What to do when your Four-Wheel-Friend has an Existential Crisis…
In the middle of peak hour?! Camilla Lian guides you through the dreaded experience of a car breakdown.
Alright. We are (almost) all students here, and a lot of you have probably experienced car trouble at some point in your early adulthood. Unfortunately, expensive and reliable cars are for people with actual jobs that pay enough to justify having them. In a way, I guess owning a sub-par vehicle makes us grow up to become more resilient, independent, spiteful…. and full of hatred. At least for a short while. Until the problem is fixed and you’ve forgotten about the related costs.
Frankly, I detest having to own a car. It doesn’t suit my coffee-driven and sometimes overly anxious heart to have to deal with the mechanics of a car. But… here we are, in Australia, where public transport just doesn’t help you out much if you have a weekend job out of town.
Anyway, so what do you do when the shit hits the fan?
Option One: Stop immediately, chuck a tantrum, and call your parents (who live in another country)
Be honest- this is what you want to do. Kick your car until your toes hurt, produce a waterfall of tears, and we’re sweet, because who the hell wants to be an adult when your car lets you down? It’s honestly like one of your best friends just went “Fuck you, you’re on your own, mate. I’m off to the Forbidden Forest!”.
Option Two: Slowly exit traffic put on your hazard lights (like a pro), stop the car, and stare ahead for an hour or two… Hopefully someone notices, right?
Now, this one I’d say is probably very likely to happen if you’ve never experienced car trouble before. I mean, I understand, sometimes you just have no idea how to deal with something. Just please make sure you don’t stop on a turn or at the top of a hill, or anywhere that someone could potentially crash into you because they can’t see you. Seriously.
Option Three: Find the closest harbour near a hilltop, step out of the car, set it to Neutral, and just let nature run its course
Just remember that both insurance companies and environmentalists fiercely hate this approach.
Option Four: Put on your hazard lights, slowly exit traffic, find a safe place to stop the car, call a friend/family member for moral support and help, call a towing service, and just take everything step-by-step
Now we’re talking. It’s likely that you’ll be upset and possibly angry. The trick is to breathe, don’t freak out, and remember that it happens to almost everyone. Also, there are a lot of very nice and helpful individuals out there, so don’t be scared of asking.
I do recommend stepping out of the car to see if you can get help if you need it, or at least to avoid putting yourself in danger.
You can do this!