September 18, 2013

Little Green Volkswagen

I ran into this little vehicle the other day on the highway while driving up north to Tripoli; two kids in the back of an old Volkswagen. It brought back memories.
When I was young, my parents drove a Volkswagen, a white one. And in summer time, they’d take us (four kids = two adults!) in that Volkswagen on a holiday, all the way from Holland to somewhere in France; a road trip of some 1,000 kilometers.
 The car had no AC, the back windows could only open a bit (you couldn’t roll them down), plastic upholstery, we did not have video games or DVD screens stuck to the back of the head rest to occupy ourselves, and here we were, four kids, with grey woolen shorts (My mom insisted on that one) while outside it’d be something like 35 degrees Celsius.
How is it physically and psychology possible to transport four whining and nagging kids in woolen shorts sitting on plastic upholstery over 1,000 kilometers of very hot road, without AC and entertainment in a tight little Volkswagen remains a mystery to me. 
I do not have any vivid memories of those road trips, and I think that is merciful (or maybe I am just repressing them).  My oldest brother does, and he never quite recovered from it, I might add; he forever hated family holidays.
Anyway, all that came to mind when I drove behind this little Volkswagen with these two little kids. From the looks of it, they were playing a game my daughter calls ‘Sweet or Sour?” You wave at passing cars, and if the driver smiles and waves back, (s)he is sweet. If you ignore them, you are sour. Just so you know, next time some kids in a car wave at you.


Miss Footloose | Life in the Expat Lane said...

You make me laugh with that picture you painted.

I too remember sitting in the back of a VW beetle like that in Holland when I was a kid. Thank the gods not in woolen shorts and not for a 1000 km. It was my aunt and uncle's car and I'd sit in the back with my cousin, going from Rotterdam to Amsterdam or the reverse. We had a great time there in the back. Ah, memories!

Anonymous said...

From Utrecht to Bordeaux in three days. The worst part was the north of France. Mother liked the Gothic architecture of these 13th century churches and cathedrals and we as a family had to visit them all, many times! Senlis, Compiegne, Beauvais, Amiens, fuck all these churches from the 13th century and what a pity they survived two world wars. Y.

Monique van der Bruggen said...

My mom driving from Holland to Switzerland with me in the 'coffin' in the back. I was only a couple of month, no memories. :)

Anita Meulstee said...

We rented it and with 5 children I laid in the "kattebak" in the back. Remember laying there and looking up at the sky ;-)
I think I was 3 at the time, later we got our own car, an Opel Record.

Sietske said...

Goh, wat een ellende allemaal in die beetles! We zouden er een compilation van moeten maken.:)