Monday, June 10, 2013
When I knew it was time to say goodbye to my last car, Ljubicica the purple wonder, I looked specifically for cars that I knew would last a long time and settled on buying a Honda civic. I haven't been disappointed. We are going to treat her well and hopefully she'll stick around for another 1-200,000 more.
If you haven't heard how my car earned her name...here is the story:
One week after I bought the car, my roommate got married. My assignment was to pick up food from a few Cambodian establishments to deliver to her reception. I filled my trunk with large trays of vegetables, rice, noodles and such. Lastly, I went to pick up the curry, which would have to fit in my backseat. These Cambodians were not used to catering because they put all the curry into one VERY large metal pot with an ill-fitting lid, weighing about 100 lbs. The 4 Cambodian men looked very perplexed at my car and decided they better tape on the lid with packing tape and put cardboard box under it. I had brought towels to keep things from sliding around and packed them around it. Off I went, with a friend in the back to hold it upright. It smelled wonderful. I must mention at this point that I had never seen or tasted Cambodian curry before and figured it must be very similar to other curries I was familiar with...like Indian curry or Japanese curry...which usually involve large chunks of meat and vegetables with a very thick, spicy sauce. I learned very quickly this was not the case. As I slowly drove down the ever-busy 405 interstate, I heard a sound that I did NOT like. My friend gasped as a stream of red oily liquid poured out of the pot as we turned... She tried with all her might to hold the bent, dented lid down to stop the flow, but really, there was nothing we could do. It gushed out every movement the car made and the towels quickly saturated. When we finally got to the church, we called for help to get the heavy leaking pot out of the car. Several people ran to our rescue, the liquid sloshing out and burning our hands as we pulled it out of my new car. I was finally left to survey the damage: red oil stained my backseat and floor. I laughed in disbelief and got to work cleaning it up best I could. I took it to 2 different auto cleaning places to see what they could do. All I got were stupified looks and broken English offers to vacuum it out. A weekend of shopvac, steam-cleaning tools, carpet cleaner, wipes and scrubbing and I finally got most of it out and looking presentable again. I spent the next few months (summer in Southern California) driving with all the windows down and a bottle of Febreeze to spray every time I got in. Curry residue does NOT smell good days later after being baked in a parking lot all day. The car was officially dubbed Madame Curry in honor of her faint curry aroma she held for the first year.