Thursday, October 11, 2012

Meet Snowflake... the GangStar

If you follow this blog, you know that shortly after we arrived in Japan, we went car shopping. Car shopping in Japan for those of us on base is not really like car shopping in the States. Most people here, unless they have an ego problem or really like cars, want something that looks halfway decent and will get them to where they want to go. Medium dents are ignored and scratches are to be expected. A bonus would be if the car ran until it was time to move again with no investment necessary. You certainly don't put spinners on these cars, or get the latest stereo system put in. Again, unless you have an ego problem or those items are what you live and die for. Personally, I would rather buy scrapbook adhesive and go on trips around Japan. Fortunately my husband sort of agrees. He's not a fan of adhesive, but he is a fan of softball, so he understand where I am coming from. He'd rather have a new bat or glove than a hydraulics system for our 1999 station wagon.

The station wagon is the one I drive and she's been named Prestige... for two reasons. 1) Her actual name is a Nissan Pressage Pacifique, close to the "Prestige" she has been dubbed. 2) She is more prestigious than our other car, Snowflake, but doesn't have near the personality. I am posting today about Snowflake, the GangStar car.

Snowflake is the vehicle the spouse drives just to and from work, about a 4-mile, 10-minute drive. That's all she does. She was half the cost of Prestige and is a few years older. And did I mention she is TINY? As in one step up from one of those Smart (Stupid in the States, in my opinion) Cars. Here is a photo of Rodney standing with her. Yes, he is 6-foot, 3-inches tall, but she only comes to his armpit.

The reason I call her the GangStar is because that's what it says on her steering wheel:

And she does have some pretty "pimp" style. For instance, her steering wheel is further decked out... with a polished wood wheel:

And she is demanding. She is a Daihatsu Move, and the word "Move" is all over her, from the front of the car, to the back of the car to the floor mats. Perfect for anyone with road rage who likes to get from point A to point B quickly and efficiently. Wait... maybe I am driving the wrong car.

For her size, Snowflake is pretty roomy, with sliding storage drawers under the front seats. She even comes with cup holders, one on each door (you can see one in the steering wheel photo above). Just be sure not to slam your door shut when you have a cup in it, or you might be wearing your beverage. There is a back seat and a "cargo" area that might fit two Xans, seated carefully side-by-side.

Snowflake is the smallest vehicle in the mid-rise lot... can you find her?

Rodney and I, of course, had to personalize her. Rodney had a white-tail deer window cling (he likes to hunt) installed, and I wanted to represent my alma mater and current employer with a magnet. Actually, each of our cars has a magnet on the butt because there are a lot of similar-looking, white vehicles and it is how the kids know they have the right cars when we pick them up. Oddly, no one else here has a UWF magnet.

Rodney does manage to fit inside Snowflake. But the seat is so far back that the person behind him does not get any legroom whatsoever. I find it especially comical when he drives Snowflake in uniform.

And he said... "So, you're not going to blog about this, are you?" Uh, yeah, of course I am. Snowflake is a GangStar and craves attention. And his reaction:

So hopefully Snowflake the GangStar, in all her pimpishness, will continue to run for the three years we are here with minimal investment from us. She's peppy, corners well and is easy to park. You just have to be careful when its windy. No kidding. She is very light and and is hard to control during gusty winds. If there is ever a typhoon here, Snowflake is the one we'll find blown away and somehow on the roof of the nearest building. But, until then, she'll have a cushy life escorting Rodney to work each day. She's not quite the BMW he had before, but, then again, she's running better and doesn't have nearly as many things broken and falling off. Good trade, in my opinion.


Chris said...

Nice post Jessica! Keep them coming.
Sounds like Japan may be a lot of fun.

Anonymous said...

She looks good!!! I think Rodney looks good in it. Just glad he fits in it. I really think it looks like him. Same smile!!