Monday, September 21, 2009

My Rolls Royce

My first car was a Ford Falcon station wagon I bought for $100 in 1976 from a man that worked at the Putney Paper Mill, back in the days when it stunk up the whole town. I named the car Elroy and drove to Maine with a friend, who I needed not just for companionship but also because the transmission was funky and she had to hold down the gearshift on the steering wheel to keep it from popping out of gear, especially first gear as I recall. It was a silly trip, off to see a boy who did not reciprocate my affections - ahh what we do when we are 16!

My second car was an adorable, rusty Fiat that got 40mpg in 1978, and which I very fondly named Fabian. Fabian was an awesome car and between lovingly repairing its beyond-repair rust problems (a very kind way to say that half the car was or had disintegrated), and pouring money into other mechanical issues (and did I mention that it would die mid-ride in a rain or snow storm?) it miraculously survived for me another two years.

I did not have another car until I moved to Vermont in earnest in 1982 and bought an appropriate 4WD Subaru, and basically due to road conditions, have had one ever since.

This long preamble is merely to illustrate that I have never owned fancy, high-end cars - quite to the contrary. But here I am in Spain, ecstatic to not have a car and yet I have bought a Rolls Royce!

Now I know the feeling of buying the top end, best “machine” for the job. It maneuvers wonderfully, is sleek, yet roomy, and well designed. It makes my errands and shopping a delight. Now I understand why people who can afford to buy such luxuries do, although mine does not feel like an extravagance, but rather a necessary tool in this warren of streets that I navigate to get my food and supplies.

Lest you think I succumbed to an automobile, rest assured I am referring to my shopping cart.

The market cart, is an essential tool in a Spanish city, where groceries can get heavy, and distances between stores relatively long. I examined every cart I saw, of which there are a plenty, being such a popular and critical item here. There are plenty of cheap ones to be had - but the details...does it have 2 wheels or four? Folding handles? A comfortable hand-grip? A large enough “bag?” and most importantly, does it have a built in insulated pack to keep your refrigerated items cold until you get home out of the Spanish sun? Well fellow shoppers, there is only one that meets all these, and it is my high-end car - my BMW convertible - my mid-life crisis showcase - my UpGo!

Admire it and weep, for this is the best. And if you get to Spain and need a cart, run don’t walk to buy your UpGO, you will never go back.

*This is not an ad. I really did research carts, and paid good money for my UpGo.

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