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· @atugonza ·
The vivid memory of my first visit to a trade show was way back in the early ’90s.  I recall it was a cold gloomy day and mud all over the place, but this didn’t stop multitudes of people to attend.

Quite some stuff was on sale ranging from electronic appliances to kitchen apparatus. At that time dad didn’t have a car of his own and most errands were based on the strength of our feet.

The one-story we were told about the first car dad bought when he was pursuing a Ph.D. from Australia. Basing on the old family albums it was a small four-door a washed in white. I have no idea of its name.

Legend has it when dad completed his studies, he insisted to travel back to Uganda with it. Knowing that at that time Uganda was going through a [civil war]( that saw the current president take over control in 1986. During the time of transit somehow he lost track of the car and to this day we don’t know how and where it disappeared to.

At the trade show, I recall many vehicles that were on display. I assume it was the mighty Toyota brand from Japan. The only car that pulled my emotions was the Toyota Carib Sprinter 1994. Convincing dad to buy it, my wails didn’t affect his attitude. We walked back home wishing we had traveled back in that Carib.

After a year or so, dad rolled in his second wife a navy blue Toyota Saloon 1988. From that day onwards life changed for us. That car closed many gaps and made life simpler.

So how did life become uncomplicated? One I vividly recall during Christmas holidays, it was a must to spend it with our grandparents back in the countryside. A 3hr journey of 100kms didn’t come cheap during our days. Fares were slightly high for a large family, including luggage, we had to squeeze in between other passengers who had big families of their own, their hands holding tightly  bread for their relatives who perhaps last ate it  in January of that year, sitting our asses on the hard torn seats. Man! I dreaded that experience. But when the corona came in, it washed away the misery forever.

Two, the holiday was not only fun 24/7, but we also have a farm in the country side and dad cherished to see our hands get dirty carrying logs, manure, and other necessities. However, the arrival of the corona made life plain clean. I laugh at how we used to pack it full with logs in the boot, driving the car uphill from a valley to bring them to the workers who were on the other side of the valley was a pastime. I think it’s from this experience I developed the passion for driving.


Coming to the third reason, am proud of the schools that I went to. And it’s because of this Corona it was made possible. How? Dad used it to broker deals that brought in money for domestic use and paying our tuitions. I don’t know much of his other side hustles apart from the farm and lecturing but least I know this car took him places in a reasonable time thus cutting down on the cost and making it on time.

Fourth from learning how dad has taken care of this car, I have to say that a challenge has been placed before me to do the same for the car and family I will have of my own. Last week I drove it in the night and this car behind me kept on flashing lights on and off. I freaked out thinking thugs were after me. I stepped on the gas and disappeared like smoke. Nonetheless, the person behind the wheels caught up with me. He overtook me and packed right in front of me forcing me to come to halt. My heart beating like crazy and feeling my blood stop moving, I started imagining rogues pulling out AK47s.


 The man happened to be driving a red Carib Sprinter 1994 modal he walked up to me and asked me, “Man how much are you selling this car”. Damm, I felt like hitting him because he had no idea how I wrestled to subdue the pressure. I boldly told him the owner can’t sell his car and of late he changed the engine. He tried to convince me to reach out to dad, but I won him over.  We parted ways. So if strangers can stop me to inquire about this ride, then dad must have seen something so special about this Corona. Countless times strangers have approached him with crazy offers but he turns them down.

And lastly, this car taught me a valuable lesson about life. I reminisce when I was learning to drive a stick car, balancing the clutch was an uphill task that I hated. It takes courage, perseverance, and determination.  Mastering to balance the clutch and the accelerator takes time to be registered in your subconscious mind, and the clutch is like the 2nd heart of a stick car after the engine.  You have to work a way out to become friends with the clutch. Once you do, stick car becomes so easy.

Corona has never been my dream car but it does have a rich history that I love to share when I hung out with friends at parties and social gatherings.
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created2019-09-12 11:21:09
last_update2019-09-12 11:21:09
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