Sunday, December 18, 2005

A flight from Romania, unless one lives in Bucuresti, requires a marathon of sleeplessness.

Take Alba Iulia, from I originally hail. I once timed my trip from my doorstep in Alba Iulia to my doorstep in Vancouver: forty hours, from Alba Iulia by van to Cluj then an overnight, unheated bus ride to Budapest, followed by a flight to Vienna or Amsterdam or Copenhagen or Helsinki to Toronto, then another flight to Vancouver, followed by a one-hour car ride to home.

I write this so that you can understand what my father is going through as he circumnavigates the globe to spend Christmas with me. Quite un-understandably, once he lands in Vancouver, he begs for a trip to the car junkyard.

"Maktaaq, your car mats need replacing."

"Maktaaq, I think you could use another windshield wiper."

"Maktaaq, I don't care if you just replaced all your tires, they look worn."

Some moron, you see, placed a very large junkyard in Surrey, which, conveniently enough, is only almost out of the way on the journey from the airport.

My dad doesn't care that jetlag exists. He must stop at the junkyard each and every time he visits Vancouver.

This time, I thought I had him beat. Brakes changed a month ago, the car mats in place, windshield wipers doing their job, all-season tires deeply grooved. No trips to the junkyard.

Until Friday.

I crashed into a curb and my front right hubcap flew off.

Damn you, parallel parking.

In trying to reattach the hubcap, it broke into bits.

Now that I feel like a gentrification failure in a ghetto, I am eyeing other Toyota Echoes with the sort of covetousness formal religion forbids. Ah, gosh dang it, I am sticking with the junkyard.

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