boy on the roller coaster for the first time, just with the wheel in my hand. Was cruising around in the neighborhood for a while then headed to my best friends house.
When I arrived I had to realize something which never popped into my mind before. Their street was a narrow dead. Don’t know why it doesn’t seemed as an option to reverse so I thought “No problem, will turn around”.
Fifteen minutes later while still working on my mission of turning around my friend showed up at the door and the moment he realized I was sitting in the drivers seat burst out in laughter. The strange thing was I never informed him that I was coming or arrived. He explained to me that his father sent him out to tell to that idiot who makes his car roaring and drowning in front of the house to stop it or he will come out to beat the shit out of him.
Fueled by the threat I started the engine again, he hopped into the car and I made the maneuver for the first try. I knew his father so I wanted to leave the scene as soon as possible. We were driving around for a while, then went back to our house, parked the car and headed to a bar.
What, you expected a bigger adventure? Hey, I was a responsible kid with a fresh driving license. This was enough thrill for me for the first night.
“Just drive in!” I said to dad when he was hesitant to go further seeing the barrier and the security guard next to it.
I didn’t expect anyone to be at the back door, but there was. Whatever, we were slowly rolling on. As reaching the barrier the guard gave us a bored look and let us in without a single word.
The campsite was almost empty, just a handful people carrying stuff, working on their own tents or just wandering around pointlessly. This was a common picture three days prior the festival started.
We found a good spot for ourselves and started to unload the stuff we crammed into our precious little car. When we finished and I was staring at the pile I was hardly able to believe this all was inside. The back seats were folded and the mattresses were tied to the roof rack but still, this was the luggage of four people for one week. Tents and fleabags included.
Soon the rest of the group arrived. After we finished setting up the camp the evergreen question of obtaining the week lasting beer supplies arose. You were not allowed to bring in any food or beverages once the festival started. But three days prior, well no one really cared. After all, that was the reason we were there so soon. (Yes, you can take this as an unofficial and questionable frugality tip)
This question caused us problems, especially previously when we arrived late and had to smuggle in the booze hidden in backpacks, throwing over the fence or other creative ways.
“Why don’t we bring in some with the car?” asked my dad. I was amazed as he didn’t really supported our alcohol consumption but I think he realized that one way or the other we will get some, so why not help us instead. (Thanks dad, you are the best!)
The two of us get back to the car and drove to the closest supermarket. It took a while to buy, carry out and load into the car appr. forty six-packs of beer into the car. And by six-packs I mean six pieces of two-liter plastic bottles of little below the average quality beer. When the work was done we simply dropped a dirty old blanket on the top of the precious cargo and went back to the campsite.
I was a little bit anxious like we did something illegal or something. But not my dad. He drove into the campground with his calmness, we got the same bored look from the guard at the barrier and we were in. Quickly loaded the booze into one of the tents and we knew it will be a good week.
Here you go. I loved that vehicle. He sold it when it got close to twenty years old and its state got “If I spend 300 euros on the fixes it will worth 200” (his words, not mine). It had its breakdowns, we all had, but most of the time it was an awesome car.