Rent-a-car in Romenia

With the help of a friend, Rita got us special treatment at the rent-a-car.

First he got us a discount. Then he got us a free upgrade.

So instead of getting a simple Opel with manual gear, we received an Opel Insignia, automatic.

We had no idea what car we were getting. We arrived late, after midnight. The man at the rent-a-car had to attend to several people who had just arrived in our flight so he was in a hurry. ‘Here is the key, have a nice stay’.

We’re impressed by the size of the car. Big, comfortable. And we’re a little embarrassed. It looks too luxurious for us…

One of our boys goes to put our luggage in the trunk but he can’t figure out how to open it. He asks for my help and I can’t do it either. So I need to go and find the man again to show me how to open the trunk. Embarrassing… What kind of a hick are you that you don’t know how to open the trunk of a car?

We load up our stuff and get into the car. I take out the key that he gave me… and it doesn’t have the long metal part that is supposed to enter into the keyhole. What is this? How does this work? I look for the ‘keyhole’ where the key is supposed to enter… and can’t find it either! Now what do I do???

Call the man again. ‘Sorry, I don’t know how to start the car…’

I expect him to ask to see my driver’s license… You have a license and don’t know how to start a car? But he is patient and simply explains it to me… with all the others still waiting for him…

You hold the key in your hand, he explains… You press the brake with your foot… and then you press the ‘start’ button…

And miraculously, it works…

But that wasn’t the end of our troubles or concerns…

The windshield wiper knows when it’s raining and turns itself on and off… and gave me a scare the first time it started to work by itself…

The headlights are automatic… they light up at night. But how do I know if they are ‘on’ in the daytime? It took me several days to ‘discover’ how to turn off the ‘auto’ button for the headlights so the car would give me permission to turn the headlights on and off manually, whenever I wish to, without having to obey the god of the car…

On the window of the car, it says that it has Wifi. So we spent many hours trying to connect to Waze through the car Wifi, unsuccessfully. Driving while trying to figure out the Wifi, put us in real danger…

The car has some system that notifies us when there are objects nearby… so it makes beeping sounds all the time, driving us crazy… I can’t turn it off, so I finally try to turn myself off…

We can’t figure out how to use the radio or the multimedia… As well as many other buttons and lights that go on and off, worrying us, scaring us…

And on top of all this, the car fools us all the time. We think we’re driving at 20, whereas he’s already speeding at 80 kph…

Next time, all I want is a horse and chariot, like the ones we saw constantly on the roads. A one or two-horse-power vehicle that I can understand…

David Wolf

August 2018

 

About the Author
David Wolf writes about his experience of being a second-time husband and father. He has a daughter from his first marriage, and, with his second wife, has accrued three daughters, two sons-in-law, one grandchild and twin 8-year-old sons. He is a social worker in a mental health department and in private practice in Raanana.
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