Monday, March 12, 2007

Salon de l'Auto 2007, Genève

Our car dealer has sent us two tickets to the Salon de l’Auto at Genève. My dear man asks me in an uncharacteristically pleading tone “The Car Exhibition is on this weekend, want to go?”.

I am diplomatic. I say “This is a great way to do some father-son bonding. Why not take the boy?”.

The boy has other plans. I embark on some conjugal bargaining. “You owe me…” I say “…let me see, a couple of art museum visits”.

My good man nods his head enthusiastically. He will agree to anything at this moment. We set off on Saturday afternoon. Its only a 20 min drive normally. But the traffic moves at snail’s pace. There is no parking anywhere. I enjoy a good game of number plate watching while my dear man frets and fumes.

“Let’s go there at 9am tomorrow morning”, I say, “We’ll surely find a parking then. Everyone will be sleeping in”.

We return home, tail between our legs. Sunday morning. We leave promptly at 9. A sense of déjà vu hits us. Its exactly the same traffic conditions…in fact, I think I see exactly the same cars again!!! Another hour, and we take a U turn at the same spot. We go to the train station close to our home and find our way to the exhibition hall quite easily. This is what we should have to have done in the first place. I am too kind to say “I told you so”. But I think it.

We enter through Hall 7 which is full of big tyres, car washing systems, jacks to lift cars etc. My dear man tries to interest me in the innards of a breaking system. My eyes glaze. It’s slow going through the crowded aisles to get to Hall 6.

My dear man’s eyes are now gleaming with excitement. He heads for the Mercedes stand.“They’ve released a new model. Look at it!!” he says, his voice throbbing with emotion.

I look consideringly at it, walking around it to get a 360 degree view. “It’s a nice colour” I offer encouragingly.

He is broadsided by my deep perception. “Really?” he asks with interest. He is colour blind. He is glad that I am making car-conversation.

We wander to the Land Rovers. “All the reviews say that the designers have surpassed themselves this time” he says “What do you think? “.

"It’s a boy car” I say sagely.

“Yes, yes” he is enthused “Can you see the line of that door?”. His hands make slashing gestures in the air. I nod half heartedly.

“Aah” he says heading towards Honda’s concept car. “Just look at this!! What do you think?”.

I am impressed. It’s a gleaming beauty in red and black. “It’s like something out of Science Fiction” I say. “Quite beautiful in an artistic sense”.

He is rather pathetically glad at having shown me something which appeals to me.We spend 3 hours or so to cover everything all to way to Hall 1. My feet ache. I look pleadingly at him. “I could spend the whole day here” he says.

“Of course” I say, my supportive best “There is lots to see”.

But he sees that I am taking sit-down breaks more and more often. He reluctantly turns back.

My head is full of more car information than I will ever need. Our trip is done. For those who have become interested thanks to my insightful review of the Salon, it’s on until the 18th of March. Have fun!!

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