TRAVEL: Disappointed, or what?!
I drove all the way to Somerset and saw the van.
What a disappointment.
It was dirty, smelled like mould and the man wasn’t very pleasant to me. He was short, had a round bald head and a tummy to match. I felt all the time he was hiding something, and his eyes kept moving around as though it was getting a load off his mind - or his bank balance.
When he pointed out the dark patches in the boarding against the walls, I touched them and the walls wobbled, as though it wasn’t insulated properly.
I drove it, and it wasn’t a pleasant drive. My boot kept getting stuck under the panel by the clutch and it wouldn't go into first gear. Off putting to say the least. When I asked him about it, he told me the story of the new clutch being fitted - only a couple of months ago because he had had to have it towed all the way back from the south coast. He said:
"The previous owner hadn't looked after it very well. He had thrashed it about a bit!"
Why did he say that? I mean, did he think that would give me confidence in a van I knew nothing about? More to the point, when would it go wrong for me? How much would that cost? Would I be stuck somewhere in Germany or France or Italy when it happened? What on earth would I do? I couldn't just call up a friend to come and get me! And I wasn't sure about the AA or RAC's position in Europe now that the Brexit thing was happening.
All the while, I prodded and poked it, I kept wanting to give it a chance. Really. I had put so much thought into living in this van that I didn't want to simply give up on it. It was a hefty beast. Very long.
Perhaps I could fix it, I thought? Perhaps if I offered him £5k less, then I could spend that on getting it sorted out?
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps?
Nothing was going to make me want this van.
Then I got a text from Jon in Oxford.
"The van's ready if you'd like to come and see it."
Kaye is a freelance publisher, author and certified psychotherapist with over three decades of experience. She is also a writer for various blogs about writing, publishing, travelling and health care.
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