Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hello cutie pie!

I can't help it, but this is the phrase that pops into my mind whenever I see my car. I don't drive every day, indeed sometimes once a week if at all. When I'm walking toward where I know it is waiting in the parking garage, it is usually hidden from view behind other longer cars. So after I pass the giant SUV that often parks nearby there it is! Staring out at me like a cute puppy.

Since my last gushing post about my car, I have not yet had to refill the gas / petrol / benzine... So since October 1st, I have filled the tank only once.

(Needless to say, that isn't actually my car, but I've only every taken one picture, which I've already posted.)

All this leads to the very natural question of why I own a car. It's true, I imagined I would have more places to go. But at the moment, I drive it to work, which is a 8 mile round trip drive. Now, if you're sharp on your maths, then you'll have figured out by now that I don't drive to work everyday. That's because, in the manner of a modern flugelbinder, I work from different office on different days. Some of those are walking distance from where I live, others require a plane ride, occasionally but not often I work from home. So I suppose on average I make the trip less than twice a week.

I suppose I could cab it everywhere. But taxis are expensive in Boston, closer to London prices than New York prices. So I had figured that it was roughly break even between cabbing it everywhere and owning a car. But this misses two important facts. First, I still end up taking more than a few cabs, especially to and from the airport. Second, as they say, I have option value. Or to put it my way, if I had somewhere to go, I would be there -- and in style.

Actually I did use the car a bit yesterday. I drove to Symphony Hall. On a nice night I might have tried to walk, but it was too cold and it is difficult-to-impossible to get a cab after the symphony. Initially I used to use the car to buy groceries, but that struck me as undignified in my own I-wish-I-were-living-in-a-cute-European-town but-am-not but-will-continue-to-behave-as-though-I-am sort of way. Does Hannah drive a car for her groceries in Venice? No. Did I when I lived in London? (Lola, what about you?) No. Do I when I am in New York? No. And what about Lucia in Rome, and Clementine in Paris, and G in Berlin? No, no, no. (Nancy, tell me you walk to the traiteur on the corner and return with a baguette tucked under your arm...)

As I digression, I must confess that I do use a car for groceries when I'm Bombay. But that's just because friend, relatives, neighbors, and bystanders on the street think I am mad to do otherwise. It's really quite walkable if you don't mind breathing pollution and dodging buses, which really I don't.

So back to the car... Why do I have it then? I suppose after all is said and done, it's that puppy-in-your-face look it gives me after I've been away for a few days. Priceless, really.




Anonymous said...

two things: 1) this post brought a smile to my face on a grey day and 2) have you installed cameras on my street? (hehehe, i swear i looked side to side when i realised it was i mentioned in your post!!!)...

and yes i do walk to the traiteur on the and walk out with my baguette under my arm...(because it just looks silly in your eco-shopping bags, sticking out like that!!! ;)

but i love that you have a little flirt with your car....i guess i should get my licence (finally!!)...and i would absolutely get the same car as you....(being that you are the international man of mystery...and too cool for school...)

you have become my "all in good taste" icon...;))


howler said...

you do your own grocery shopping in bombay?!

whatever happened to sending babu to the corner?

Bombay Beauty said...

Nancy - I couldn't picture you shopping any other way...

Howlerji, it was actually Chotu who used to do the marketing, but he never came back from a trip to his native place...


Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with owning a car! Actually the option value thing is what is keeping me (us) from selling ours (since we take it once a week on average, after a 10 minutes walk and another 5 minutes bus ride)and switching to car sharing. For you, knowing that your car is parked just around the corner on a cold rainy night must be priceless!

Lola Is Beauty said...

With you on the car love - but both being owners of little cars, don't you always worry it's been stolen until you can actually see it poking out from behind the other cars? Maybe that comes with living in the hood. I drive almost everywhere - but not to the very local shops, so sometimes I do the baguette strolling thing. But more often I drive, I park illegally, I run in, then out and usually someone (thankfully not often a traffic warden) is standing next to my car and asks me something about it - yesterday it was one of the men at the dry cleaners who commented on its "eyelashes" then closed the door for me, then they all waved (at it, I know, not me) as I drove off!

Bombay Beauty said...

Mia - Of course, had forgotten about your parked car! I do feel some environmental guilt, but I suppose owning a car and not driving it too much isn't bad is it?

Lola - Don't rule out the obvious - Perhaps they were flirting with you as well as your car!


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