Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Can You Park Your Car Without A Handbrake?

Maybe take a brick along for the ride?

When we first got here, we went to look for a car at one of the local dealerships. They had a yard full of second hand beauties. One looked rather promising and I sat in it and turned the engine...and the car rolled forward. Gee, how stupid of them was my first thought. Yet it took me until our first heavy winter to realize why they didn't pull handbrakes!

In South Africa, the handbrake is used all the time and even when parked on a straight road. Reflex, I suppose. Well, now that the temperature has plummeted to the minus side of the thermometer, it's cold enough to freeze the handbrake cable. In winter, handbrakes are often useless and you quickly form the habit of not using them all year round. Unless it is necessary.

It has been cold enough these last few days, to make the handbrake feel like it is detached. I tell you, the first time you pull a disabled handbrake your heart slips into your throat. It feels like putty in your hand and it takes about a second before you realize that it is not going to work...

Doing a milk & bread run yesterday morning, gave me the opportunity to take part in my own little Extreme Driving Show. Even getting out our driveway was an adventure to behold. A slight downhill where any braking is off limit. All good experience and one way to get your blood pressure higher.

As I got closer to the village shop, I started to plan my handbrake-free parking. Gosh, me and a thousand others. The choice parking was gone and but I eventually got one. When its cold like that, lots of people like to stock up on the essentials...milk, bread & chocolate!

Later on, Bob and I drove together to our afternoon class and had a jolly good discussion about where to park. Bob is a firm believer that a car in 1st gear will stay in one place whereas I like to play it safe and not try that on an incline. Especially when it is snowing. Like Laurel & Hardy, we changed our parking place a few times. Granted at my persistence. ( Eh, this handbrake worked perfectly!!! )

When I mumbled something along the lines of; why didn't you bring a brick with to put behind the tyre?, Bob graced me with a comment that I shouldn't really repeat!

Biggi