I admit that I have never been happy with any car I bought, new or used. My first new car was a 4-cylinder, 2.5 liter, 6-passangers Chevy Celebrity sedan. The car ran OK when the maximum highway speed was 55 MPH. But when the speed limit increased to 70MPH, the car started to show signs of fatigue. Driving on a ramp or climbing a small hill caused shaking, coughing, jerking, and passing gas while gasping for air as if she has asthma. Then, it began to show signs of arthritis and loose joints. When I turn, the seats move side ways, as if they are going to jump from the car. If I break, some parts of the car stop moving while the others continue marching as if no breaks were pressed. 

I was advised by a friend to buy a Japanese car instead. He convinced me that these cares are reliable and good on gas. He insinuated that I can be a millionaire from the money saved from gas.  Therefore, I bought 4-cylinders, 1.8 liter, Nissan Sentra. But before I close the first million dollars in saving, I started to walk funny. My knees started to give some squeaking sound, after I drive the Sentra. I went to the Doctor, and after inspection, he informed me that I have loose joints. Now, instead of my car having loose joints, I am the one who have it. The doctor advised me to drink a lot of milk and eat vegetables. I neither ate vegetables nor drank milk, I sold the car. After that I became fine.  I realized that underpowered cars are health hazard, and my next car must be very powerful.

If I ask you what is the most annoying thing for you after wife nagging. You may say traffic, or the neighbor. For me it is the car keys. This is because the sharp ends of the chain ring tear the fabric of my pockets creating holes. This resulted in the ruin of many of my suits, since I cannot wear the pants. In addition, these holes also helped in the creation of a money laundry scheme in my house by my 8-years old son. The scheme worked as follows. Any money change I put in my pocket is drained through the pocket holes. They are then collected by my son. After he collects 100 cents, he exchanges them from me for a one dollar bill. When I put the change in my pocket, they fall from the holes to the hands of my son where the cycle is repeated. I became like a leaky faucet draining money all the time. This made me wish for a keyless car where doors and ignition do not need a key. 

Finding the right address has been a challenge for me. I don’t know why the address that I am looking is the one that I can not find. For example, if the address I am looking for is 510 King Dr., I find 508, 509, 511, and 512, but not 510. I spend a lot of time searching for the number. But I always discover, to my chagrin that the building I am seeking is behind another building or on a separate section of the street. To avoid this headache, I decided that my next car must have a navigator. 

Several months after the incidence on route IL-38, I read, to my delight, in a car magazine that Mercedes Benz has developed radar to detect the car in front and control the speed to maintain certain distance from the front car. The device is called “distronic.” The second surprise was that Mercedes has the “Keyless Go” option in some models, where doors can be opened and car driven without inserting a key. I felt that God answered two of my prayers in one stroke, and felt that He is challenging me to buy that car. 

I checked Yahoo-Auto to find a car that meets my requirements. To my delight, I found the car of my dream in the Boston area.  The car I found was Mercedes Benz E500 sports with 4matic (AWD), keyless go, distronic, and navigation.  This solved all my problems: no holes in the pocket, no loose joints, no coughing when climbing a hill, and above all no howling to stay awake.

I called the owner of the dealership and negotiated the price. I booked a plane ticket to fly to Boston on a Friday morning to buy the car. When I saw the car, I fell in love with from the first sight.  The next day, Saturday, one of the technicians picked me up from the hotel to finish the papers and drive the car back home. I asked the dealer to set the navigator to guide me to Chicago, since I did not have a map. The dealer made some settings and stored the destination address and said: “It is ready to go.” But, I did not know what is in store for me. 

(To be continued)



 Part - One         Part - Two         Part - Three      Part -Four

Dr. Ibrahim M. Abdel-Motaleb 
Professor of Electrical Engineering 
Northern Illinois University 
DeKalb, IL 60115 

© Ibrahim Abdel-Motaleb 2007




The Egyptian Chronicles is a cooperative effort by a group of  Egyptian authors pooling together their talents for the sake of  Egypt's Future.  Articles contained in these pages are the personal views and/or work of the authors, who bear the sole responsibility of the content of their work. This Monthly Electronic Magazine is a non-profit , commercial free zone and is answerable to no one.

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