It was white, had red pleather-ish seats, a giant speedometer in the centre of the dash… and when you took the key out, it carried on running. It was so close to the ground, you were basically sitting on the tar and going over a speed-bump involved all four wheels simultaneously being on the bump.
My first car was a gorgeous, old (very, oh so very old) mini.
I can’t recall when I got it or even who paid for it (I’m assuming it didn’t cost much, and that it wasn’t me) but it was named mini-me. (Wow, so original I know, but I wasn’t given a choice as the Sonop girls joked and it stuck).
I drove it for about 6 months, until my sister took flight to London with her new husband and I inherited my red and white citi golf. Oh the excitement of a 1.8 sport. The white mini-me was quickly forgotten, replaced by the faster hand-me-down that included a banging (read: tinny) sound-system.
Why the sudden mention of the mini? Its funny how seeing something can trigger a string of memories. Is that just an age thing? Well, either way.. the other day in a parking lot near my own – I saw a little green mini. Probably a students’. Or an old lady’s. And it reminded me. Reminded me of so much – a time, when my biggest worry was getting to a class (or not), or making sure I had cheese for a toasted sandwich. Where all my possessions were in a single bedroom. Where my best friend was two bedroom doors away from me. Where hanging out of our windows to talk to each other, or to someone on the road was normal.
It was a simple time. It had its complications.
But what struck me was how I so quickly forgot those times, as I moved onto the next chapter. Sort of the same with the car I guess. We move on so quickly. We change jobs, homes, countries even and we adjust and adapt so quickly. The fear of the change sometimes dominates, but within a few weeks the existence in the new environment feels completely natural, and the previous car/job/house/country seems like a weird dream. A dream you were in, but not entirely – almost like one of those semi conscious ones. Because the present has your attention. Until the next change. Where you replace your now with nicer, better, more fun – and this time too will be forgotten. Cars, jobs, houses, people.