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Cars

Trip to Adelaide

I’m finally back from my trip to Adelaide. I’ve always been told that it’s an old, backwards town that barely deserves to be called a city, but to their credit, they had like two skyscrapers there. I assumed that people walked from place to place, or rode on horses. I was expecting a town still stuck in the 1800s. Instead, it seems they’re only stuck in the late 1900s. Not anywhere near as bad as I expected. 

When my grandmother bought me a plane ticket to go visit the city where my family had come from, I was quite taken aback. I didn’t even realise Adelaide had an airport. I didn’t even think its people would know what an aeroplane was. Turns out I’ve been very misled.

When I first landed at Adelaide Airport, I was further surprised to find that many of the people had smartphones. Hang on, I was thinking, where are all the old western-style saloons and the standoffs out on the street? Apparently they don’t do that anymore. As I collected my luggage, I saw a booth where you could rent out a car. That shook me to my core. They had cars in Adelaide? Surely you couldn’t buy a car here or even get auto repair. Around Adelaide, things are supposed to be like the old days. I asked one of the locals and he told me about how he drives everywhere. I was amazed. It really wasn’t what I expected.

With this realisation done, I decided to rent out a car, rather than take the train everywhere. Of course, I was surprised that Adelaide had trains, since those were around in the 1800s, but I was surprised at the quality of them. Their trains are just like the ones in Melbourne! Incredible. As I drove through the city, I did indeed see a car mechanic, and a bowling alley, and a theatre. All marvels of the 20th century! It seemed the city wasn’t anywhere near as backwards as I thought.

That was until I got onto Main South Road. Despite being a main road that led to the outer suburbs, the speed limit was only 60 kilometres per hour. What is this barbarism? How could they possibly justify such a speed? So despite my shattered expectations, it turns out Adelaide is a bit backwards.

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Cars

Pancake Society

This is a warning to all humans of the 21st century. The year is 2058 and the world has ended. If you’re reading this, you need to act now. By changing the publishing date of this post, I’m able to send a message back in time, hoping that the great calamity can be prevented through my message.

What caused the end of the world? The apocalyptic wasteland I live in was not caused by global warming or nuclear war. No, it was caused by the wolf in sheep’s clothing, the thing we never expected: pancakes. Sounds crazy, I know, but these days a box of pancake mix can buy you a whole city.

I was at a Ringwood automotive shop when it happened. It was the year 2049 and a broadcast went out to all mobile phones, announcing the new MEGACORP Super Secret Pancake Batter. SSPB was highly anticipated to be the best pancake batter ever created, but even the most optimistic of people couldn’t have expected it to be as good as it was. A few years ago I had the honour of trying just the tiniest bite and let me tell you, it’s like eating pure bliss. The fluffiness is perfect, the taste just the right balance between savory and sweet.

I forgot all about getting a roadworthy certificate near Ringwood and went straight to the local supermarket to pre-order a few dozen boxes. MEGACORP had also announced the pre-order bonus and DLC packs so I wanted to be in early. Ten minutes later I arrived at the store and found everyone there in a massive brawl.

Society quickly collapsed after that. People stopped going to work, MEGACORP factories were raided and neighbourhoods began to turn on each other. If it was rumoured that you had a box of SSPB there was a riot outside your home within minutes. Governments of the world soon made the pancake batter illegal, and that was the end of democracy.

So, I send this warning: on the morning of July 35th, 2049, make sure you’re at a supermarket because you don’t want to miss out on SSPB. Oh, yeah, and if you could somehow find a way to stop society from crumbling, that would be nice too.

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Cars

The Old Garage

There was a really great prank way back where the newspapers all agreed to report that America might have been vacated for several months, due to all the goldmines drying up. This was way back before the internet, and when hardly anyone could afford to make international calls, so you couldn’t just verify it instantly.

It was a wonderful joke and it caused quite a stir amongst people fearing that all the Americans were heading to Australia, in need of a new home. But ultimately, it was not true. Life was just a lot simpler, back then. You went to see Mr Gendo if you needed a car mechanic. Ringwood locals knew he was their guy. There was only Mr Gendo in the area, because it was a poor area and hardly anyone owned their own cars. No roadworthy certificates back then, either. You just got on with your driving and tried to ignore the rattling noises if you didn’t have enough money for the mechanic. Things were built to last then, however.

Mr Gendo gained quite a name for himself, being a mysterious foreigner in a time when you never saw that sort of person running a mechanic’s garage. He was really nice, but very firm. You don’t bother him about how long the repairs were going to take. “It gets done when it gets done,” he would say, sticking the cigar back in his mouth and going back to his work. I was just a kid and I never bothered him, so he’d let me watch the mechanical repairs, and I learned how car servicing worked, and how to repair a brake pad, and multiple swear words in other languages.

No more Mr Gendo. He went back to his family in Japan once he was too old to continue, and multiple auto service centres near Ringwood have sprung up since then. It’s nice to have choice, I suppose. But I can’t help thinking of how things used to be.

-Rolf

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Cars

Time for a ROAD TRIP

Finally, I’ve saved up enough for my holiday. Always wanted to go on a road trip, so I’ve been working towards it for a while. Turns out there are a few more things to think about than just having a car and a couple of friends. Petrol is expensive, planning is a huge hassle, and even if you want to take the free-spirited approach and just take things as they come, there are still things you have to do to make sure you don’t end up stranded in the middle of the outback. I know going on a holiday in the outdoors means that you have to sleep rough sometimes, but…not THAT rough.

I’ll ask my car servicing guy. Never gotten one of those before, which is, uh…that’s bad. I don’t even know if there are South Yarra car servicing places near me, so I guess I’ll have to find out. Before my road trip ambitions, all my car journeys were short and basic. Just to work and back, to food shopping and back, to football practice and back, and that last one is a fifteen minute walk away so that’s pretty shameful overall. But now, I want to take my car on a long drive across country, so it needs a really good servicing. Maybe repairs, because I haven’t really kept it in good condition. Maybe a whole new car? New car, we’ll see. It’s only a one-litre thing with three doors, and I’m thinking that’s not the best combination for driving around Australia. It even protests quite a bit just with me taking it on the freeway, especially if I have a passenger or two.

Is this a bad idea? I’m starting to think it might be, but I need a professional opinion. I’ll have a drive and a think, maybe see if there are garages nearby that can do my car servicing. Glen Iris is close to where I work, and I’ve heard good things about mechanics in the area. If they warn against my driving holiday…I guess there’s always a bus trip. That’s like a road trip except someone else does the driving.

-August