Wednesday, September 05, 2007

An Italian Car

Last night, I went to Heathrow Airport and picked up a rented car. I had decided that because I needed to go to Pinewood studios during the day today, then back to work at the restaurant, it would be too inefficient to do that on public transportation. I shopped around for the best deal, then settled on Budget, through Ebookers. Their price was about 25% cheaper than the quotes I had been getting directly from the car hire firms.
When I arrived at Budget for my 9PM reservation, they put me in an Italian car. It was the latest edition of the Fiat Punto, an economy car. Although I was after cheap transportation, I was pleasantly surprised with the Fiat. The styling was massively improved over older Puntos. The car felt solidly put together and had all the bells and whistles one might want. Equipped with a CD stereo, power windows, power door locks, electrically remote control side mirrors, power steering, and air conditioning, this economy car provided a pleasing degree of luxury.
Okay, it wasn't as fast as my old BMW, but it didn't feel like a stone, either. I managed to coax it up to almost 100 mph, but it seemed more comfortable between 80 and 90. Acceleration was slow, but that's not surprising for an economy model. I was just pleased to be driving again, even if it was only for one day. Racing home to see the 10PM re-broadcast of "Eastenders," the car felt light and nimble, but with a solid steering feel. After parking in front of the house, I looked forward to being able to enjoy an extra hour of sleep in the morning. Driving is one of the most enjoyable experiences in life. There is a special bond between a man, or a woman, and a car.

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