Goodbye to My Jetta (a re-cap)

1 Oct

You remember my beloved, yet deeply flawed purple Jetta.  I loved that car!  It was purple, compact, fuel-efficient, and my first car ever.  I learned to drive in that car, my dad and I on the back roads of Mark Twain, while I learned to shift from first to second.  It took hours.  It’s the hardest part you know–getting started in first, then getting to second.  This is where people “kill it.”  I was number one at stalling that Jetta–the clutch was really long, and required great timing.  Only thing more technically advanced than getting out of first gear without stalling is doing it on a hill–and just forget it if there’s rain, snow, or heaven-forbid ice on that hill.  At any rate, I failed my first driving test in that car–with the clutch squeaking shrilly.  I passed the second test in it.  Drove countless time between Nevada and Missouri.  Seriously–I’m not sure how many times I made that drive, but it was too many, and I’ll never do it again.  I felt cool driving the Jetta too.  It seemed hippys and yuppys alike could get down with the VW.  I felt like one of the popular kids driving that car around.

Sure the Jetta had it’s problems.  The check engine light was always on.  No matter what, and from practically the very beginning.  Even the dealership would say, “That’s normal, it IS a Volkswagen!”  Passing inspection became a strategic race against time.  I had to pour more brake fluid in before I drove anywhere for the longest time, because there was a leak, but no one could find WHERE.  I changed my share of tires, replaced the windshield numerous times, and lost every last hub cap and stripping on the side of the car.  If I glued it back on, it would just melt off the next week.  Also, if I drove in a puddle, it would just drift to a stop, and not start again until the undercarriage completely dried out.  This was not an exceptional condition to have in Seattle, P.S.  And of course things would rattle, or it would overheat for no reason.  Every long trip in that car was terrifying–you never knew if it was just a Volkswagen superficial problem, or if that was going to be THE END, and you would be left stranded.  But I loved that car.

Last year, Seattle’s hills and constant rain killed my Jetta.  I cried–hard.  Like a sobbing cry of despair and misery.  One for the sentimental loss, two because there was no means to get a replacement, and three, the biggest reason of all, was my loss of independence.

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