Where do you want to go

Joe and I – as some of you may have surmised, are a little anti-car. We ride our bikes, we take the subway and the bus… we walk, and we’ve been lucky enough to live in a part of the world where you don’t have to own a car. Sure, car things come up sometimes, but we’ve always borrowed one or rented one. The time has come however, for Joe and I to both acknowledge that we need a car, mostly because when Joe moves gear, he does it in the antiquated pickup, which is now so old as to be alarmingly unreliable and scary (even before a few of the incidents) but it is also so completely environmentally unfair that when you turn the ignition, polar bears scream in horror at the audacity of us daring to drive it. We knew we needed something, especially with the girls getting bigger and talking about moving to go to school, but we’re tree-hugging hippies – heck, we’re vegetarians out of concern for the environment. If we needed to drive a car, it had to be something seriously friendly – but there was no way that we could afford the options. We bided our time, we kept saving our money and Joe kept researching cars.

Today, we finally took the plunge. Meet Jon and Jason from Pfaff Volkswagen. I normally wouldn’t mention who or where sold us a car, but these guys went so far beyond the call of duty in the service of my nervous nature (along with Joe’s over thinking one) that they really deserve a shout out.


Plus, they held a sock, and that’s our new car. It’s a shiny red (really red) VW Jetta TDI Clean Diesel (with bike racks.) Now, if you’re like me, you just about fell off your chair right then because a hippy bought a diesel, but it turns out that just about everything I thought about this car was wrong. It’s classed as an Ultra Low Emission vehicle (I asked Jason, and it turns out that it’s impossible to suffocate yourself in the garage with this car. What comes out of the tailpipe is pretty much oxygen and nitrogen.) It won the Green Car of the Year award at the Los Angeles show, and won Most Environmentally-Friendly car at the international Car of the Year Awards in Detroit, it set a world record for lowest fuel consumption, and according to it’s paperwork, it meets strict Tier II Bin 5 emissions standards. (I don’t know what that means, just that it’s good.) Plus (just to explode the last thing I thought wasn’t true…) Ultra low sulphur Diesel costs the same as premium gas – when I need to buy it, which won’t be very often because it gets about 1100km (683 miles) to a tank.

I’m not telling you all this because I’m trying to write an ad for VW (although maybe I just sort of did.) I’m telling you this because frankly, I’m totally stunned that after doing all of the homework and checking out all of our options and the way we drive and what we need (and seriously, Joe really got a little weird with it) … I can’t believe I’m not driving a hybrid.

Aside from the shock, Joe and I feel very grown up. (I told him I thought this was the most grown up thing we had ever done and Joe agreed… except for the kids, and jobs, and the house and stuff – which actually makes it seem pretty minor, in the grand scheme of things, but dudes… it’s a CAR.) This is the first proper car either of us have ever owned, and we’re sort of flipped out. Joe’s out getting it waxed now (Yes. It did come already waxed. Why do you ask?) and we’re trying hard to think of somewhere we need to go. I love it – and I didn’t think I would. I thought I would resent it. Joe says maybe I love it because…


It has a nice big yarn holder. You could work fair isle out of that sucker.