Relatively pimped

It will take me a while before I can say I'm really confident of my driving. Despite my weekly trips to the car wash, I still mess up the brakes when I hit the humps, and I still need someone to spot me when I park the car in the garage. But I'd like to think I'm getting a little better. A little better. I know I'll take a huge step towards driving maturity when I no longer yell something like "I survived!" once I return home.

That's pretty much what I did this morning. I headed to the car wash by myself: I usually head out with my dad, because we have two cars to have washed. Today, things went a little different: he was busy watching tennis, and I asked him the car wash question at the wrong time. On the upside, I wasn't going "will I survive?" when I pulled out the car and took the two-minute drive to the car wash.

I know I said "car wash" many times in those two paragraphs. I'm running out of things to write about, don't you think?

Anyway, I waited a bit, got the car into the washing area, and waited across the street, seated in one of those tattered monobloc chairs. When the car's almost done, I start hoping that no other cars arrive and wait for open slots on the street. Now, I don't really mind other drivers having their cars washed, but their presence will make my departure - that delicate series of events which include leaving your slot in reverse, turning to the right side of the road, and making sure you don't hit the curb - a little more, err, interesting.

Catch was, a car arrived. Two, in fact. One of them was a CR-V with a girl driving it. Behind it was one of those not-so-old cars - I say that because it's relatively pimped: it's got something on its trunk, a bigger muffler, and that deep rumbling sound. (I obviously don't know much about these things.) The girl got a good slot, forcing the guy inside the not-so-old vehicle to park along the curb.

Turns out that the girl and the guy knew each other. And they went to the car wash together. When the girl parked her vehicle, she started worrying about where the guy can park his car. So, I thought, she owns the car, too. She had her car relatively pimped. I took a good look at the girl and felt confused: she was wearing shades (understandable), a tank top (understandable), and high heels (let me think about this) and she went to one of the wettest, dirtiest places in the world: a car wash.

Yes, the guy can park on the curb, because that's what everybody does. So he positions his car and starts backing up slowly, making sure he doesn't really block the road.

The girl, surprisingly, started spotting the guy as he backed up. He doesn't know how to drive? Can't be, I thought. He seems he's been doing it for ages.

The guy backs up ever so slowly. The girl starts screaming.

"Iusog mo! Iusog mo!" She starts knocking on the car frantically. I can imagine the driver was confused. I actually remember when I was still new at driving, when my mom was the frantic one as I parked the car in the garage for the first time.

I myself was confused - really confused - a split-second later, when the girl went to the guy and told him that he shouldn't park the car too close to the curb.

"Huwag masyadong malapit! Magagasgas ang mags! Magagasgas ang mags! Ang mags!"

This girl is wearing shades, a tank top and high heels to the car wash. She's frantically begging the guy to not park her car close to the curb, because he might scratch the mags. I was seated on that chair, watching the proceedings, thinking that it's quite an absurd situation to watch. And then I thought, am I being a misogynist?

To make things more absurd, the guy driving turned out to be one of the folks who drive the shuttles I take home from work. No wonder he had this slightly silly smile when he first arrived at the car wash, before all the screaming could happen.

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