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forever vacation

the pandemic denied me the renewal of my passport but there's a happy ending

see that car there? The one gleaming in the crisp November sunshine somewhere on the Texas-Oklahoma border?


that’s mine.


it was a dream come true that wasn’t meant to be. But you know, germs took over the world for a couple of years and i couldn’t go to Los Angeles and capitalize on my journalism degree.


heck, i couldn’t capitalize even on a vacation. If i could, i would go back to Germany where i lived during high school — yay, Air Force brat — and drink out of a Stein in Stuttgart. Ideally, this would take place in October.


instead, i had to come up with a Plan B. It wasn’t ideal at the time but it turned out to be lucrative and i could have some resemblance of a life. Car sales worked out and worked out quickly.


i had started in May, sold my first car in June, and was Salesperson of the Month for July with a stratospheric 26. so that was a cool summer.


by October, i had my own apartment and shortly after, decided to celebrate the newfound progress i had discovered in my new career — by plunking the cash on a brand new Miata.

it wasn’t my first choice. Heck, it wasn’t even top 5. Not even when i worked at a Mazda dealership.


as it turns out, there was a very specific MX-5 Miata that i liked. it had to be hardtop for one — because targa coupes are cool — and it had to be white. It’s small and Texas drivers won’t see you right away. Plus it looks cleaner when it’s dirty.


i ended up locating one at a sister store, another Mazda dealership south of DFW where i live. What a dream to see it in person. It only had 5 miles on it.


it was the best car i’d ever driven. And i’ve been in a Tesla.


the clutch took some getting used to because i had never driven a clutch in daily driving. but i took it everywhere. in the first month of ownership, i think i put about 3,500 miles on it.

some 18 months later, it’s about to tick over 16k. the average number miles driven in Texas is close to 20k per year. I’m doing fine.


every drive in it is a occasion. a joy even in mundane traffic that’s more likely than not occupied by idiot drivers. but i can always go around them.


even better, it gets better mileage than the EPA tells it too. despite a minuscule 11.9 gallon tank, i can squeeze 400 miles out of a tank. it’s positive after positive with this car.


downsides? well my passengers aren’t always comfortable because the transmission impedes in the passenger footwell. but i won’t buy the argument that the car is too small when it’s designed to be small.


i will admit though, that the smallness is why the Miata was far from my first choice. i was looking at Subaru WRX hatchbacks and Civic Type Rs looking to squeeze every ounce of fun out of a practical package.


then i decided to eek out even more fun. best decision ever.


i look forward to many more miles in the Miata for several years. that’s better than any vacation can do.


i still want to go to Stuttgart, though.

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