Friday, January 12, 2007

Still running

One of those days where it was cold enough to actually make it difficult to drive around Iqaluit. The exhaust fumes from cars made huge plumes that could leave the streets look like they were covered in thick fog. So if you weren't careful going through intersection, well, a car could magically there as well.

Actually, plumes of exhaust were everywhere, not just on the roads. It was cold enough that people generally leave their car running if they're going into the post office of the store. It might seem like a real waste of gas, but cars really don't like -40. Leaving them unplugged at this temperate for even a short time is like begging to have the battery die or other unpleasant things to happen.

Drivers in Iqaluit are actually pretty polite and cautious. Well, except for taxi drivers. But that's pretty much a universal constant. And even here, the taxi drivers are some of the more courteous ones I've seen.

This obviously doesn't count snowmobile drivers, who operate under a set of laws known only to them and God. And they apparently have a pretty good relationship with God judging by the way they frequently drive.

The car is holding up remarkably well, all things considered. I mean, it's a Hyundai Accent. I never had a large opinion of Korean cars, probably because of the time I spent in the country. I saw this one car that was little more than a toaster with wheels and an engine. No way it could ever be sold in North America because there is no way it would pass any kind of safety inspection. Unfortunately, I saw one of those cars after it hit a transport truck. No kidding, you could have have the cars remains (and sadly the family of five that were inside) in a garbage can.

But that was 1996 and I guess Hyundai has come a ways. Even I admit the Accent is doing well. In fact, it's taken on this peculiar thing where I think it has adapted and prefers the cold. Right now it's running fine. Give it five or so minutes to warm up and it's good to go.

But once the temperature gets warm, the brakes start squeaking and she doesn't seem to run as smoothly. Weirdness.

Then again, I'm just happy she's lasting in the cold. I was worried we would bring it up here and it wouldn't last the first winter. She's well into her second and still going.

I guess Koreans do know how to make cars after all.

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