After two weeks of genteel, art-loving, champagne and pinot noir lovers in Adelaide, the atmosphere has now changed with the annual arrival of the Clipsal 500. It’s the annual Ford vs. Holden race in Adelaide. It’s our replacement for losing the Formula 1 Grand Prix to Melbourne in mid-1990’s. Adelaide is now awash with Ford lovers in the blue corner, and the rivalling Holden fanatics in the red corner. Gone are the groups of people dressed to the nines, swiftly walking to the Festival Centre or to a performance in the city – and in their place, a group of tough-looking men and women, wearing sunnies and caps who couldn’t care less about opera or artistic performances.
Adelaide is certainly very busy though – Rundle Mall was really packed around lunch time when I walked with the folks from the University on Friday, on our way to an Asian café at the other end of the Mall. The street buskers were still there, but the artsy ones were gone already. I couldn’t see the classical guitarist or the whacky street performers from the Fringe Festival. The Festival of Arts and the Fringe Festival are technically finishing this weekend, but the extra artsy air in Adelaide is pretty much gone already. I can even hear the roar of the engines from the Clipsal 500 from my house, which is about 15 minutes away from the city. It should be a good weekend for Clipsal now that the weather has warmed up again and the sun is out.
I really don’t feel like heading to the city when the Clipsal is on because there are just too many bogans (the local word for ‘rednecks’) around. They feel that they’re the toughest, hippest bunch of people who love to intimidate others. Of course, I over generalise, because there are some normal genuine folks out there who love the automotive but they are few and far between.
Learning how to drive has taught me a lot about cars and given me more appreciation about automotive. I still don’t know lots about cars, and when I drive, I know better now about how it works and how to treat the steering wheel, the brake and the accelerator. I had a lot of misconceptions about driving and how it was supposedly done. Having a ‘strict’ instructor like Harry also helps me to develop good habit as well – I know that I would’ve pushed the envelope and made silly little shortcuts had I been working with a more compliant driving instructor. I know I could’ve picked an easier instructor but I decide to stick with Harry and go through with it. He’s a good instructor. 🙂 I hope I will master how to drive soon before I spend more and more money – it’s not really cheap as I have to fork out $100 per week for my two-hour lesson. As a full-time student, well, that is quite sizeable! I suppose when I decide to buy my own car, that will be additional expense to budget as well! 😯