I tried fixing the wipers on my car right after lunch, check smack in the noon heat, hoping to renew the Tioman tan, but failed in both departments.
I popped the bonnet and peered into the engine compartment, thinking, so, this is what my car engine looks like. You could say I know nothing of cars other than how to drive them, turn up the air-con and put CDs in the stereo. It was somewhat of a consolation when my brother saw me mucking around with the bonnet open (its about the only time we interact â€“ the other being when I open my computer cover), and came over to see how he could help, and he couldnâ€™t.
My brother, the expert in all things technical and automotive, couldnâ€™t fix my wipers. I have to bring it in to the mechanicâ€™s tomorrow, if it doesnâ€™t rain.
So in all, five minutes were spent standing shirtless, spanner in hand, looking for a nut or bolt to undo. No tan.
It is a chore talking cars to other straight men. I spent a good half hour discussing the merits of my car to Cheng last night, with him asking all intricacies of how and why my car is worth buying. You need to have the aptitude of a nuclear scientist when you own a car in Singapore, and sometimes, I feel exposed as a supremely unintelligent consumer when people tell me things like, wah, your road tax must be a killer, your fuel consumption must be quite high, your car must be very difficult to park, how many years left on the COE? What is the depreciation? What is the scrap value?
But over the past year of owning Mini (the name I gave my Merc Benz 300SEL), the stock response to these questions is, â€œI got it for real cheap at $28K, 5 years left on COE, fuel is not too bad, am used to the parking, just take up one and a half lots, I start the engine, it works, I step on accelerator, it moves, I step on brakes, it stops, I steer, it turnsâ€.