I sold my 1999 Nissan Altima the week before taking off on a jumbo jet for a two week vacation – my virgin visit to the Pacific northwest. I got a round trip ticket to Seattle for $150 using points from my credit card.
Swinging such a good deal, I felt icky about capitalism and happily grown up and clever at the same time.
The Altima was wrecked. A danger to me and the environment. That’s why I didn’t want to return from my trip to begin driving it again. Thus the car spill. I got rid of my car. I spilled it.
You, too, can have a car spill if you’re ready to go there with alternative modes of transportation. That’s what this Gulf Car Spill series is about! We ask the question, “Can you really get out of a car in the Summer in Texas?”
The front end of the wretched Altima – a generous gift from my mother — was hanging together by a thread. I’d been hit twice in the rear, once by a huge truck. I’d rear-ended a pleasant, forgiving Mexican immigrant in his work truck. So the Altima was just plain ugly with scars and too many bumper stickers to be cool in No Longer Weird Austin. I had to let it go.
Beside the realistic fear of an imminent personal tragedy on the Ben White flyover, I also no longer wanted to be a part of the petroleum problem. ( If you’re patient with that website, you can see the Eva Mendes video all about that sticky wicket, the petroleum problem.)
For me, the BP oil disaster put the final nail on my childhood fantasy of being a dolphin diving into pristine waves on the shore of my native north Padre.
I grew up the child of oil and gas in the sparkling city by the sea, Corpus Christi. My beloved Coastal Bend probably beats the Golden Triangle (Beaumont-Port Arthur-Orange) for second largest petro-chemical economy on the Texas Gulf Coast – after Houston’s number one position. Because I cherish my memories of baking like a 1980’s rock lobster on the sand every weekend of my high school years, the oil spill and then that small problem of global warming have made it hard for me to put the pedal to the metal and let the juice flow anymore, without thinking twice. And three times? You’re out! Of the car.
So I had a car spill. During the hottest month of the year in central Texas, I sold the Altima to my beautiful Syrian friends at High Tech Auto on South Congress for $700. Not bad for barely running.
Then, I got a ticket to ride, to practice riding the ample public transportation in Seattle and Portland. Now, I’m home, have no car, its hot outside, and I’m doing fine — sharing cars, taking the bus,walking, sweating, riding my bike.
Wanna know how to car spill? Stay tuned for the next Gulf Car Spill Update with revelations of more smart transportation solutions…
- How you can participate in the TxDOT Sunset Review or We can change I35
- Clean Electric Vehicles on a Solar-powered grid — my favorite way to go!
- Alas! I under bid my dream NEV
- The ins and outs of Austin’s car-sharing experiment with those cute, cute Smart Cars
- Car sharing with friends and lovers
- Walking to work at 100 degrees and looking fresh when you arrive to do b’ness.
- How to ride the bus!!!
- Scooting to lunch on the electric scooter
- Bike lanes, Bike corridors, Bike fun
(That’s the alerting sound of the cruiser brass bike bell.)
Donna Hoffman, Lone Star Chapter Sierra Club