Monday, May 03, 2010
I picked up my rental car today, a car to tide me over while Bebe Bleu is in the shop having all that body work replaced.
The rental is a new model VW Beetle, all shiny and white.
So far, I hate it.
Lemme 'splain. It looks really cute. I'll give it cute. However, it and I have some serious differences of opinion. Let's start with that head rest. No matter how I adjust the seat, the headrest hits me where most headrests hit -- right at the point that forces my chin into my chest. I do not care to sit like this, and I especially do not care to drive like this. In fact, adjusting the seat promises to be a real adventure. I spent 15 minutes trying to get it correct and even then, I have to squeeze under the steering wheel (at least until I can adjust that thing). My mother was notorious for hunching over the steering wheel when she drove (one reason she hated to drive was because her back and shoulders hurt after about 20 minutes, but she never learned to sit back and relax in the seat). I'm sitting up straight and hunched over the wheel because I can't get the seat adjusted properly. I'll spend another 1/2 hour on it tomorrow.
The first time I touched the brakes, I almost put myself through the windshield. Let's just say they are tight and touchy. There's no smooth, gradual slowing down. The thing throws out a grappling hook and an anchor.
The acceleration is...hesitant. Yes, that gas pedal insists you make a commitment to going, and it will check after you press the pedal to make sure you REALLY want to go. No, really? You don't like this spot here, in the driveway, away from all the traffic? Can't we stay here and get ice cream or something? Do you REALLY want out there? Oh....all right.
Apparently, between the problems with the seat and the position of the headrests, at my seated height, the thing is FULL of blind spots. I'm a paranoid driver. I check in every direction before I move a car because, dammit, people come out of no where and just assume you will kindly go immaterial so they can drive through. I've yet to figure out how to de- and re-materialize, so I watch for those idiots. I can't see several points on this car, which just cranks up the paranoia.
I figure I can make it to the grocery store and Pak-mail in this car. I know that if I drive it a bit, I will get used to the brakes and the acceleration, and if I fiddle with all the buttons I will eventually reach a compromise with the seat. However, that won't solve the biggest problem I have -- pure claustrophobia. Everything is too close.
Let me clarify. I drive a Mazda 3. It's not a big car. In fact, it's a small car because I really prefer smaller, more nimble cars. The VW's interior feels TEENY compared to my Mazda . It's as if everything is too close to my face and my elbows. My nose is going to hit that rear view mirror, I just know it.
Two weeks. For two weeks I will be one of those White Cars that straggles out just long enough so you can't make the right hand turn or pull into a lane. I now understand what those people are going through.