The streets of Cape Town, is a bit of a circus this week because people are protesting on all the main highways in peak hour traffic.
So yesterday after I adamantly insisted that Mogi not take the bus to work, he agreed to take my car.
This wouldn’t have been an option had my dad not recently bought an old car from someone who needed some cash. He fixed the car and intends to sell it again. So this jalopy was available and I took the opportunity to test it out.
… What a ride.
Thankfully the car was already in the driveway before I left for work. I opened the door and was greeted by grubby, blackened seats. The driver’s seat had newspaper on it… I couldn’t bring myself to touch it and see what was lurking underneath.
I pulled my trench coat tightly around me, somehow hoping the less fabric that touches the seats equals the less of me is touching the seats. The seat was not adjustable but luckily I could reach the pedals. I started up and let it warm up a bit. After a minute or two, my fingertips gripped the steering wheel and I took hold of the gear lever to back out of the driveway.
Oh my, gosh, the gear lever was… loose. I can’t explain. I couldn’t feel which gear is where so I just estimated. It’s fortunate I’m a (self-proclaimed) very good driver. Anyway, I flat out the gas pedal and vroom along at a surprisingly good speed and feel like I’m at the arcade when I turn the wheel and the car responds with a delayed reaction.
Feeling quite good about my skills for being able to get this thing going and among other cars without being conspicuous, zigzagging along, I dodge the wild taxi’s and do a bit of wild driving across lanes at the last minute too. Just as I enter the suburb of my place of employment, the car dies.
I start feeling heat puffing through my collar and my mind goes blank, so I pull over and check my phone. “Oh fuck rats, my phone is dead, how can I call for help? My boss is going to shit himself, this is the third time I’ll be late this week, why did I take this car? WHY!” All the while I’m turning the key and it responds my making this screeching EEERRRGGGH sound. “Oh I’m sweating, just breathe, just breathe.” Keep in mind this horrific situation lasted a minute since I pulled over till I realized that the car is not dead.
I couldn’t hear the engine anymore because it was softer! The car was still on. I pushed the gas pedal just to be sure and low and behold it was alive! I then gingerly made my way onto the road again pretending nothing had happened and I’d just pulled over to check my phone (because I’m a responsible driver) and trudged along with my purring engine and loose gear lever jalopy.
A day at the amusement park is what it felt like traveling a full 15 minutes to work. My hands were still shaking when I sat down at my desk.