Sept. 19/08: Ladies and gentlemen...Start your engines!

My dad.jpg

Welcome to suped-up Definitely Not the Opera website! I'm Sook-Yin Lee, rolling down the window to see what cars reveal about us.

Two wheels good. Four wheels better!

Today we ponder the question, what the heck are we actually using our cars for, besides getting from Point A to B?

Well, for one, like a pin on a lapel, cars are status symbols. For over a million bucks you can inflate your ego with a Mclaren F1! Vroom vroom. And if you're having a tough time communicating, you can always honk your horn and make a fist to express your road rage.

On our vehicular episode of DNTO, hear one woman's amazing tale of her best Christmas Eve ever - spent in the back of a rusty Toyota station wagon. Plus, author Miriam Toews on how her 1970 VW van ended up on the six o’clock news, and, American cartoonist supreme Lynda Barry takes the driver's seat to lead us through a series of car-related exercises to kickstart your imagination!

Now I'm not sure if it's a cultural thing, but Chinese people love sitting in their cars. Check it out, next time you're walking through Chinatown, you'll see a lot of parked cars with Chinese twiddling their thumbs inside. I mean why go anywhere, when you can sit in your car? My parents used to leave my sister and me in the station wagon, for hours at a time. That was back in the good ol' days when you didn't have to chain your kid to a supermarket buggy for fear of them getting kidnapped.

On weekends, we'd drive to Chinatown to buy groceries, and if we couldn't find a parking spot to sit in our car, my Dad would drive in circles around the same block, over and over and over and over until my Mom popped out the store wielding plastic bags full of cha siu bows and live crabs.

Come to think of it, I did a lot of bonding with my Dad inside our family car. Back when I was a competitive swimmer, my Dad used to drive me to practice every morning. Let's call my pops up and he can tell you more.

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