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Old 21st December 2011, 11:33   #1
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The background:

It started about 4 years ago. TheOne® and I were considering the possibilities of being in a cross-cultural love relationship. She lived in germany and I in India. We would spend hours chatting on skype and discover new wonderful things about each other.

Romantic days indeed. (Guys, please stop making those puking gestures, that's just rude!)

During one of those long and interesting conversations:

I am on my way to work.
You're driving to work? I hope you have a hands-free speaker.
No, I'm not driving.
You're in the train?
No I'm not in the train, I'm in my car.
Who is driving then?
My driver.


A long pause.

Driver?
Yeah.
A chauffeur?
Yes.
You have a chauffeur?
Yes.
Didn't you tell me 3 days ago that you had a cook?
Yes.
You have a driver and cook?
Yes.
I'm grinning.

What are you? Some kind of prince or royalty in India?

--------------

Cut to scene 2 years later. TheOne® now lives and works in Mumbai and every morning a driver takes her to work.

What else? I mean if you consider the fact that
  • Europe drives on the other side of the road (even though she has driven in South Africa and Botswana in the past)
  • Nobody honks. Honking is identical to saying something very rude indeed.
  • If there is a law, people will usually follow it.
  • It is stressful to drive in Mumbai and by the time you reach work, especially if your workplace is far away, you are drained.
  • A good-looking white woman at the wheel will generally invite a little more trouble than usual.
  • parking is a major hassle.
I could go on for a while,we had reasons enough.



But so it came to pass that every morning the driver would pick her up and take her to work.


Getting a driver that spoke English properly was another story. But literally, that is another story.

Last edited by GTO : 21st December 2011 at 18:15. Reason: Moving a couple of your posts to the start of the thread, so that users don't have to search through xx pages for your posts. Thanks
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Old 21st December 2011, 11:33   #2
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TheOne® did drive, on occasion. Usually the occasions when we go out partying and Akbar (my driver) was not on duty.
She is usually the designated driver on such days. Did she drive well? Was she able to cope with the chaos of the traffic?

I don't remember.

But then past midnight there isn't much traffic in Mumbai and I always woke up safe and sound the next morning without any scratches, dents or dings. So all must be well. I guess.

But then a few months ago something happened.

It had been 3 years since she had moved to India. TheOne® got a new job. Her new office was roughly about 3kms away from our home. Things changed quite quickly after that.

Primarily, the daily routine changed.

The office would only allow parking of self-driven cars. So the driver would take her to work, 5 minutes later return home. Chill out with the watchmen, scratching himself and drinking chai all day.
Then he would take her lunch cooked at home.
5 minutes later he would return and chill out with the watchmen, scratching himself and drinking chai all day. On certain days he would order coffee. Nescafe, is what one watchman told me.

What could be done, it wasn't his fault. He was a good man, but an idle mind is the chaiwalla's workshop.

And then, one day it happened.

I feel awful about having a driver with no work to do.
uh huh
It just feels so stupid to pay him every month and to know fully well that I don't need him.
How will you get to work then? Rickshaw/taxi?
I could drive.

Long pause.
I stop doing whatever it is that I am doing, turn slowly and stare at her.
You want to drive?
Why not? You don't think I can drive in Mumbai?
pretends to hold a steering wheel and then pretends to honk repeatedly by pressing the imaginary centre.
Beep beep? You don't think I can do it? Beep Beep?

I laugh. You want to drive yourself?
Suuuuure!! I can do it as well as anyone else. Better even.
I have been driving for years and years.
OK so do it. I will give the driver notice.
I won't drive this crappy car. I want a new one.


Oh dear. Clearly this is not a solution of economies.

What kind of car?
I think I would like a nice small hatchback car.
Continues to hold the imaginary steering wheel with one hand and practices honking the horn with the other.

We think about it for a while. A whole day. And the decision is made.

Beep beep!! We're buying a small hatchback for the lady.

Last edited by GTO : 21st December 2011 at 18:22. Reason: Moving a couple of your posts to the start of the thread, so that users don't have to search through xx pages for your posts. Thanks
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Old 21st December 2011, 11:33   #3
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It started with Maruti-Suzuki. I love the brand, have a good connection with them at work and like it or not, they provide good consistent service and make strong reliable hatchbacks.

I thought of a good economic entry-level Maruti. The A-star. Looks fairly feminine to me and sounds like a fine city car.

TheOne® had never heard of the A-star. Let me look at it online, she says. I assure her that there are plenty of colours and it is a nice zippy car and she will enjoy it.

Sorted, thought I. All she has to do is choose a colour.

That evening.

I hate it.
What?
I hate it, it looks stupid.
Stupid?
Look at the way it looks, upfront, see the face it looks just... dumb.
Dumb?
Yes dumb. Why are you repeating the last word of every sentence I say with a question.
Question?


So that's it. The A-star is cancelled. End of debate.

Tell me something. Is this Ritz car called the Suzuki Splash in Europe?
Ummm.. could be.
Yes this is a Suzuki Splash
she says confidently.
You like this car?
Yes. It is way better than the A-star anyway. And yes it is a good car. My mom drives a splash.
So you want a Ritz?
Yeah why not. Let's go see the car.

Last edited by GTO : 21st December 2011 at 18:22. Reason: Moving a couple of your posts to the start of the thread, so that users don't have to search through xx pages for your posts. Thanks
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Old 21st December 2011, 11:33   #4
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Default YetiBlog® - TheOne® buys a car. (VW Polo 1.2 )

Hello there,

I think some of you would be pleased that I finally am back with another little story. Most of you will be pleased to read that it is another car purchase decision story.

A little story of my wife's decision to buy a car and drive it herself on the streets of mumbai. More amusing since she is European and moved to India 3 years ago.



Some basic disclaimers
  • Opinions expressed in this thread mostly belong to my wife. Just like I do. She is a woman as most of you know, and women have a different take on everything. Please do not consider any negative opinion on any vehicle as offensive (especially if you own such a vehicle) - I will not get into a "this car vs that car" debate, I am NO car expert.
  • The car is already purchased so as much as I would love your inputs, don't tell me what car to buy. It is bought already.
  • I have hardly any pictures, sorry. Maybe one or two. I hope my words will keep you interested and amused.
And so, here we go.
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Old 21st December 2011, 11:37   #5
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Default re: YetiBlog® - TheOne® buys a car. (VW Polo 1.2 )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
Some basic disclaimers
[list][*]The car is already purchased so as much as I would love your inputs, don't tell me what car to buy. It is bought already.
Okay, so which car is it? Will she be driving it herself?? In that case most of the inputs would be about Mumbai traffic
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Old 21st December 2011, 11:47   #6
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Default re: YetiBlog® - TheOne® buys a car. (VW Polo 1.2 )

The disclaimer says it all that this one is going to be a very interesting read for a ownership report.
So anxiously looking forward for it.
Keep us entertained. Come on!!
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Old 21st December 2011, 11:48   #7
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Default re: YetiBlog® - TheOne® buys a car. (VW Polo 1.2 )

Sam and TheOne, Congrats on the buy. Wish TheOne have a hassle free ride and Ownership .

Waiting to see some pics and hear TheOne's experience on driving in Indian Road's and Mumbai's [Teriffic] Traffic
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Old 21st December 2011, 12:16   #8
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Default re: YetiBlog® - TheOne® buys a car. (VW Polo 1.2 )

Sam, moved this thread to Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports. Car is already bought so it can't be on the section you started with.
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Old 21st December 2011, 12:26   #9
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Default re: YetiBlog® - TheOne® buys a car. (VW Polo 1.2 )

Post deleted by the Team-BHP Support : Please do NOT post one-liners that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the overall quality of this forum.

Please read our rules before proceeding any further.

Last edited by GTO : 21st December 2011 at 18:09.
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Old 21st December 2011, 12:39   #10
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Default re: YetiBlog® - TheOne® buys a car. (VW Polo 1.2 )

Very interesting read, indeed.

Yeti is quite popular with (unconventional) women in Delhi. My friend from our am-motoring club, who is a Veterinary Doctor employed with an MNC, used to ride a bike (read motorcycle) to work everyday.

Then she got married and things changed. She was required to be more ladylike and was asked by her in-laws to choose a more (ahem!) dignified ride.

She finally chose the Yeti (in silver) and quite enjoys driving it.

Footnote : She still rides the bike when in-laws are not around.
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Old 21st December 2011, 12:39   #11
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Default re: YetiBlog® - TheOne® buys a car. (VW Polo 1.2 )

Really? They will bring a car home? We don't need to go to the showroom for a test drive? On a SUNDAY??
Her eyes go really wide as I laugh.

Welcome to India. The land where even the cheapest customer expects and gets the highest level of service.

This Sunday, a sales officer will arrive to our home with a Maruti Ritz. We will be able to drive the car and make our purchase decision.

Adequate research and discussions have already gone into this matter.

I see no reason why we should buy anything more than a basic Ritz with power windows and power steering. We need nothing else clearly.
But there are situations.

A lot of features that are standard in Europe are present only on the highest variant of this car, the Zxi.
An example height adjustment. Consider that my wife is a good 5'10". Height adjustment is important for many people.

Add to that the fact that the Zxi has ABS and Airbags and alloy wheels. How can Airbags be a feature?
Alloy wheels?
Yes. These nice fancy wheels that don't look like ordinary steel wheels and are made of a composite alloy metal that give better performance...
Sam, really?
Ok, they just look better and cooler.


The lady from Spectra motors is going to come home on Sunday morning. And she will bring a Zxi Ritz for my wife to drive.


Quote:
Yeti is quite popular with (unconventional) women in Delhi.
He is popular in Mumbai as well. But yes, with mostly unconventional women. And a few men too.

Quote:
She finally chose the Yeti and quite enjoys driving it.
My wife chose the Yeti and enjoys driving him up the wall.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 21st December 2011 at 12:42.
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Old 21st December 2011, 12:47   #12
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Default re: YetiBlog® - TheOne® buys a car. (VW Polo 1.2 )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
We think about it for a while. A whole day. And the decision is made.

Beep beep!! We're buying a small hatchback for the lady.

Hey Sam , happy to read another one of you awesome write ups . I love em .

I guess the decision is already made when the lady decides , we merely nod our heads , dont we ?

And when we say we're buying a small hatch back , you mean , Jenny is buying a hatch back and you are merely (reluctantly ) paying for it ..

I had a similar story when we set out to buy a two wheeler for my gf and that too in PUne which has a horrible two wheeler traffic . I still worry whenever she goes out on the scooter . lol ... welcome to the world of worries ...
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Old 21st December 2011, 12:58   #13
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Default re: YetiBlog® - TheOne® buys a car. (VW Polo 1.2 )

Baba Samananda is back and how !!! Nice little reparties add to his impressive writing And yes, I was in teh same situation about 2 months back. To cut long story short, I chose the BEAT and she cose the colour (cocktail green) . Without diverting from the topic, Baba please ...we are waiting for more.. Where art thou?
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Old 21st December 2011, 13:19   #14
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Excellent start, waiting for the story to unfold. Last i read your superb purchase thread was not a member then so couldnt post only appreciate and laugh on the pun liners on accord and paisa vasool.

This time lucky to see it all hapoen first hand. Please keep going
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Old 21st December 2011, 13:24   #15
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Default re: YetiBlog® - TheOne® buys a car. (VW Polo 1.2 )

... and the Zxi has a stereo system too.

I give the lady a look. I don't really need the stereo system, I'm going to throw it out anyway.

And so it comes to pass that on a Sunday morning at 11am, I am sitting in the front seat of a Maruti Ritz with my wife as she drives it straight to the seaface.

As she drives i take a good look at the car. As does the other car lover in our household, Akbar.

Kaisa dikhta hai gaadi. Jaisa uska kamar tootela hai. (The car looks like its back is broken). He stands behind the rear dicky door with one hand on his back, bending backwards like an old man with a broken back and does his best imitation of the rather unique rear styling. Clearly Akbar doesn't like the car. But this isn't about Akbar, is it?

The dashboard is covered in some kind of strange blue stuff. It looks sporty I guess, but I'm rather used to seeing greys and black moulded ABS dashboards.
Nice sporty like tachometer poised on top.

She;s driving merrily, taking turns and yes, honking.

Madam bahut solid gaadi chaalati hai says a grinning Akbar from the back seat. Clearly he has decided to join in the test drive.

And? I ask her in German.
Yeah.
She replies in a kind of yeah that only a married man would understand. It starts rather positively and somewhere towards the middle of the yeah the tone rises slightly making it more interrogative and ends in a question.

After about 20 minutes of zippy driving along the coast she asks Akbar to drive so she can sit in the back.
Ummm OK I guess.

As we both sit in the back, the sales lady is singing paeans about the amazing little Ritz.
Me, I'm pretty sold on the car and ready to take the cheque book out.

And so? I ask, grinning. A knowing question, what can possibly go wrong with this car. All she has to do is choose the colour.

I don't like it. She says in German.

CRASH! No this is not Akbar driving. This is my little bubble bursting.

You don't like it?
No. I don't like it at all.
You don't like it at all?
It looks cheap.

Cheap?
Will you stop repeating every last word with a question?
What is cheap with this car?

Oh the..
. she looks around. Just the feel. The upholstery, the seats, the seat belt, the dashboard, the door plastic, the window switches the way the door closes with this tin sound, the...

What's wrong with you? Are you comparing this to the superb?


No. I don't like this car.
Well this is what you get in India for 5 lacs something.
I don't want it. I will not buy this car.


So sir when shall I send somebody to collect the cheque?
I turn to the lady oblivious to the German veto.

I need some more days to decide
, say I.

Oh dear.


-----------------------------------------------------------------

Once again, I mean no offense to any Ritz owners or disrespect to the car itself. The Ritz is a great car. This is a European opinion and the European standard of vehicles and their expectation levels of interior trim is very different from japanese/korean counterparts.

This is all only the opinion of my wife. Who is a picky woman.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 21st December 2011 at 13:43.
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