06 September 2008

baby you can drive my car part CMXIV and a half

It's been aeons since a cars-I-have-owned post. So here's another one.

I've had several cars that classified as most unreliable car in the world, a 1976 VW Passat was certainly right up there. It was about 10 years old when I acquired it and it had been subjected to ten years of Burmese mechanicking, which meant that (a) it always got going again but (b) the niceties of the workshop manual would have been honoured only in their absence.

It actually went very well when it was going and did make it up to Mandalay and Maymyo with the whole fambly aboard without mechanical mishap, although I recall we did have a small accident coming back to Rangoon. Sharing a narrow, potholed road with buffalos, ox-carts and sundry other natural wonders made for interesting drives, the like of which we really don't get here in godzone.
It was customary in Rangoon to have domestic staff to help around the house, as much a way of getting some money into the community as to actually help although the houses tended to need a lot of care and maintenance anyway.
We did have a driver for a while and when he left we got a young bloke who seemed too good to be true. Indeed. He had great English and a facility with all sorts of things so, even given the unique nature of the economy under the Burmese Way to Socialism, it seemed odd that he was just a driver for a foreigner.
Anyway the car was so unreliable that he eventually gave that as his reason for leaving us and we really had no reason not to believe him.

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