The Big Commute

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Dear Olive,
In my work as a costume buyer, I need to not only commute in a car to work - very often to far off and difficult to find locations, but in a single day, I can go from one end of the city to the other, sometimes many times over. I didn't actually own a car until I started working in the film industry, but since then I've been the registered owner of four cars.
The first was given to me by the sister of a friend - a beaten up, barely roadworthy, badly faded red Nissan pulsar that was missing a side mirror, among other things. It served me well for quite a while, but it did have a dodgy lock and I lived in Darlinghurst and sometimes I'd come down to get in it and find a couple of the local ladies of the night hanging out in there, usually smoking. (Hiding from the cops, they used to tell me.) I ended up giving the car to the tow truck driver who towed me off the Harbour bridge (yes, that'd be the Sydney Harbour Bridge), after it broke down in peak hour. (Two days after it broke down on Oxford St. Again, peak hour.)
The next car I owned (which I still remember fondly), was the only car I've ever truly chosen and bought with my own money. A 1986 Mercedes, champagne coloured with panelled wood interior, electric windows, and a sun roof .... in a word: deluxe. In a vintage kind of a way. The sad fate of that car was being written off when someone ran up the back of me. (Annoyingly, I was following Shane - who was in a borrowed car, and ran up the back of him.)
Needing a car urgently for work, I was super lucky when my Dad was kind enough to give me his old car when my need for one coincided with him buying a new one. It was an extremely middle aged mans maroon Volvo. Dad had owned it for years, and it never needed any work .... until it came to me. Well, what a lemon it turned out to be! After spending buckets on it, it broke down, in a matter of weeks, on the Gladesville AND Anzac Bridges (both times, and most inconveniently, during peak hour), we sent it off to the wreckers.
So, at the beginning of this year, I found myself without a car and with work to get to. I really don't know where my rather good car fortune comes from, but a costume friend was moving to LA, and before I knew it, I was sitting pretty in a white 1987 Volvo sedan. Sitting decidedly towards the bomb end of the car scale, it has a radio which will ONLY tune to a commercial station full of footballers (appalling) and a dodgy central locking system. But when it's not blowing trucks of smoke, it does carry with it a certain amount of classic car cred to it. I thought, I'll just register it and drive it until it breaks down. And lo and behold, ten months on, I'm still driving it.
But two weeks ago, Ford (unbelievably) loaned me a brand-sparkling-just-driven-off-the-lot-new, Ford Focus Titanium for a few weeks. Air conditioning, sun roof, brakes that can work by themselves, bluetooth, cameras, beeping alarms and many other high tech features I will probably never understand (did I mention air conditioning??) It's made my big commute to work, and all the driving I do, almost, dare I say it .... enjoyable.
But lingering at the back of my mind, amongst all the excitement of having a new car to get around in, is a big question .... how on earth am I going to be able to go back to 1987 after being in the future for six weeks?


Anonymous said...

Very nice! I don't think I could do no air-conditioning it gets REALLY hot here.
Just enjoy it while you've got it and worry about 1987 when you have to return to it!

Rin said...

Wee go ford!
I reckon if I were you I'd be dead scared of going over bridges.

Astred*designcherry said...

Oh! Did you inherit Gypsy's car?

Unknown said...

it looks like olive certainly knows how to enjoy it! x

jay said...

That pic of Olive had me laughing out loud. What is it with you and breaking down on bridges, in peak hour, no less, oh my goodness, my worst nightmare. xx

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Ain't that something, heh? The rules of time and space do crumble in the face of choices. :) It's good that you got the best of both worlds - rather, eras - with those two cars; one epitomizing durability while the other one, sleek. Hope they're both in good shape. But whatever happens, there are so many ways in which you can keep them up and running again, with their specific merits intact.

Yvonne @ Georgetown Exxon

Unknown said...

Well, look at it this way - at least you got to experience what it feels like to be in the future! Maybe someday, you'll be able to own a car that's got air-conditioning and all the other glitz yourself. At the very least, you've got something to dream and strive for. :)

Rhonda Burgess @ Bob Dunn Hyundai


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