Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Death of Our Car

Our Car, Right Before a Trip to the Junkyard

Whooo, whooo...grrrrr, blug, blug... clink, clunk, clank....When your car starts to make new, unrecognizable sounds you know you're in trouble.  Typically it means a repair is on the horizon and you get an expensive bill.  In our case -- it was the equivalent of automobile death -- a trip to the junkyard.

Our car was old and it made some funny sounds when we bought it -- but when you're spending about $500 on a car, that's to be expected.  However, a couple of weeks ago all those funny sounds suddenly got louder.  "Is that us?" I said to my husband as I looked at the other cars on the highway trying to find the noisy vehicle.  Moments later, my husband watched in the rearview mirror as a piece of our engine literally fell out from under us and bounced down the highway.  Okay...yes, that's us.

So, then began the fun of calling insurance from a rest stop, getting a tow truck and a ride home.  At this point, I was still optimistic.  Maybe the repair wouldn't cost that much I thought, giving myself a pep talk.  However, when our tow truck driver arrived and started the car, my optimism died.  He didn't speak English, but he communicated clearly enough -- he slowly drew his hand across his neck -- the universal symbol of death.  The next day, it was confirmed by mechanics.  Too expensive to repair, the best move was selling the car to a junkyard.

We didn't want a car when we came here -- the hassle or the expenses.  However, once we had our car and licenses, the freedom to explore was really nice.  The 25 minute drive to see our family was far superior to the 90 minute, nauseating bus ride.  We had taken only one long distance trip, but had plans this Spring to take the car out to see the Korean countryside.  Plus, what about our Costco trips and Sunday drives?  It was a disappointment, but unlike life in the States having a car is not necessary.  We're back to public transportation, and that's fine.

However, I think my husband and I both deserve badges...you know like the ones you get when you go on the big theme park rollercoasters.  It can say something like "I survived driving in Korea" or "I drove a car in Korea and lived to tell the tale" ...nope, that one's too long, but you get the point.  So, farewell little car -- it was an adventure and you'll be missed.

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