I have a complicated relationship with my car.

Well, it’s complicated now. Normally Babooshka and I are on quite good terms (aside from the regrettable Clutch Incident two years ago). She was named after a Kate Bush song of the same name, before you ask, and not for a good reason: just because I was into Kate Bush and liked the name when Babooshka entered my transport-less life. She gets the occasional pat on the dashboard and a good cleaning every so often, but that’s it. Out of sight, out of mind. I just cross fingers when I lock the doors that she won’t attract any more tickets (she’s a magnet for the pink slips, for parking on the ‘yellow line’ – whatever that means!).

These days, however, Babooshka and I are rather at odds with each other. I suppose it’s unfair to blame her for someone else driving into her while she was parked, but that’s not going to stop me. It’s also my fault, I guess, and not hers that she got a horrendously flat tyre; forcing me to buy two new ones. Mounting the pavement outside my flat complex may or may not (but totally did) crack her rim, which the car guy kindly (and freely) fixed; though I was charged a small fortune for the tyres.

car repairI’m never sure whether being a woman (in the clichéd ‘I-know-nothing-about-cars’ way; which I don’t) is a good thing or a bad thing when it comes to car stuff. Sure, there’s a chance of being ripped off through sheer ignorance, but there’s also a chance they’ll do you a solid – because guys, any guys, tend to get a little protective, I’ve noticed. I can’t speak for other, better educated women, but I tend to blindly trust whatever the mechanic says before worriedly checking how much money I have in my bank account and calculating how much food I have in the fridge. Then I give the OK to rip my Babooshka apart and look at her underbelly while I page through an old copy of Elle magazine.

car repairSurely horses are easier than the immensely complicated machines we cart ourselves around in today? Feed ‘em some hay, brush their coats and get someone to clean up their, erm, leftovers… and you’re sorted.

HORSES (vs cars)

Pros of owning a horse instead of a car:

  • Horses’ insides are similar to my insides (and how expensive can a vet be, really?)
  • Their parts aren’t replaceable (try buying four new legs or a battery, uh, heart for your horse)
  • They give you a little work-out every time you ride one of them
  • You can pet them
  • Low maintenance
  • No reliance on temperamental gas bills (though: would hay become a valuable commodity then?)
  • Manure (eco-friendly, much?)

Cons of owning a horse instead of a car:

  • Horses produce pungent smelling and distinctly tangible waste
  • Their parts aren’t replaceable
  • Not very fast
  • They need attention even when you’ve finished riding them (probably)
  • They make baby horses (what are the chances of finding out your car is pregnant?)
  • You can’t play CDs in them
  • No air-conditioning or heating
  • No roof
  • No boot

And another thing: you can’t do awesome cross country road trips with horses, can you? Like you can with cars, I mean. I suppose you can use a carriage, but it’s not quite the same. My brothers and I did an epic Cape Town to Pretoria drive a few weeks ago. Below is a picture montage of the trip:

Energy drinks and...
... snack food and...
... tight squeezes (this was my actual 'seat') and...
... stays in B&Bs with FOUR hunting pictures on one wall and...
... beautiful views out the window and...
... the wind in your hair!

Man, on second thought, maybe cars are easier. Maybe it’s just mechanics I have a complicated relationship with…


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