OK, So Maybe I Can Love THIS Car…

by Judy King 14. July 2010 15:58

Finally!  After four months of searching, I’ve found a new car – well new to me that is…but…while I don’t usually name inanimate objects, she is crying out for the perfect name to reflect her beauty and utility!

car You read about how I hate cars in my April 25 post , “The Great Car Dilmena.” It was written about a month after my 14-year-old Windstar let me down and died – temporarily dead – in the middle of a Jocotepec street.

If you missed that post, click on the title to read it now…

For all of these weeks, I’ve been deep in the throes of searching for a used car. A friend of a friend has been combing the lots in Guadalajara while I’ve poured over online listings of available “Semi-nuevos” as used cars are called here. I’ve learned more than I wanted to know about the Ford Escape, CR-V, EcoSport, PT Cruiser, and similar practical and economical vehicles.

I didn’t want much…just not beige

My requirements were fairly simple. I need room for myself and the passengers who go with me on the driving overviews I use to acquaint newcomers with the neighborhoods, villages, highways and byways of Lake Chapala.

The narrow streets and high curbs (and the topes – speed bumps) here make a vehicle that is high off the ground a huge plus. I wanted something comfortable and easy to get into and out of – both for now, and for the future – I plan to keep this car 8-10-12 years or more and none of us is getting much younger and more flexible.

Trying to be practical and business-like, I told myself that the outside color doesn’t affect the quality of the vehicle and that price and condition are the important criteria. Meanwhile, my heart was chanting and begging, “PLEASE, not gray or beige.”

doorsFour Months – No Cars

Into the fourth month of searching, I was beginning to give up hopes of ever finding a car in my price range that hadn’t been wrecked, mistreated, or been hauling a passel of kids -- Until I  stopped into Farmacia Jessica to visit with my primary physician, friend and Godfather, Dr. Leopoldo Ibarra. 

“What kind of car do you want?” he asked. “What about another minivan?”

Polo explained that his wife wanted a smaller car for all the driving she does in Guadalajara. Hilda lives there during the week and operates their Guadalajara clinic and pharmacy. While she didn’t want to sell her Chrysler Town and Country LTD,  he thought the promise of a smaller car and selling the van to a friend might tempt her to sell her the car she’s been pampering. Over the next few days we made a deal – I didn’t see the car or know about all the plusses it has until the day I drove her home.

I could name her Mentholatum

I’ve never named a car before, but this  sweetheart is so glossy and red (think candy apple with a shimmer of gold/metallic) she’s begging for an appropriate name.

My first idea came from a favorite story of a Mexican woman near the border who called her handyman, Mentholatum,  because he fixed everything.  This car is loaded, but then it doesn’t take much to impress me.; I’ve been driving without a radio since the antenna disappeared three years ago and with the cold air from the AC coming out of the defroster vents. 

dash This car seems a little like Mentholatum – it does everything. There’s no owner’s manual so I’m learning by trial and error. Among all the bells and whistles, I discovered a 4-CD player with an extra set of controls on the steering wheel, and the other day I found a button that shows my gas mileage, how many liters of gas are left in the tank, and how many more kilometers I can drive until I run out of gas.

The message screen told me that it’d been 7200 kms since the last oil change – supposed to be just 5,000. When I checked the invoices saved by the good doctor’s wife, I saw that the last oil change was in April, exactly 7200 kms ago. So I took it into Beto at Hernandez in San Antonio for service. For fun, I had him check the tires – the message told me all were low – I thought they looked fine. Beto looked at the tires and didn’t think they were low either, until he put the gauge to the stem – and added air to all four, not much, but still…how does it know this stuff?

Help Me Name the Baby

So now that you know a bit about her, I’m waiting for your name suggestions – my favorite names seem to revolve around her color – I’ve thought Poppy, Valentina, Scarlet, Sandia (watermelon), and Cinnamon (as in red hots or Fire Stix) and Ruby. I also considered the names of Big, beautiful, courageous women who had voices to match to celebrate all the music in the car. There’s Kate Smith, Mama Cass, Ella Fitzgerald, Mahalia Jackson, Eleanor Roosevelt – okay, she wasn’t a singer, but she sure had found her voice – and used it.

I considered a religious bent – maybe I could name her for St. Clare, the patron saint of visions and especially of television – she would fit right in with the message board and the TV and 3-disc DVD player. in the back of the car.  

Email me your name ideas 

Send in those cards and letters with ideas for naming my new “baby” to judy@mexico-insights.com 

I’ll even sweeten the pot…If I select your entry, I’ll give you a free annual subscription to Living at Lake Chapala – with the archived issues – That’s a $64.90 US value – just for the perfect name!

Tags: ,

People, Places & Things of Lake Chapala | Getting Here, Moving and Driving

Judy King is publisher of Mexico Insights—Living at Lake Chapala, a monthly online magazine for people interested in Mexico's Lake Chapala region, in the state of Jalisco.

Judy, a 19-year resident of Ajijic on Lake Chapala's north shore, conducts weekly newcomer's seminars and shares her expertise about Mexico in her ezine at www.mexico-insights.com, and in the "Mexico Lindo" column of the Lake Chapala Review.

Judy also is a speaker for local organizations and visiting tour groups about the Lakeside area about Mexican customs and holidays.


7/14/2010 4:35:50 PM #

Woohoo - I'm so thrilled for you Judy!

She looks like a dream. And you are so smart to have bought a fairly new car now that Tenencia is going bye-bye. How dumb were we to buy a new car six years ago and pay an additional $1800 (in USD) for it?! And let's not even talk about the need to buy a car that is high off the ground.

Part of the adventure of living here is the mental challenge it requires to figure out all these little differences. It sure keeps the mental synapses firing!

Eileen Mexico |

7/14/2010 4:52:57 PM #

Hi Judy, your car sounds great, but what kind is it.  I'd go for Ruby.   I just named my 3 year old car (Element) Ella, not at all origional. Ginger

ginger Blymyer United States |

7/28/2010 9:21:18 PM #

I'm a little late to this party -- and I have no suggestions for you. But I have to tell you that I named our year-old Honda Fit "Jane." Yes, she's Jane Honda.

Carolyn Mexico |

7/29/2010 11:03:54 PM #

Jane Honda, I love it...

I've had some good suggestions from folks. Because it looked like a little red wagon to one man he suggested Radio or Flyer. A woman in Florida suggested Frida because she is red hot and a Mexicana. If the word Chile didn't have slang sexual connotation, I might go with that. One woman voted for Poppy, another, knowing my obsessive collection thought Guadalupe would be great.

I'm still leaning most strongly toward Ruby maybe I should call her Ruby G. Guadalupe could be her second name.

judyking Mexico |

Comments are closed

About Judy King

Judy King

Hi There — Welcome to my little corner of the world. I'm Judy King and I live in the centuries-old village of Ajijic on the north shore of Lake Chapala, Mexico's largest natural lake.

I've lived here full time since 1990, and... [ more ]

Let's Be Social

Become friends with
Judy on Facebook,
or follow Judy on Twitter.

Log in