Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

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Running Around

After breakfast, John and I had a little time for us to just putz around in. So we went to The Green Car Company in Kirkland and tried out one of their tiny ForTwo Smart Cars. Yes, the same kind of car that a bus ran into and got stuck on the bumper and the bus carried it a few exits before his dispatcher radioed him to tell him there was a car stuck to his bumper. He thought it was just a speed bump.

They are *tiny*, get about 50mph, and are sold in Europe by Chrystler and only just started getting distributed in the US. They are very cute. They are just a two-seater, and have a pretty good safety cage, air bags, and crash test results eventhough they're so small. The panel construction means that you can get them in nearly any color.

We got to drive a convertable in 50 degree weather. It was noisier because of the cloth top, but the turning radius was astonishingly small, we could do u-turns between the rows of cars in a parking lot. The drive was clumsey and clunky, the electronic transimission was hesitant and rough on the down shift. We also kept bumping shoulders, which was mildly expected. The odd sensation of a car being right ON me from behind was exaserbated by some cars merging nearly on me when they couldn't see me. I would probably pick safety, neon green if I were to get one.

For more money than a Mini, though, I don't see us getting one. Especially since the front passanger seat air bag cannot be disabled (as is automatically done by the Mini) so that Jet could safely sit in the front seat. I was annoyed by that last bit. You'd think for an actual two-seater they would have thought that it might be a parent shuttling a kid around.

So there were just too many negatives to the whole thing for me to really be comfortable, any more, thinking about buying one of those. The surprising thing was finding that the Golf TDI running on biodiesel is considered the greenest car, since they also take into account the battery pollution problems when creating and replacing the batteries of electric cars, plus the pollutents when creating electricity. It's interesting to see how the comparisons were made.

Best thing was making off with a list of biodiesel stations in the area. Next best was hitting a Taco Time for crisp burritos (actually flautas), in typically Americanized Mexican style. I miss their take on them. So we had to have them.
Tags: 2006_roadtrip
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