While standing by my New Old Honda in the parking lot of the Harbor Point Mall the other day I was watching people enter and leave while waiting for Mayang. Now hanging in parking lots would not be a normal activity for me, but since I am married it does happen once in a while.
What I noticed was that 90% of the owner jeeps coming in and out were driven by Kanos and not Filipinos, the Filipinos were all driving nice cars,. That fact struck me as odd, until I remembered that my first form of personal transportation here back in 1994 was an Owner Jeep. I smiled and thought to myself; “It must be a “New Guy” thing.
Over the years almost 100% of my friend had owned at least one Owner Jeep, and quite a few had bought a second one. My first Owner Jeep had a real roof and doors with roll up windows and you could lock a tilt steering wheel, power mirrors, power steering and power breaks. It was fully enclosed so I could remain dry during the rainy season, and for good measure it was also Air Conditioned, and coil springs on all four wheels.
Like most new arrivals I thought they looked cool and I had to have one, but like most people I only wanted one. A real car I found was the best way to go. I found that for the most part only the guy who built it could repair it as they are nothing but a hodge-podge of parts collected from so many different makes and models of cars.
In my case the biggest mistake I made was not having an automatic transmission installed when it was built. My wife Mayang refuses to use a clutch pedal for any reason what so ever.
One time when we were out, I happened to be a tad over served, and she drove me home from the Barrio to our house in 2nd gear the entire way. I knew that she deserved a car with an automatic transmission after that scary trip.
So back to the mall parking lot and one guy (Kano) parked beside my car and as he exited his Owner I said; “Just moved here, did ya?” he smiled and said yes, how did you know? Ah just a lucky guess. We spoke for awhile and he was lamenting his upcoming first rainy season, knowing those curtains will not keep him dry, to which I point out how hot it would be if he used those canvas doors that were stored in his shed at home.
He said he would give the rainy season a try and buy a real car if it got too bad. I smiled and joked with him and told him not to try and sell his owner until after the rain was over, there is bound to be a few new guys in town by then, who’ll snap it up.
Would I ever buy another Owner, I think not, but honestly I had a lot of fun with the one I had, and if I had to I would do it again, it’s a “New Guy” thing.