Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mommy Taxi Broken Down

I would like to state categorically that I hate driving. Hate it with a passion. The, by now very deeply buried, Princess mentality within me dreams about being driven around. In reality, Packrat works and it is just unfeasible with the number of errands I run, pick ups I have to do etc. So I drive. Often with aggro, often with close shaves and sometimes spending more time in the car than any other place through an entire day.

What makes me resent it more is when we have car trouble. And car trouble, we have been having. A few weeks ago, we discovered our tyres slashed, in our own carpark. This was not discovered until I was half way to taking Jordan to ballet and wondering why the car felt extremely sluggish and whether I was driving with the handbrakes on. Then I discovered we had a real flat. By the time, I got home to Packrat, we discovered, it was two flats from a nice neat slit on the side of the tyre, done very purposely. It had already been rather stressful driving home because logic told me that if there was no air in the tyre, I was clunking down Holland Road on a metal rim which just didn't sound like a good idea and now, two flat tyres and the need to get to the tyre shop. That cost $800 and warranted a police report and a fantasy of breaking the vandals' legs with a baseball bat.

And that wasn't the end. Two days ago, attempting to park to go to a long awaited Pilates class,  the car refuses to start in the middle of the car park. Even more stress this time because there were people honking and I had absolutely no idea what to do. Call AA the husband says. But while we wait for AA, how do I crowd control angry drivers?

All this while, the very petulant cry that ran through my head is "I AM A GIRL! I SHOULDN'T HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS!" Yes yes, I know it throws back every bit of progress made with women's rights but there are some things that I firmly believe I shouldn't have to dirty my hands with and this was one of them! Of course, my very rational friend texts in response to my petulant cry "If you're going to drive, you have to deal with it, unless you want to hire a driver." Yes yes, point taken but I drive out of necessity not desire!

The long and the short of it was I had to take the car to the mechanic, all the while praying the car would not break down on the road and I would not have to stop any where. I was extremely extremely thankful that the guy I was blocking in the car park, whose lot I wanted, knew exactly what to do. He pushed my car back enough so that his car could get out, get my car CPR with jump cables and revived it enough to cough and choke to a start. I could have fallen to the ground and kissed his feet at that point. Who said Singaporeans were selfish and unhelpful.

The car is fixed. Packrat has threatened the car "that's two strikes" he bellowed at the car.

I have learnt some things though.
1. An AA membership is a must where you have no more knowledge of the car than where the button to open the bonnet is.
2. The thing in the car that you wanted to throw away because it took up so much space is a lifesaver because it helps inflates the tyres when there are no gas stations and air pumps in sight.
3. Be friends with the mechanic so that you can call them and yell "help" and they will know what to do.
4. Keep duct tape in the car. It's less than $2 but is super strong and could cover a multitude of sins!

Can I give up driving? Nope, because of JED. They need to be picked up and dropped off so much in between my own work schedule, it is downright impossible to do that by public transport. And most of the time, that Princess sentiment remains suitably quashed by the stronger Mommy one. But when I can take public transport, I am happiest. I am being driven, I can read my book, I can text and FB without fearing that I might crash the car or get arrested and I have passed the aggro of driving on to someone else. For that alone, I think bus drivers should get a pay rise!

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