Thursday, February 28, 2008

Nissan Sentra

My mother gave me her 1992 red Nissan Sentra, after I had "lost" my Mazda Protege' to a SUV that my ex-fiance demanded and wanted. That car lasted for about five years, second longest next to the 1983 Chrysler that my dad had surprised me with.

In 2003, my dad and I were discussing through IMs. He was packing and getting ready to move back to India in few months. He asked if I ever wanted his car. Thinking that I was satisfied with this Nissan Sentra, I said no.

"Are you crazy?! Your dad's car is much better than this Nissan which is getting old!", my mother said to me.

But I felt attached to Nissan Sentra and it was small enough for my needs whereas my dad's car was quite big... more of a sedan type.

One night in October 2003, I, along with other south deaf Asians, hosted a first annual festival. I wore a nice Indian outfit that was re-made from my mother's old wedding sari that was dyed pretty teal green with pink silver border.

After the festival, I quickly changed to regular clothes and took off my contact lenses. I was planning to go to a friend's house and meet some friends there for tea and chat, although it was already 11 pm. I had pre-arranged a baby-sitter for my dog in case I got home real late because I wanted to have fun without worrying about Coral.

I had gotten married few months earlier, in April, and since I lived in a small bedroom of a condo that my roommate owned, I stuffed the back and trunk of my car full of wedding presents, that had not been opened or used yet. I was to move to a new place in two months and thought that the car would hold them for the time being.

Quickly throwing my bag with the Indian outfit and shoes in the back of my car, I proceeded to follow my friend to his house which was about 20 minutes away.

After parallel parking my car on a street of where my friend lived, I ran to catch up with others who were going inside my friend's place.

We had fun chatting, getting to know some people, and exchanging stories while sipping hot tea. Eventually, one by one, others left. It was just me and my friend. I lingered a bit longer, chatting with him, until about 2 am.

Finally, I looked at my watch and said I was due to have lunch with my sister and cousins in few hours so decided to leave.

My friend walked with me to the street. Puzzled, he then asked me, "Where's your car?"

In my corner of my eye, I saw a red car and immediately pointed it out. My friend's face still looked puzzled.

Not understanding the look on his face, I looked closely. It WAS a red car but of different make. I quickly looked around but did not see my car anywhere.

Panicking, I racked my brain, trying to remember where the heck I had parked the car! I was in a hurry to follow others into my friend's place.

Not letting go of hope, I said that perhaps it got towed. After calling the police which seemed like an eternity, they revealed there was no towing incidents in that area.

Finally, it dawned on me that my car could have been stolen.

"No, no no!" I told myself. It can NOT be true!

I sank slowly in the sofa, realizing that I had left all the wedding presents, especially my Indian outfit from my mother's wedding sari in the car!!!!

What an idiot!!!, I repeatedly berated myself.

Due to other more "important" crimes the police had to pursue in the middle of the night, I waited for about four hours before they finally came to my friend's place to take a report.

Glancing at my driver's license, two policemen looked at each other and wrote a brief note: "I am sorry this happened to you but happy birthday!"

To be continued....

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Mazda Protege'

To read how I obtained these two cars, please click here.

After the demise of a "lemon car", Honda Prelude, I leased a 1995 Mazda Protege which turned out to be a quite good car. I liked the features, especially that the radio/clock part could be un-installed with just a click of a button, and the wheel lock.

Unfortunately, I had that car for only two years.

On New Year's eve of 1996, I attended a friend's party. After all the shouting, hugging, and wishing each other greetings at midnight, a friend asked what my resolution was.

I replied I wasn't making a resolution but stating something this time: I will be engaged by this year.

My friend laughed. He replied, "You can't wish something like that on New Years' Eve!"

I shrugged and still maintained my statement.

Then I eventually forgot about it.

On New Year's Day, I bought my very first computer. Excited at this new "toy", for days and months, I would be glued to the screen for hours, laughing and chatting in the chat rooms.

Yet, I was still careful not to invite any loony bins or wackos to my IM chats. I merely ignored those who tried to talk to me.

My sister then visited during spring time from Peace Corps in Africa. Right before she returned, she joked to me, "Hey... don't go and get married without me!"

Although I knew she was just teasing, I suddenly felt this strong premonition that I would meet someone soon.

Two months later, I was chatting with someone that I knew when a strange IM suddenly popped up.

My first instinct was to immediately ignore it when I had this feeling telling me that I should talk to this person.

And one thing led to another.... then we became engaged.

He was a charming man, seeming to have a lot to offer. He was such a gentleman, taking me out to romantic dates, giving me gifts including jewelry.

He seemed to be well -off with his job, obviously being able to afford two cars, which one of them was a black sportscar.

Few months after the engagement, he casually asked if he could trade my Mazda Protege' for a SUV. At first I flatly refused.

After days of cajoling and making promises to me, I finally gave in.

Unfortunately, we were not able to purchase a SUV but leased it instead. We got a 1997 Jimmy GMC.

But the new SUV lasted only a year.

When we broke up, due to various reasons, he promised to continue the two-more year lease payments on the SUV while I borrowed his older car.

To my shock and disappointment few months later, I found out that he had reneged on the payments while still using my SUV. Thus, I was forced to call the police to repossess it.

Of course, he took back his car.

I now did not have any car.

So, my mother sold me her car, a 1992 Nissan Sentra. She went and bought a new one.

Motto: Be careful what you consciously wish for!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Court - Part II

I am back, after a long hiatus!

Although I felt quite relieved that the supposed lawsuit never came, I still worried about the upcoming hearing of my car accident which was booked one year later. Not a day went by without the thought of what would happen looming in my mind.

Meanwhile, I continued with my life, with work, friends, and family. With a help of friend, I took more pictures of the accident scene, preparing to argue with the court in my defense that I did not see the stop sign and I was driving slowly, within the speed limit.

Then the day finally came. I was jittery and nervous, feeling a huge rock pressuring on my shoulder. I could not even think about eating breakfast before going to the court.

Arriving at the same court, I proceeded to a room where my case would be held and waited.

This time, an interpreter showed up, to my half-disappointment.

One by one, the judge called each case.

At last, he called my case. The interpreter and I came forward.

The judge looked around and said, "Your officer who gave you the ticket is not here. He is at a funeral of another officer."

I held my breath.

After a moment of hesitation and looking at my case papers, he replied, "Normally I don't waive any cases that had to do with traffic violation other than speeding, but since you've come here twice, I will waive it. You're free to go".

With that said, I felt like a rock on my shoulder immediately crushing to pieces and never felt SO LIGHT! I heaved a big sigh of relief.

Nodding politely, I left the court. Suddenly, I was hungry and decided to treat myself to a nice lunch.

What miracle could happen twice?!