whistlestop caboose

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www.zidao.com Apprentice harmonizer, for sheer fun. Journeywoman writer, for work and pleasure. Starting point was Iowa, current stopping point on this journey is Switzerland, with frequent pauses around the world to watch and listen to the crowd, and occasionally make comments.

Tulips 2006 for Gran ellengwallace's Tulips 2006 for Gran photoset

Monday, May 15, 2006

The government likes my car

A cheerful note: the government has said I may drive my car for another three years. I picked up my car from the garage this morning, where it sat safely over the weekend after the mechanics whipped it into shape for its government test. I took it to the car wash, the better for the government men to check under the chassis. I drove into my assigned lane 5 slightly ahead of schedule, as recommended.

And I watched for the next 15 minutes while the government man shook and shimmied and bounced my car around - testing the lights, brakes, suspension and many other parts and behaviors of which I am usually blissfully unaware.

It passed, with a couple small repairs still needed.

When I moved from the U.S. to Europe 25 years ago I was shocked that a car had to be approved in order to have the right to be on the road. I saw no reason why any old clunker should not be out there. Over the years, partly due to the speed at which Europeans drive, I have become more open to the idea that cars should be given roadworthy tests on a regular basis.

In fact, after he pointed out that a black sleeve near the front left wheel had a crack in it and needs to be replaced, something the good mechanic we use hadn't spotted, I think maybe this is one of the better uses of my tax money. The Swiss are trying to reduce road deaths to zero. I doubt we'll see that, but why not try?


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