Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Trini Tuesday-I'm a Little Hunk of Tin

I'm a little hunk of tin
No one knows what shape I'm in
Honk, honk, rattle, crash, bang, beep, beep!
Honk, honk, rattle, crash, bang, beep, beep!


jalopy
Continuing with last week's theme of transportation on Trinidad, I am presenting our car. Ain't she a beaut? We got her a few months after we arrived. She was an ancient Toyota Corolla. Trinis tended to favor Japanese cars. There were a few VWs around too. Very rarely would you find an American car. I'm not entirely sure why, nor am I certain if it is still the case but cars were outrageously expensive to purchase, even used ones, even jalopies like ours. Once you owned one, a trip to the mechanic was not as overpriced as it is in the US. That was the bargain. The trick was being able to buy one.

Our little heap up there was quite the piece of work. You can see the stylish two-tone color scheme. Let me tell you more. She had no AC, so she did not provide a cool ride. She leaked like a sieve. In the rainy season it was wise to wear a slicker while riding in her, or else carry an open umbrella. Her speedometer didn't work, but that was ok. You could judge your speed by watching how fast the yellow lines whizzed by through the holes in the floor. She had no suspension. She spent a LOT of time in the shop. Let me tell you, this car was literally such a hunk of junk that when we were robbed (a WHOLE other post) and the gunmen had the keys to it in their hands, they gave them back after they saw the car.

Now, I do not want you to think I am complaining about our little car. Nuh man! Doh get vex wit meh! She was a heap but she was our heap. And she (usually) got us and a whole lot of other people where we needed to be. As I mentioned in a much earlier post, we worked in a squatter village. We didn't necessarily plan on buying such a jalopy but it worked out well. We could park it in a crime ridden area and be pretty confident no one would interfere with it. When we drove to the village we were going over some roads that contained potholes big enough to darn near swallow our little hunk of tin. We certainly didn't need to worry about her good looks being marred by travelling such paths. She was also mechanically uncomplicated (no computers and nonsense). Just pop the bonnet and you only had the basics. Mr. Lime could work on her himself, not like the cars we have now that have to be hooked up to a life support system for the trained mechanics to even tell you what is wrong before you take out a second mortgage to pay for repairs. Heck, I looked under her bonnet and thought, 'Gees, this looks like I could even figure stuff out.'

Back when we lived in Trinidad there were no seatbelt laws so we could cram our little buggy full of however many kids wanted to climb in and get them all to school. Remember, the schools there do not provide transportation so if you don't have a car you pay to go on maxis or in private taxis. The people we worked with were among the poorest on the island and several families had to choose between eating and paying taxi fare. If cramming 10 kids in our car helped ease some of that we were glad to do it.

So there she is, our Trini ride in all her hard working glory.
Happy Trini Tuesday!

21 comments:

M said...

well, i hate to say this but i had a toyota now i have a GM car...

the GM (American) car started breaking down before i had it paid off!

the toyota was reliable! it never had problems.

steve said...

Hey you said it!!

"It got you from A to B!"

Margie Blystone said...

We're a Toyota family!!!... Counting the yellow lines through the holes in the floor... Priceless!

Cosima said...

Cars without dents are soooo impersonal. Anyone can drive those. Takes real wonderful, special people to drive a two-tone :)

barefoot_mistress said...

I had a toyota corolla...bought it with 200,000 miles already on it. It hadnt started in 2 years...after 5 minutes of coaxing, it started up.....we paid $300. for it.

Ran perfectly, looked like crap, had a cracked windshield, the drivers side door would open, there was a huge corroded spot like you east coasters get on your cars from salt or whatever....

I drove that thing to 265,000 and it was still running. Alas, I got pulled over so many times in that "bust on wheels" for how beat up it was, the windshield etc, that Ratburn finally decided to trade it in! YES, they actually took it too, because they knew, it is a Toyota, the engine and transmission were still in great shape......

BTW It was Blue.....sorta..what was left of the paint anyway!

Blither said...

Hmm.. I'd rather have the Maxis Taxi for our strapping young fellows :)

snavy said...

That's the smallest school bus I've ever seen!!

Happy Trini Tuesday!

Amber said...

Reminds me a lot of my first car, except it was waterproof and the doors actually matched the rest of the car.

lime said...

m, i'm with you. before we went to t'dad we had a 'new' chevy nova, which was a corolla in american clothing. great cars.

steve, yep, and that's what mattereed most

margie, teehee

cosima, i should tell you about some of the other vehicles we've owned over the years. you'll think we are on the fast track to sainthood. LOL!!

bare, awesome! i am beginning to think this here blog oughta be called house of corolla.

blither dear, but in the car you may get to sit on a strapping young fellow's lap.

snavy, LOL, even smaller than the short bus!

lime said...

amber, you were quite priviledged, hehehe

Chickadee said...

Hehe. My first car was a Toyota Tercel. No A/C and the passenger side door didn't open...but I loved that car.

Tommy said...

In my day we walked to Trinidad carrying the strapping young men on our backs. Underwater, uphill both ways and had to fight the sharks too. Damn spoiled kids! Grrrrr.
TG

lime said...

chick, a gal after my own heart

tommy, LMAO!!!

James Goodman said...

Oh, I can't wait to hear the robbery story.

This one quite warms the heart though. Even a jalopy can change lives...

Moosekahl said...

Nothing wrong with her if she gets from A to B. My first car was a 1977 Ford Grenada that I got on my 14th birthday (yes, in SD at the time you could drive when you were 14) and when I got it there were only 33,000 miles on it. Same thing...only the basics underneath the hood, roared like crazy on washboard muddy, snowy gravel roads, and could haul half my high school! It was a great car.

Phain said...

i think it's a beaut!

Fred said...

My first car was a 1966 VW Beetle. We could easily get seven people into "Zelmo" for the ride to school.

ttfootball said...

HAHAHAHAHAAA...Lime I was laughing from start to end...prob cuz i have a corsica now thats been handed down from friend to friend and is still goin strong! According to my grandmom: "it goin de same place all de other cars goin"

lime said...

james, well said!

moose, don'ttell my girls aboiut SD!

le chat, thx:)

fred, i love the name zelmo

tt, dat is true!

ttfootball said...

I come back jes to see dat picture again! LOL Lime I cyah believe u drive in dat! HAHAHA wit de "mechanic-now-fix-it-and-we-eh-paint-it-yet door" This is classic! Is that pic on Lady Young Road?

Nancy Drew said...

you were ROBBED??????