MINI at the Border

I am getting pretty good at crossing borders. I’ve done it enough times and I’ve come to the conclusion that the car you drive … matters. It matters to the conversations that take place and the decision to either let me through or search my car.

The MINI is a hassling kind of car, but not in the same type of hassling that one might imagine.

After escaping the toll-taker, I happily crossed the bridge and made my way to the first available border crossing booth.

I pulled up, rolled my window down, removed my sunglasses and handed over my passport.

It started the same as usual, “Where are you from, where are you going, why are you going, when are you coming back, what are you taking with you, where do you work.”

Standard questions right?

I wasn’t prepared for, “What major road does your residential street run parallel too?” and was only slightly more prepared for, “What is the major North/South road that runs perpendicular to your residential street?” I was tempted to break out google maps, but instead I smiled and rhymed off all the streets starting with the one he seemed to know and had blurted out.

Where was this going? I didn’t know. I just knew I had to participate.

I was quizzed on area bakeries, pubs and eateries. With all the talk of Pasta I asked him if he happened to be Italian. There should be a section in every border crossing where the traveller is allowed to ask questions, right?

He handed back my passport. A sure sign we were wrapping up our “get-to-know-each-other” session and I was awaiting his decision on what my next steps were to be.

I pulled my chilled elbow back into my car and the minute I appeared the least bit interested in getting on my way, he sternly decided to ask more questions about my place of employ and soon we were off on another topic – Golf.

He suggested numerous times that I get in touch with his previous golf instructor to learn how to improve my swing and my game. I am sure it was after the 9th time that I clued in and offered to make a note in my cell phone of said instructor’s name. I pulled out my phone and promptly added in the name.

How did it end?

He pled with me, “You know if you learn to really swing well, you’ll be invited all the time to play golf. Men really like it when a pretty young lady…(big pause)…woman like yourself comes out to play.”

He hardly had time to catch his breath and continued, “I really like watching the ladies, you know they have a nice smooth swing, really smooth.” as he demonstrated for me inside his little booth.

Then his eyes lit up like saucers and in a deep bare whisper, he intoned “Women are so flexible!!”

Maybe it was the look of sheer shock on my face, but with his last announcement, on what I can only imagine to be his seeming desire towards flexible women, I was waved through with a simple “have a nice trip.”

MINI goes to Indy

MINI goes to Indy

MINISince getting the MINI I’ve been dreaming up places to take him, to show him around. Maybe cars are suppose to be girls, like boats and ships, but my MINI is definitely a guy.

Before I crossed the border on my way to one of my favourite destinations, I took my MINI for a little bath at the local ESSO. It looks pretty good all cleaned up 🙂

Pulling up to pay the $3.50 toll to cross the bridge, I rolled down my window and handed the toll-taker $3.55.

Turns out the toll-taker wasn’t so interested in giving me my change. No sirree, he took my money then leaned way out of his booth and declared with much gusto “That’s one FINE machine you’ve got there!!! Did you just wash it?”

“Yes sir, newly washed.”

He eyed the MINI and stated, “There must be more room in that car then it looks eh, the trunk can’t be that small!”

“Well, truth be told the trunk is pretty small,” I replied, wondering if I was going to get my 5 cents change.

He wasn’t interested in giving me any money back, only interested in talking about the MINI as he continued, “Do you think the MINI would fit a man like me that is 6″1′?”

“Ummm, yes….,” can I leave now…

I turned to see the gate open, I rolled up my window and squealed out of the lane leaving my 5 cents change behind.

I wasn’t interested in passengers 😛

The Man and his Fox

The Man and his Fox

VWFoxPhoto from BP

Truth be told, I have a bad habit of gasing up my car at the very last moment. I normally pay at the pump, it is fast and efficient but today I needed washer fluid.

I was walking into the station to pay when he pulled up in a 1980’s Volkswagen. Black. Two door. Manual transmission. I admit, I took a double take.

Is that fine-boxed-machine really gas powered?

I payed, picked up my washer-fluid.

Out at my car, I popped the hood and started filling up my empty washer-fluid. Bending over the front of my car making sure that I wasn’t spilling the fluid all over my engine I noticed out of the corner of my eye a shadow approaching.

“I hope you don’t mind,” I heard a male voice.

I could only guess it was from the man who had pulled up in his Volkswagen Fox only moments earlier. I looked up at him. He had his sunglasses pulled down to his nose and had a smile on his face. He didn’t seem so interested in me, more interested in my popped hood.

“I really like small engines and I just haven’t seen under the hood of a MINI, do you mind?” he asked.

“Sure, here it is,” I offered, pointing out the obvious.

He looked it over as I stood there awkwardly giving him commentary on how I ended up with a MINI and how I hadn’t driven or sat in a MINI until the day I picked up my car from the dealership, detailing how much I loved driving my car.

In the middle of my dialogue, he rose slightly on his tippy toes, pointed with his finger and in a high pitched voice he declared, “And it has a little TURBOCHARGER!!!”

He was beside himself in excitement!!

“Make sure you keep on top of changing the oil, that will give longevity to your Turbocharger.” He could hardly contain his delight.

“It’s also manual transmission,” I lightly added.

REALLY!,” his voice going an octave even higher, “Manual transmission IS the only way to drive a 4-cylinder!!” He stated with certainty.

A man after my own heart 🙂