I owned a car once. It was a Toyota Yaris. I bought it second hand for $5000. As soon as I sat in my car, I felt like I just owned a little space for my self. I didn’t care about the look of the car or how it makes “me” look. It was like my man cave on wheels. Not only that, but I would also have my favourite radio channel tuned and set. Every time I start the car good tunes start to play. Such a treat!
See, I always shared cars. The very first car I drove in Australia was called “Yamuna”. I bought that car with the help of another friend of mine. He paid half of it and I paid the rest. I was naive and thought that was a good idea. Never do that. If you can’t afford to pay for a car by yourself don’t buy one. After “Yamuna” I shared a few other cars until I bought the Yaris. I enjoyed it until I have to sell it. I got a job in the city and driving to the city every day is not something I was keen on so I got rid of the Yaris.
Since I had access to my wife’s car I didn’t felt the need for a car after Yaris. After she left, I start to realise, a life without a car can be pretty challenging. Especially after getting used to having one. I lived without a car for at least 5 years when I first came to Australia. Those days, I lived very close to a shopping centre and a railway station so I guess I never needed a car. Even when I needed one, I never wanted one. I was new to Australia and spending money is not on your activity list when you are a fresh immigrant.
13 years have gone past. Many things have changed. Among many other things, I decided to spend money on a bicycle. I still can’t afford a car. Well, I think I can, but I choose not to for a few reasons.
1) I can’t justify the expense.
2) It’s easy to share a car when I need one. I’ve used “Car next door” a couple of times and it’s a great service.
3) I don’t like driving very much.
4) I am a terrible driver.
So I bought a bicycle.
I actually bought this bike two years ago. Originally I got it so I can get to the gym. It’s 15 minutes bike ride to the gym and a perfect warm-up before lifting weight. So I thought it was a good idea to get this bike. I bought it second hand for about $150 from a handsome foreign guy. He said I could go for a test ride but he wanted to keep my wallet as some security. I had 4 debit cards on my wallet and various identity documents. Well, I thought that was more than enough security deposit for a used bike. Anyway, I was happy to see him on the same spot when I returned from my test ride. The bike was okay and it was a good price so I made the deal.
Since then, I used my bike a few times a week to go to the gym. Funny how things change. The gym is closed and now instead of lifting weight, I lift myself. Yes, literally I lift myself. It’s called Calisthenics. A type of work out where you use your own body weight to do exercise. My warm-up session is now a 15 minutes run.
All of these changes have put my bicycle to a brand new use. It is my “new” car. Unlike the Yaris, this is not a man cave on wheels. This has now become a vital part of my transport. I use it to do my weekly shopping, weekly washing and the weekly leisure trip. I also decided to upgrade it with a $20 dollar pannier rack and a $5 dollar second-hand bag to fit my weekly shopping and laundry.
I love my new car. I am tempted to do a burn out at the traffic lights and wink at the hot girl next to me. I might save that heroic act for another time when the lockdown fully lifts.