I bought a car a little over a year ago. It was a crappy, old, automatic. I had to look around quite a bit for an automatic as I can’t drive stick and 98.5% of the cars in this country are manual.

I had the car for less than six months when it started having transmission problems. I took it to a mechanic that my friend Esther recommended in Dordrecht. He said the car had transmission problems. The cost to fix it would have been 65% of the value of the car when I bought it.


So I just drive it. Every now and then the car has difficulty downshifting by itself and makes a TERRIBLE screeching/whining noise that tells you in some deep part of your bowels that metal is grinding together in a way that it shouldn’t.

Most of the time I can minimize this tendency by driving like an old granny. I have figured out how to optimize my driving so that the number of times the car is required to quickly downshift is minimized. But every now and then, as the car jerkily slows, it just happens. When this happens the car gives a great jerk forward into an immediate stop and all passengers are thrown against their safety belts (which I highly recommend to anyone crazy enough to be a passenger in my automobile).

Well, this happened the other day while Lynn and I were driving back from dinner and she said:

“You and your car are the same. Neither one of you knows how to change gears.”


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