Greener Grass

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.

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