Thursday, August 25, 2011

My steel horse


Since I was a little girl I wanted a shiny car. And yes, I was pretty sure what kind of shiny car that needed to be. I had no doubts, nobody could talk me into something different and I wasn’t gonna change my mind.

Because I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 19 (in Holland you can’t get your license until you are 18) I was a little behind on the majority of teens. I didn’t mind because I was still working hard and saving my money for my dream car. But because I had to drive something, my mom and dad got my sister and I a little car to share. She was gonna take it one week and I the other. The weeks that we didn’t have the car we had to take the bus and train to get to school. The car was a good car and i was very grateful that my parents let my sister and i have one, but I wasn’t mine…


Finally after several years of working every weekend, every after schools hour and vacation period,  I had enough money saved up and so I bought my first BMW! I was so happy! So proud and I felt so free! This baby was mine and I did it all myself!!!

The only problem with that car was, (and of COURSE I didn’t admit that while I had it) that it was VERY fuel inefficient. And it would break. A lot! As in maybe, once every month…. Sometimes close to home, sometimes close to school and sometimes right in the middle of where I was going to…

So on a sunny Friday afternoon D. and I were driving home. We had the music on, and we were happy that it was almost weekend. Not that I could do a lot of partying, because I had to work the whole weekend in order to pay for all the fuel and the latest gasket, oil filter or plug for my car… But we were happy anyway and feeling on top of the world driving our own cool car!

In Holland the highways are crowded. And I don’t mean crowded like here, no, its crazy bumper to bumper three/ fourths of the way home. So while we were in the left lane, called the “fast” lane and creeping forward at about 5 miles an hour, smoke started coming out from under the hood….

I whispered to D., “D. this is not good!?!”, and it wasn’t good at all… we had major overheating problems…  Because the highway was so full of cars we couldn’t go to the right lane and park in the grass besides the highway, nobody would let us true anyway…


So after some more panicking we decided to park in the middle part of the highway. And yes we know that this is STRICKTLY FORBIDDEN. But we didn’t know what to do and I wasn’t gonna let my car do any more damage to itself!!! I needed my baby!

So we park the car on the “wrong” side, open the hood and check. I don’t know much about cars but I thought it was some kind of hose that was busted. D. thought the same. While we were standing there lots of cars honked. Lots of “friendly” faces that were laughing AT us. BUT nobody stopped!!! So were standing there besides the highway, car smoking, two desperate looking young girls, and NOBODY stopped…

After some 15 minutes of looking at the hose and getting more and more frustrated by all these people not stopping to help us, finally a truck driver stops at the good (right) side of the road and comes over. He looks in the car and concludes that it is indeed a hose… “Oh well, tough guy we already knew that but thanks for stopping”.

And then things started to click... or so we thought…

While our truckdriver was standing there staring at the hose, a police car stops right behind my parked car…. 

“YOU CAN’T STAND HERE!!!” he yells while exciting his cop car.  I was trying to explain to him that I knew that but that we didn’t have no other choice and I was a little bit surprised that he didn’t ask if we had an accident or something and if somebody was hurt. Nope, he didn’t ask anything at all, he just yelled that we weren’t supposed to be here! The bad thing was; the truck driver didn’t like the police…

And so he starts yelling (to the policeman!!!) that those girls (D. and I) had car trouble and that we could park anywhere we wanted! So while D. and I thought that this couldn’t go any worse, it got worse!

The policeman and the “good Samaritan” are yelling and were just standing there besides the highway and wondering what is going to happen next.

Finally the policeman had enough and tells the truck driver to go away or he is going to get a ticket. After some more cursing, screaming and yelling…!!!  He finally left. In the mean time the police man apparently called some other coppers and they arrive but instead of HELPING US (or even asking us what the matter is) the block off the highway….

Three lanes of highway completely blocked off by police cars…

The policeman yells (again) that we need to go to the other side of the road…


So D. and I hop in the car, drive (really, really slowly, we really felt like royalty too…) to the other side of the road and park it in the grass. And before we even know what is going on, all 4 police cars left…. “What???!!!”

Within no time the traffic is bumper to bumper again, 5 miles an hour and people politely smiling at us… Ohww, what a day!?

Then we realized that one of my housemates who was still at school (in order to get home) needed to use the same highway, so we called him up. He was maybe 5 miles up the road stuck in the same traffic jam. He promised us he would get there as soon as possible and help us out.

What seemed like forever we finally saw his car and he pulled over,  got us hooked up behind his car (which was slightly smaller and less heavy) so the pulling didn’t go as smooth…  But we were on our way again. After some CRAZY driving and towing our car we made it to his house. Changed the troublemaker hose and put in a new hose.  D. and I drove home, with all the windows open and the air at full blast, because we were too afraid the car was going to overheat again…

I dropped D. of at the train station and got home at 9.45 pm. We had left that same day at 1 pm and the drive normally takes us 2 hours….

D. and I have been in a lot of situations like this, but I never sold my car, well not until it was unsafe (as in really, really unsafe) to drive it anymore (I bought a new BMW)… and I never regret one day driving it. I felt on top of the world driving that car. And it made me realize that as long as you believe in yourself, work hard and long for something and you never give up, you will reach the top. Whatever that top might be for you….


...

42 comments:

Out on the prairie said...

Thwy are fun until they break.My kids always call when theirs is broken and I don't like to work on them much.

Furry Bottoms said...

This was a good post. But I don't get it... FOUR police cars just to move your car to the other side, and none of them actually HELPED? Weird!

TexWisGirl said...

well, at least the cops let you get off the highway, but they certainly could have been a bit more helpful...

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I can't imagine the cops just leaving. HELLO! Job description - you're supposed to help people!!

Jill said...

Such an unbelievable story but with such a good lesson. You're amazing!

I once had an accident and totaled my car. Cops wouldn't let me call anyone and just left me sitting there. Couldn't believe it. Now I can.

Garden of Egan said...

I can't believe the cops wouldn't help you! sheesh
At least they could have called someone that could. Unbelievable.

I'm glad you got a shiney new BMW.

don said...

A fascinating account of you, D and the hot car! I'm glad there were no serious crashes while parked on the wrong side. The account of your first car was very interesting as the story advances one event to the other! Nice post.

bon bon said...

i can't believe they just left you there at the side of the road. here in the states, you just need to wear a shorter skirt to get their attention.

Debbie said...

interesting story, i often fell disappointed with police stories!!

on a different note, it isn't really about the metal, it's about doing it on your own!!!

Ellie said...

My goodness but you have some exciting experiences and you tell the story well.
Cars are great until they stop working, then it's just money, money, money. Lol.

Sandra said...

great story and it could be the same story here in USA, people are the same all over the world. enjoyed the tale

Terry M Scott (AKA Terry Mann) said...

Great story, too bad about the police though. Here in Texas I've seen police helping stranded motorists, even changing tires, really!

LindaG said...

I'm really surprised that no one got you any help. :/

But if you can look back on it and smile, then all is good. :)

Have a great weekend!

Julia said...

I always thought that policemen were more helpful than that. That would have left a sour taste in my mouth about policemen in Holland. I'm glad that you got home safely. Yes you are a determined young woman.

I hope that all is well with you and that you got good news. JB

Deila said...

Oh my, what a story. I have had a few, but not with the cops so much. I do have a thing for cars though, that dates back to my teens. I talked my dad into getting a porsche in 1976, and drove that. But after I got married and had five kids, there were times when I had no car at all. Four years ago I got a Lexus IS350, all black, black windows. It has been fun. But we did have mech. problems with the german beast. None with the lexus, but that throttle issue getting stuck under the mat.

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Ever since I bought my first BMW a month ago I have been terrified of it breaking down for some reason. Oy vey! I'm hoping I didn't buy a lemon, but we are taking it in tomorrow because we noticed a small leak on the garage floor. But it is a beautiful automobile! I love your matching red and black ones.

Larkrise garden girl said...

Hi Leontien, Breaking down is the worse thing you don't know who will stop and it's really quite dangerous. I also had a car I loved. I had a MGB and I used to love driving it! There is nothing like driving a sports car just once in your Life.

Roan said...

It's stressful enough to have a break down, let alone having policemen who are NOT helpful.

Dreaming said...

Hey, the cops here are just as stupid and mean. I was riding with my boss when her car died in the left turn lane at a light. It was rush hour. The car wasn't moving. The cop pulled up next to us, told us we couldn't 'park' there... and then drove on! Duh.... we aren't parking on purpose! Idiots! We had lots of police drive by as it turns out there was a funeral for a policeman and cops were coming into town to attend that. After a lonnnnggg time, one friendly cop stopped, then another, and helped block traffic so we could get the car pushed to the side of the road. Geesh!
I hadn't thought of that experience in years! Thanks for evoking the memory!
Yup... reach for those stars!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

My own daughter dreamed of owning a BMW as a child and as a teenager. When she saved up her money for her first (purchased herself) car, she ended up with a sporty little Lexus. She LOVED that car, too. Had to trade it in for a Highlander with the two boys though. LOL!

I cannot believe those police!! That was incredibly irresponsible on their part to leave two young women stranded on the side of the road. Shame on them.

Kudos to you, for your making your dreams come true!! Keep on dreaming, girl! blessings ~ tanna
still praying for good news.

Jeanie said...

Great story....I was most impressed that you just sort of glossed over changing the hose yourself....not something I would know how to do. You did know your beloved car well.

Melodie said...

The adventures of your youth! I am glad it all worked out in the end! My first car was a 1965 Ford Mustang,candy apple red...

TheCrankyCrow said...

Ahhh....Leontien...my weakness is a 1984 Mercedes Benz convertible....Why I keep soaking money into that thing is beyond me...maybe because it is MINE! Thankfully my son is a handy mechanic...unfortunately, parts alone are going to put me in the poor house....Dear Hubby connected the battery wrong and shorted out about $2000 worth of parts...Yikes. And police...don't even get me started on THOSE memories!!! Still praying and holding you so very close in my thoughts friend....Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

geetlee said...

beautifully written, i enjoyed reading this post :)
sounds like you had quite an adventure and cheers for not giving up!

Buttons said...

Oh how I love your stories. They make me smile.
I do love the lesson you learned. You are one smart woman. B

Cinner said...

as I was reading this I kept thinking of your highway travels, those police should have helped you, thank goodness it all worked out. Glad you now have a better car of your dreams. have a great weekend. take care.

Louise said...

I can't believe that those cops didn't help you. What jerks! Around here, the cops may not stop, but, they usually radio the highway helpmobiles and, withing a few minutes of a cop sighting you, there is usually a big truck, full of all kinds of helpful items, pulling up behind you.

Jill said...

Great car experience! I had a Jeep that was just like that! Always getting stranded in the wrong places. Can't believe the cops did not help!!! I once used duct tape to patch a hose long enough to get home.

Dolores said...

Shame on those cops for not helpIng in a better way...".
That was an exciting adventure that I'm sure you'll never want to repeat.....
A good lesson learned.....
Hope you have a great weekend!

Can do mom said...

Wow! The police were certainly no help, were they?

I'm glad your friend was able to give you a helping hand and get you and your "baby" safely home!

We are looking at getting different vehicle. My car is 7 years old and not fuel efficient either. I had always wanted a cool, mid-life crisis car but I think it will end up being a small, fuel efficient car. We'll see...

Cinderella11pm said...

What an eight hour+ nightmare of a bumper-to-bumper-hose-overheated drive you had back then! Thank goodness help eventually arrived. Quite the adventure!

I always do lots of research to try to find a car that is really reliable -- but there's something so fun about a sexy car that, well, you have to do it at least once in your life:)

troutbirder said...

It seems the rules are more important than helping and some common sense.

lisa said...

What a wonderful story Leontien, although I am sure it was not wonderful at the time!
I truly enjoyed reading this!

Sandi said...

Leontien, you are a wonderful teller of story. I enjoy reading your accounts of life.

I am curious, what translation of Bible did you get?

I am "assuming" you have not had a Bible before? Oh, I would be so interested in talking to you as you begin reading!

Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

missing moments said...

Ugh ... unreal! A great story told!

Paula said...

Good advice and good story.

That Janie Girl said...

I've heard that BMW's are a problem waiting to happen...but they are so beautiful!

(I know, just a girly thing, right? Like a pair of beautiful but bad fitting shoes?)

Thanks for your comment on my blog!

barbara l. hale said...

Great story! And thanks so much for the best wishes for our safety. Looks like we will be OK since the storm has been downgraded. I am hoping for the best for everyone in Irene's path.

meandmom said...

My father always wanted a corvette and when he finally got one it was a piece of junk. We would drive down the highway and the horn would be honky for no apparent reason and wouldn't stop.

I am a new GFC follower from the Not So Moody Monday blog hop. Visit my daughter and I at our blog, Says Me Says Mom (http://saysmesaysmom.blogspot.com) where we talk about anything and everything.

Minta's Creations said...

New follower..stopping by from Makobi Scribe blog hop would love a follow back...
people can be so rude sometimes..sorry about you having car problems.
Minta

http://www.mintascreations.blogspot.com/

Mike @JustFindIt4U said...

New follower from the Moody hop, come by and visit me!

Allison said...

Good advice and good story.