We have (or rather, had) two cars: the smaller yellow one, that we bought and that Thomas uses for work, and the larger one, the lease car, that I used as my car and we used for all family and shopping outings, not to mention trips further afield. This means that I have spent a great deal of time in the larger one since we moved to Denmark... 43000km of time to be precise. A lot of that is playing the mum taxi. I drive each of the kids to music lessons, often close to home but sometimes further afield. I even blogged it at one point. Sometimes there isn't time to go home before pickup, so I go for a walk if the weather is nice, but often between October and March, I sit in the car waiting on whoever is being driven about.
Sitting in a car for hours can be tedious. Also, with so many kids, finding time to stay in touch with everyone can be hard too. I killed both birds by bluetoothing a lot of my conversations onto the car speaker. At least 10% of my chats to Marcel and Charlotte happened in the red car, but given they are at work or uni till after 5 or even 6 pm most nights, the vast majority of my car chats were with mum. Mum liked to chat an hour or two over her afternoon coffee and that often corresponded with the kids' music lesson or other trips here. Every Tuesday and Thursday, I would drive round Funen chatting to mum.
That means that Tuesdays and Thursdays are now eerily silent in my car. Suddenly I feel very alone, driving about, like a rather little woman in a rather big car. I tried music at first but I'm a bit of a sing-along type and Tuesdays and Thursdays don't feel like sing-along days, not yet anyway. After that I took out a subscription to a Danish audiobook site, trying again the two birds technique - increase my Danish vocabulary while convincing myself that the car isn't a big lonely place.
But this week has now taken the issue to a new level. As I mentioned previously, we had to give back the lease car this week. So, over and above the inconvenience of sitting in the village with no means of leaving it thanks to the dearth of public transport, I sort of feel like I have given away my chats with mum, my memories and our special space. Weird. I guess it is a bit like as if you always met someone in the same café and suddenly that café shut down, only this is the international version.
While I look forward to getting a new car in the next few months, from a practical perspective, I expect even if I go for the same model again, I doubt it will feel quite right.