Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Loaner

This morning I took the car into the auto repair shop to be fixed. Of course, I knew what was coming, the courtesy car, the loaner, the automatic. Nothing to be done about it.
The man in the rental place remarked on my accent.

'Ah, British,' he said.
'Yup,'
'I have a man in here yesterday, I ask him if he British, he say, 'no, Scottish,'
'Scottish is British,' say I.
'Yes! See, I know this! This is why I say British!' said he,
'Right,' I smiled,
'You see I know because I used to work for HSBC,'
'Ah. Actually in Hong Kong?'
'Aha! You see! Only a British person would know that HSBC, Bank of Hong Kong. But I'm from Philippines,'
'Ah, mmm.Good,'
We walk out to the loaner car.
'It's automatic I'm afraid,' he said.
'Yes, I knew it would be,'
'British people mostly drive standard,'
'Yep,'

And whilst he demonstrated to me the wonders of the Hyundai and how you couldn't turn the engine on unless it was in 'Park', and told me of all the countries in the world where they also drive standard, and why vehicles that need more power needed manual gear change, and how some lady friend of his had coped badly with an automatic, I somehow missed where he told me that the bloody control thingie that replaces the gear stick can only be changed from Park to anything else when you put your foot on the brake pedal.
But he was kind, and well-meaning.
And with an afternoon appointment looming, I spent a frantic quarter of an hour trying to get the control thingie to move until I put my foot on the brake out of sheer frustration, and loss of a clutch, and lo! It all magically changed. Or at least it allowed me to move it.

Fortunately, and rather bizarrely, the car, which incidentally stank of stale cigarette smoke, had Alberta number plates, which seemed to make some other drivers keep their distance, and others to tailgate me, presumably because they expected an Albertan driver to speed off at any second.

Later, when I was trying to prepare Cannelloni for supper, and found the pasta to be mouldy, I begged Kevin to drive us to Superstore rather than having the stress of driving it myself again today.

I suppose in the end I'd get used to the bloody thing, but I certainly don't want to.
And whilst I don't need to - well, I guess I won't.

1 comment:

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