My Car – Shim Hates Me
I think my car hates me. I would probably hate me too if I were my car. I got in an accident when I was 16, a few months after I got my license, but then never touched another car again with my car in the states (his name is Webster, I miss him dearly)… But then I started driving here in Jordan. Within two months I managed to send our currently nameless car to the shop twice. Shim (also haven’t even determined its gender identity) has two brand new doors, a brand new front bumper, and has it’s SECOND brand new front-right-over-the-wheel-panel-thing in two months. Also, it has a new Jordanian flag because the first time it went in someone stole my flag (why, people?? jealous of my patriotism?). I know, I’m spoiling shim with all these new parts, right?
When my parents visited in March they had a wonderful visit, but one of the only things they didn’t like here was the crazy no-blinker, change-lanes, honk-and-flash-your-lights, people-walk-in-your-path driving. Sadly though, I can’t even blame my driving blunders on the crazy driving here, because both incidents happened with parked cars or stationary objects. The first time, I thought shim was skinnier that it was and scraped the entire right side from front wheel to back (see earlier post Jordanian Driving Fail for a picture). Fail. And then the next time, I whipped out of my parking spot at school slamming the front right side of my car into a sturdy concrete trash can that was, out of fairness to me and my driving skillz, too low for me to see it out of the window from the drivers seat. I hopped out to realize that the incredibly heavy trash can was knocked over, at which point I wasn’t even mad, I was impressed, even more so when I tried to right the trash can, and realized it was almost too heavy for me to pick up. Shim is strong.
The complicating factor this second time was that I was planning on driving a few students into Amman, so they were standing about 100 feet away. After hoisting the trash can I hopped in, and pretended like nothing had happened. I didn’t know if they had seen or not because we got distracted when one bizarrely tried to let the air out of someone’s tires in front of me (no, you did not drop your cell phone under a car in the faculty parking lot, and no, that’s not a “prank”), but later they revealed that they had in fact seen me smash the trash can (and had heard the loud crack that it made). They confessed they were nervous to get in the car with me, but I was their last resort. I thought they were just giving me a hard time but no, they were actually nervous. After I dropped them off I went a couple of hundred yards up the street before deciding I needed to use my cell phone. Like the responsible, GOOD driver that I am, I pulled off to the side to talk. No more than a minute later, I see one of my gangly friends sprinting up to the side of my car. He looked in and saw me talking on the phone. “Oh, phew, I thought you had hit something!! Okay, bye Mr. Bowman!” Part of me thought it was very nice that he reacted like that, but that part of me was trying to convince the other parts of me that I’m not a failure of a vehicle operator. I have street smarts.
So my car hates me and probably thinks I’m about as good of a driver as those forced to ride with me do. Maybe it’s time I show some affection and give shim a name…