Let me tell you about the most stressful day of my life. It was in April 2010. I was 22.
I had been in New Zealand for merely a week when, on an early Sunday morning, I headed to Ellerslie racecourse for its renowned car fair. After a long bus ride, I arrived at a huge open parking where cars were displayed for sale by their owners. And I must say… I don’t know much about cars.
I stumbled upon a 1989 Honda Prelude. After a short ride, I purchased it for 1300 NZD. And I was worryingly hoping it wasn’t a lemon…
That’s when things got seriously stressful.
I had driven quite a lot before, in various cars in France and the US. But in these countries, people drive on the right, and cars have their steering wheels on the left. But not in New Zealand!
Even worse, three minutes after I bought the car with manual transmission, I found myself driving on the highway. A mix of fatigue and stress was overwhelming me as I was on the verge of panicking whenever I looked at rear mirrors and couldn’t make sense of what they were displaying. Plus, obviously, I got lost in the city, and couldn’t find a parking place. And whenever I meant to activate my blinkers, I got the wipers starting… which was always followed by more panic and stallings! What a nightmare!
Fortunately, eventually, I did manage to get home, where I immediately went to sleep to recover from this exhausting morning.
My troubles weren’t over though. On the following friday evening, I was about to leave the city when I realized that my left lightbulb was not working! But I had already left Auckland and couldn’t find where to buy a new one before it got too dark to drive. Far in the Auckland suburbs, I slept in the car, in my sleeping bag… The first of many such nights! The next morning I bought a new left lightbulb.
Two months later, my wheeling steer was deviating towards the left on its own. I was then told that this was due to having a front left tyre bigger than the 3 others. Weirdly enough, this was not noticeable for the 2 months! Not by me, nor by any of friends who drove it too.
Eventually, three months after I purchased it, I sold the car for 1100 NZD. I got it from 192,000 km to 199,000km. I’m a bit sad I couldn’t get it to the 200k… Nevertheless, this car got me to unbelievable places throughout the North Island, and I will always keep it close to my heart!
There are many more stories related to this car. But I’ll get to that in other posts!