When my family moved to South Africa in 1989, we got a cream Toyota Corolla. It was hot. So so so hot. I remember when I first got the “privilege” of washing the car. I say privilege carefully because as young kids we were always looking to take up responsibility. Once it becomes a chore, we become so over it. Anyway, after washing it, each and every time I would stop and say WOW. This car is amazing… Shining like new. Reaching supersonic speeds of 180 km/h. Cassette player. AM/FM Radio. Wow, absolutely amazing. It doesn’t get better than that. (Yes ladies and gentlemen, I made it through the stone age).
The problem with a 1989 Toyota Corolla is that somehow the calendar dates move past 1989, and a 1989 Toyota Corolla is not so amazing in 1999. So when all the other cool kids’ parents had CD shuttles in their cars, it became a must have. It doesn’t matter that my parents didn’t own any CDs. It doesn’t matter that all we listened to in the car was SAFM on repeat (I know you did too, that’s why I can say this comfortably).
When I started driving, this was the car I started with, the 1989 Corolla. Funny thing is I started driving in 2006, when I was in my 1st year of university. Oh yes, that 1989-mobile was still running strong (ofcourse with occasional embarassing breakdowns on the side of the road). Oh yes, I was pimping hard, and all the girls came running after me just like they ran after Bow-Wow in that video of his. Whenever I drove slow through the streets of my home town with my chair back down and my suspension lowered, I caused slow motion stares and jaw-drops, just like in the hip hop videos with the video girls. (All of this is fictional. Sometimes I need to use imagination to feel good about myself. And now I feel good 🙂 ).
At the University of Cape Town, there was absolutely no way I was going to bring that 1989-mobile. Who cares if it still moved fine. Who cares if it catered for all my needs and could get me from point A to point B. How in the world can I be driving such a car when that girl is driving an M3? How can I be rocking a cassette deck when that guy has a DVD player in his car. NEVER. I’m just way too cool for that.
In my final year of university, I got a Black Clio. Yes, shiny black. The type of shine that justifies those idiots who wear sunglasses at night (Yes You – You look stupid so STOP IT!). It had the latest accessories – CD Player! Electric windows! Power Steering! Seatbelts!. I was such a bawse.
This was all until I moved to Sandton Johannesburg. For some reason, it seems like entrance requirements for Sandton is a Golf 5 or above. Or an SLK. That black Clio of mine just didn’t seem like such a bawse car anymore. Especially when the girl in weave and the sunglasses as big as her windscreen pulls up next to me in a Golf 6. (A friend of mine came up with a theory that the longer the weave, the more… [umm, maybe I should stop at this point in fear of being attacked by a, umm… provider]). When that girl pulls up to me, a part of me feels that I actually need to get a new car in the near future.
When did what we have become insufficient? When did someone else’s stuff become what we really need? When did life stop being simple, and start becoming about the pursuit of perceived happiness? When was the 1989-mobile not good enough?
Disclaimer: I have nothing against weaves. Actually I lie. But I have nothing against people who put on weaves. I don’t think they are inherently materialistic. That would be a generalisation. And those things are bad. As bad as singing “Kill the Boer”. Or singing “Call me Mr. Flinstone, I can make your bedrock”. Just bad.