My Parking Garage Neighbour

I live in a rather reclusive building. When I first moved in over three years ago I hardly knew I had neighbours at all. I rode up and down the elevator, walked up and down the hallways and didn’t meet a soul.

It was after seven months of living in my condo that I met someone.

My parking garage neighbour.

At the time he was driving a 2002 Silver Volvo S60. Seriously, I know this is ridiculous of me, but cars really are my thing. I noticed there were always loads of things in his backseat all covered in blankets and I got to wondering what possibly could be lurking under the blankets.

Perhaps it was all this wondering that got my introduction but I believe it was more likely all the random cars he saw parked beside his that had him calculating exactly when I would be home so he could confront me.

And confront me he did.

I don’t recall how the conversation started but I do recall being grilled on what I did for work and the conversation ended with him asking for my help on his next car. As a side, I did attempt to help him however he ended up buying something completely off his original list – I am not offended just sad he choose a weaker competitor, but alas he couldn’t be helped 🙂

Since that day we met, every few weeks we make it an unplanned point of meeting in the elevator, the garage, the parking lot and once in a while, the local grocery store.

He is what you would envision as a true sales guy. Rushing around with his goods packed into his vehicle, a fast talker with the ability of getting a clear and comprehensive full month of verbal catch-up done in literally 2 minutes. It puts alot of pressure on me to par down on my verbal updates to him, you know, give him the basic facts and let him fill in the rest!

I know when I’ve gone over my 2 minute limit because he starts shifting from foot to foot and fiddling with his hands. I almost want to keep the conversation going just to see if he would implode/explode if I added more filler to my stories :).

Today I didn’t quite get the memo and left my unit 30 seconds later than I should have. When I arrived in the basement to get into my car, he was already in his, car running, ready to go.

This meant our 4 minute conversation (2 for him, 2 for me) would have to be much shorter.

As I walked up to the driver side of my vehicle (He likes driving into his spot, I prefer backing into mine, so our driver doors are friends), he waited for me to walk around the back of his vehicle and rolled down his window to say,

“I really like your new car, when did you get it?”

“I picked it up Wednesday, it has turned out to be way more fun than I initially thought it would be! A friend helped me with a good deal on a well equipped car otherwise I don’t know what I would have done!”

“Well I love it, it suits your personality,” and then squinting slightly and scrunching lower into the seat of his SUV as though he was experiencing some major abdominal pain, he ended, “it’s sexy, sporty just like you!” and as he grimaced some more he completed a full hand finger wave, rolled up the window and off he went….

Our 1 minute was up. I stood there and laughed.

MINI Mania

MINI Mania

So not THE most creative title, but that is what is happening to me right now. I am experiencing mania towards my MINI!

Some people have children and pets, I have cars. I love cars (trains, planes and skateboards too!). Yes they eventually disintegrate and get recycled (we hope the metal and plastic parts do!), but to me cars have always been an extension of myself. Call me crazy, but I love driving with no destination in mind. The most important part being the experience of getting there and the mode of transportation.

It’s not about the brand or how much the car costs, it is how it handles the road, the ambience and comfort on the inside and the sound system blaring tunes.

There was my pain. What small car could I buy that would give me all those things, suit my personality and be THAT car.

My list was whittled down to two choices:

1. Volkswagen Golf – responsible me
2. Mini Cooper S – irresponsible me

The Mini had some advantages, besides being irresponsible, it also had a HUGE personal backer. I might come from automotive, I might understand the product, I might even understand the sales process, but all those things just made me more anxious about picking the right car.

So what happened exactly?

My good friend who is still in the business, the Volkswagen didn’t stand a chance :(, arranged for a nice dealer to call me, serve me up an offer I couldn’t resist that had me signing papers making me a ridiculous Mini Cooper S owner in mere minutes.

What I think of my new car after 3 days of ownership?

More fun than I thought. I forgot how much fun a manual car can be. Reminds me of that Mazda MX-5 Mazdaspeed I was pulled over in a few times!! but managed to talk my way out of my tickets (I wouldn’t have deserved them – honest 🙂 )