“I think I’ve got a car for you!” Dad said, two days before I was set to arrive in Tauranga for the Christmas break. “We can pick it up after you arrive at the airport.”
I had gone car-less for most of my life in Wellington. I mean, cars in Wellington are not necessary. I lost a lot of weight in my first year living here at 18, because you simply walk everywhere. But I was looking for the freedom to drive up to visit my family on long weekends, to go on small trips with my friends and listen to music with the windows down. It was time for a car.
“Okay,” I said. “Let’s do it.”
Flying over the familiar Mount Maunganui on a blue sky day gave me the most amazing feeling in my stomach. I looked down upon the line of houses and high rise buildings that slowly became thinner, and thinner, engulfed by blue sea and a large mountain. It’s a magical place. The plane leaned precariously to the side, and made its way towards earth.
Hugs, kisses and me chatting-non-stop, we drove to a house nearby to view my new potential car. A good looking guy in his late 20s came out of his house to greet us, shaking my dad and brother-in-law’s hands and talking about his car. I was looking at this little pearl white Mistubishi Mirage parked on the side of the street.
He was a beauty. Small, compact, just what I needed.
A tiny surf board hung from the rearview mirror, and a sticker on the back window: “I Want To Surf All Day”. I’ve never surfed in my life.
$2000 later, I was driving him home to meet the parents. A week later, I was road-tripping to Wellington with the wind in my hair (okay, kind of. Having the windows open driving 100km is not recommended in this car!).
I named him Huey.
I got his name from the number plate: UE. My family always name their cars, so I did the same.
Huey is packed with memories.
2014, when my two besties & I lived together and we drove to Waikanae to pick up an old desk Pauline brought off Trademe. The desk could hardly fit in the car and Pauline had to lay down uncomfortably, but giggling, in the car the whole way home.
Road tripping up to Auckland with Kate to see the John Mayer concert. Playing music on the way back down to Wellington: “Don’t play any John Mayer, I think we’re kinda over him”. *every single song on shuffle just has to be John Mayer*.
The weird door unlocking system. Huey should really unlock the passenger door when I unlock the driver’s door, however, it’s not that simple. In order to unlock the passenger door, you open the driver’s door and shut it hard. This unlocks the other door. I spent a year and a half looking like I was OCD everytime I opened the door.
Road trips around the Bays. Wellington has a beautiful drive around the back bays of Island and Lyall bay. We call the drive Shelly Bay. It’s wonderful. It’s about a 40 minute drive, and the scenery changes so quickly; one part, you can see the city lights far away, the next you can watch the Interislander ferry going out to sea, and the next, rough surfer waves at Lyall Bay.
Last year was emotional for me. There was a lot going on relationship-wise, and sometimes I needed an outlet. This for me was a drive, listening to music. It was a place for me to have some time to myself, sing loudly to music and have a good cry if I needed to. Shelly Bay was my outlet.
Fish and chips in the car, overlooking the sea.
Deep and meaningful conversations.
Grocery shopping every Sunday morning (our morning routine!).
Driving from Auckland to Wellington with James and not understanding the air-con, until we were basically in Wellington (such a hot drive!).
Huey broke down on Tuesday.
It all happened so quickly.
He cost too much to fix, so I sold him for a small price to my mechanic. But you know, everything happens for a reason, and as the saying goes, it is what it is. I’m leaving for London, and all of the memories that were made in that goddamn car were all worth it.
May I see you driving around again one day, with the surf board still hanging happily from the rearview mirror.