I'd say it was about due. I hadn't paid for a costly repair on my Saab for two years. Last Friday it overheated and blew a coolant hose with a big "POP!" in my lucky spot--right across from the AIC campus in Springfield. It spewed green coolant all over the road and the engine compartment. Although I won the Model Congress competition on the campus, on the opposite side (State St) I was robbed and nearly carjacked three and a half years ago. I should probably avoid that area in the future. My friend Emily was visiting me, too, so it was rather embarrassing. At least it happened during the day, because the abandoned house at the spot where I pulled over was marked on the sidewalk with "CRIPS" and the 6-pointed star. Oh, Springfield... Thankfully my folks pay for AAA membership, so I had a free tow.
After a few days with Walts Brothers Auto in West Springfield, the Saab is back with me! I really do love my car... I just wish I could live without it. I've owned it since I was 16, when it gave me my freedom from suburbia. I have a special emotional bond to my Saab (her name is Suzy). There's nothing like turning a corner and hitting the accelerator at 25mph in second gear for a huge boost from the turbo, making a shot for 50. I doubt that you could find a car of the same age (14 years) that's just as much fun and still gets 32mpg on the highway. Despite my strong bond with Suzy Swede and all of the fun she gives me, owning a car is still a big headache. It's also not environmentally-friendly. I dream of living car-free in a truly walkable neighborhood, where I can walk to everything including my job. For any place not within walking distance, I want to be able to ride my bike or take the train. I talk a lot about selling my car. I might actually do it when I go to grad school. Still, I face the emotional dilemma of most any other American who might want to give up their car because of the money, the hassle, the environment, or any other reason but has a hard time going through with it because in our culture we love our cars.