7th March 2008
As you may have read here, Tim's Landrover died in spectacular fashion. (I didn't get the technical facts right, apparently, but never mind; the end result was the same).
He managed to find a breakers yard – very rare here – and the manager came and somehow drove the clanking heap of junk away, enveloped in clouds of black smoke. This was quite a sight! You just do not see old, knackered vehicles on the roads here at all. Even lorries carrying rubble are polished and chromed to mirror-like perfection.
I have a little runaround Toyota (Corolla in the UK) for the school run and stuff. Poor Tim has been reduced to fighting the rush hour metro squeeze. A long and uncomfortable journey involving a train change which requires a nearly 1km walk between stations. Now he may know how I felt doing the school run <evil cackle!>
So he's been looking at getting another car and I just figured he'd get another Landrover, as he's always been such a geek about them. But he's got cross with them and all the work they entail. Instead, he's been looking at "ordinary cars". It's against his (and my) nature to buy a brand new car. I used to be in car sales so know the depreciation as soon as they are driven off the forecourt. Such a waste of money. However, the secondhand car market here is extremely difficult to track down. Japanese like brand new cars.
One day he phoned me to ask "Do you like Celicas?"
Silly question – he knows darn well I love Celicas.
"Yes, you know I do. Why?"
"Well, someone here at work is leaving early and wants to sell his". (Why on earth would anyone want to leave Tokyo early?) OK, I guess that's not the point really…
Tim continued, "It's a convertible, are you OK with that?"
"WHAAAAA?! Yes, of COURSE I'm OK with that. When can we get it?"
So we got the gorgeous Celica and I now pose around with the lid down. Lots of non-car people at school think it's some kind of supercar and I get a lot of envious looks (and probably snippy comments behind my back) but who cares? It's gorgeous! And apparently very rare in the UK. We think we may ship it back when we leave here.
Oh and the GPS speaks English too. That's quite a strange change after a year or so of getting directions in Japanese. "Slight right turn" "Traffic congestion ahead"… usually when I'm already stuck in the jam anyway.