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64 (Farewell Gruti | さよならグルーティ)

October 26, 2010

I apologize to Gruti for taking such a bad picture of her…
グルーティに申し訳ないくらいダメな写真になってしまいました。ごめんね、グルーティ、、、

A few days after the “police” incident, Yuval purchased a new car. It is a used 1998 Toyota Corolla, so not technically “new” but new to us. You know what I mean.

Riding in it for the first few times was a weird sensation. Compared to the heavy duty, loud, and grumbling car that Gruti was, this car felt almost too smooth and light as a feather. Every other second brought a pleasant surprise.

The blinker works on the first try. On both sides!
The speedometer works. No more guessing!
No more grunting from the car when we go over 100 km/hr. This actually caused Yuval to go past 120 km without realizing it!
What a treat that both back doors open from the outside (no need to reach in and open from the front window)!
I feel so 2010 locking and unlocking the car with a… remote!
And gone are the days when we leave the car unlocked most of the time. Yuval even added insurance against robbery!

And more than anything… there’s air conditioning. Repeat, there’s air conditioning. Too bad it’s nearing the end of October and summer has supposedly ended. But this is Israel. I’m sure we can count on a few more unexpected hot days.

But as we ooed and aaahed over the new car, I found myself missing Gruti. Before her engine broke down, I had felt invincible riding in her. She was heavy and noisy, but sturdy. I never cared to know much about cars but after riding Gruti, I can appreciate all the talk about the stability of German cars (Gruti was a 1986 Audi). And as rusty as she was, she had style. No offense to the best selling car in my home country, but there’s not much sexy about the Toyota Corolla. It’s practical more than anything (and there’s nothing wrong about that).

Gruti will always have a special place in my heart because she was my very first car. I got my driving license in Japan about 8 years ago but hardly drove until now. She was the one I practiced on after a handful of touch-up driving lessons, which never failed to cause mild heart attacks on Yuval. Eventually I learned to drive on my own, even if it was just to the gym that was less than 10 minutes away. I’ll never forget how soaring it was on my very first solo drive, with the windows down, just Gruti and me. It was one check off of a long list of things that had made me uncertain about coming to Israel. Things I knew I had to face but wasn’t sure if I would be able to. But here I am, driving.

Gruti was also the car that accompanied Yuval and I on our earlier excursions, soaking up our sweat in the heat of summer as Yuval introduced me to Israel. I am sure we will be telling numerous stories that will include her. Gruti, I will miss you.

「警察」事件から数日後、ユバルが新しい車を購入しました。と言っても1998年のトヨタ・カローラの中古車なので、そういう意味では決して「新しく」はありませんが、私たちにとってはおニューの車。

初めの乗り心地はなんとも言えない感覚でした。極めて頑丈で、うるさくて、ごっつかったグルーティに比べると、この車は滑らかすぎるぐらい滑らかで羽のように軽く感じました。そして毎秒ごとに新たな発見が。

ウィンカーが一度で作動する!左右両方とも!
スピードメーターが壊れてない!もうあてずっぽうで運転しなくて済む!
100キロ超えても車が苦しそうな音をたてない!(このおかげで気付かないうちうにユバルが120キロ出してた時がありました)
後部座席のドアが通常に開く!(もう前の席の窓から手を突っ込んで開くことはなし!)
リモコンで車をロックするなんて、、、すごい「今」風!
そしてほとんど車をロックしない日々はもうおしまい。ユバルが盗難のための保険を追加したし!

でも何より、、、クーラーがちゃんと動く!!もう10月下旬で夏も終わったらしい今、のタイミングがちょっと残念ですが。でもここはイスラエル。異常に暑い日は間違いなくあるでしょう。何日も。

しかしさんざんわ〜きゃ〜言いながらも、グルーティを恋しく思う自分がいました。エンジンが故障するまでは、グルーティは乗ってて無敵だと感じさせてくれる車だったのです。ずっしりしててうるさかったけど、本当にたくましかった。車には全く興味も知識もなかったけどグルーティに乗ってから、良く耳にした「ドイツ車の安定感」が理解できました(グルーティは1986年製のAudi)。そしてさびれていたけれでもなんと言ったらいいのだろう、センスがあった。母国で一番売れている車を悪く言うつもりは全くないけれどカローラにはセクシーさが全くない。「実用的」以外に表す言葉が思い浮かばないのです(全く悪いことではない)。

グルーティはいつまでも私の中で特別な存在であるでしょう。なぜなら、一番最初の車だったからというのがまず一つ。日本で約8年前に免許を取りましたがほとんど今までペーパードライバー。こちらに来てから再度運転に慣れるレッスンを数回受けてから、練習を重ねたのもグルーティ。ユバルは助手席で何度もひやひやする思いだったでしょう。そしていずれ一人で運転できるようにもなったのもグルーティと。ほとんど10分以内のジムにしか一人では行ってませんが。一番最初に一人で運転した時の爽快感は忘れられません。窓を全開にして、グルーティと私だけ。イスラエルに来るか迷っていた時、不安の原因になる長いリストの中に入っていたのもこの運転。でもこうやって運転できているのです。

グルーティは私がイスラエルに来て間もない頃、あらゆる場所へ旅をした車でもありました。真夏の暑さの中、汗だくになりながらみたイスラエル。そこにはいつもグルーティの存在がありました。今後、思い出話には何度も登場すると思います。グルーティ、I will miss you!

Much love,
Kaori

5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 27, 2010 10:55 pm

    We live next door to Gruti’s twin sister, only she’s been with the same owner her whole life. When the owner starts the car, it makes the most horrendous noises for about fifteen minutes that reverberate up and down the street until the motor gets warmed up. Neighbors complain all the time, but the guy got the car certified as a historic vehicle or something with a special license plate, so we have no choice but to tolerate it. He has a newer version of the car that he drives most of the time, but there must be something about white Audis from the ’80s that inspire nostalgia in their owners🙂

    • October 28, 2010 8:41 pm

      Your comment made me laugh out loud! How heartwarming it is to know Gruti has a twin sister who is alive and well🙂 (Although not so good for you, I imagine)
      I can tell you I’ll never look at an Audi the same way again, especially the older ones!

  2. Yuval permalink
    October 28, 2010 9:08 pm

    Girls you are breaking my heart here!!

    Grutti was in the family for more then 7 years and has served both me and my brother so well.

    I took it upon returning from Japan 15 months ago, meaning to use it for a month or two, until I’ll decide what to do, and couldn’t bring myself to get rid of such an amazing car.

    I know it looks old, it doesn’t have all the gadgets and luxuries of the newer, more (well, MUCH more) modern cars, but it was a fine driving machine!
    until the last few weeks, when her engine died, it was a pleasure to ride it. strong, sturdy and more powerful then any other car out there (not to mention that when you drive such an old car, NOBODY is playing chicken with you).

    I like our new Toyota, but if it wasn’t so damn stupid to fix such an old car, I would have kept it going for years (and yes, there is definitely something about those old Audis from the 80’s)🙂

    • October 29, 2010 9:29 am

      you know i love gruti with all my heart bebe!
      and that i would continue to drive her if we could🙂

Trackbacks

  1. 82 (A Restaurant in Haifa | ハイファのレストラン « much love, kaori – letters from Israel

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