Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Driving Miss Typ0

There I was I was sitting, per usual, in Red’s back seat (that’s the car’s name, BTW) reading a book and wondering how long it would take to get to the Hyatt when I saw the weirdest thing. I saw a yellow Volkswagen Bug with left-hand drive. Both my driver and I looked at it for a moment and shared a puzzled look. Why would anybody feel the need to import a wrong hand drive car here? That's really lame.

As I contemplated how long until the snazzy car got stolen, scratched and dinged up I got to thinking about cars here in Delhi. You can actually tell a lot about a person just seeing them in a car struggling to get through a roundabout.

So to that end, I’m going to share with you some of my deep car thoughts. Or as I dubbed it: “What people think when they see you in your New Delhi car.” (For the record, this had a way better title when I was sitting the car four hours ago.)

The Expat Outsider: Sitting in the back seat of my car while my driver takes me around Delhi.

The Suicidal Expat: Sitting the front seat while Hubby drives.

The Embassy Expat: Drives car with blue CD plates

The Overpaid Expat with a Family: Drives a Qwallis or SUV

The Way Overpaid Embassy Expat: Drives a yellow imported VW Bug with left hand drive and CD plates.

The Been here too long and you’re now jaded Expat: Senses the beggars and touts near the window and simply gets rid of them with a distracted shake of the head… Without ever looking at them.

These new observations inspired other observations…

• The most important safety feature in an Indian car: The Horn
• Second most important safety feature: High beams, which appear to be the only lights that work on most cars at night here. “I Wear My Sunglasses at Night” is no long a song: it’s a way of life.
• Best hotel feature: all the hotels here have free valet. This always reminds me of that line from “Clueless” where she’s supposed to be learning how to parallel park: “What's the point? Everywhere you go has valet.” Cher was so smart!

Oh and I almost forgot our final category of Expat car owner:

Q: What do you call an Expat who cries and goes into a panic swearing their day has been ruined just because their driver called out?

A: Loser Delhi_Typ0 Expat who should learn to drive on the wrong side of the road or just learn to buck up.

(As always, please feel free to disagree with that sentence.)

(Seriously! Disagree with it already!)

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