Driving with a smile … VW Beetle up for sale.

I remember the day I drove off in my “VW New Beetle” from the car showroom back to my office on my birthday! I pulled this off by accident, I mean getting the car on my birthday, and it seemed the gods were smiling on that day. Not only was it my birthday, I signed a big contract with a local bank, I was driving in this unique car to the client meeting with my colleagues and all of sudden I realized I was driving a “fish bowl”!


People stared, pointed, and looked at us in wonder, waved at us, some made appreciating noises. “Look, look at that car” You could see the exclamation on their faces. That was eleven years ago, can you imagine living in a “fish bowl” for eleven years? Well now I can, because today I drive a nondescript car and I wonder how I managed to drive in a conspicuous “Lemon Yellow” VW New Beetle for so long.

It meant driving with a constant smile no matter the weather or circumstances, when I gave a ride to anyone I would say to them “Smile, and wave at everyone who smiles and waves at you”. Yes, even if you don’t know them, the car was a car of good will and good thoughts, people would see it and smile, therefore whoever is driving it should reciprocate. Once in a while a man would flirt with me and I’d roll down the window and flirt back in traffic. Once I was followed for my phone number – scary, thank God we don’t have personalized plates! Kids loved to ride and I always obliged, even if I knew it would cost me at Kwik Fit to wash the upholstery, the seats are Lemon Yellow as well! In the beginning I’d wash the car every quarter, then of course the frequency waned as the years went by.

Many times, there’d be that cryptic look from people, “What made her buy that car?”;  “She must be a very exciting chick!”;  ”She thinks she’s different”; “She must be fun”.  I still get some irritating questions is, “How come I don’t see you on the road anymore? Do you still have that cute Beetle” or “Meet so and so, she’s the girl who drives that screaming yellow VW Beetle”.

Whatever the case it was a joy to drive and it is a car that is extremely underestimated by many, because of the shape, the color and even the size until they get inside the car and see the space! It goes “0 to 60 in 30 seconds” and has a 2 litre engine that hugs the road when traveling long distance; The engine  is in the front. Another question “Is the engine at the back?”. It has a petrol engine, has the largest “bonnet in reverse”, which means the bonnet is small but when inside the car the dashboard is massive and that’s what gives it the “small BIG car” feel. It has low resolution tyres and I remember when I got the cost of one tyre, I fainted! Well what do you expect when the car is classified as a sports car??

It was eventually christened the “Lemon Bug” and saw parts of Kenya I’m sure most people’s Toyotas haven’t seen, from the first long distance ride to Kiganjo, when I arrived a male friend asked me to open the engine first and next thing he drove off with it!  The “Lemon Bug” went to Mombasa, Malindi, Kitale, Baringo, Eldoret, Nakuru to the delight of many who would stop the car just to see and most of the time I obliged and made their day. It felt like “service with smile”.

When I was buying the car,  my then boss  told me he thought that the car wore a smile like mine and I believe that’s what made me buy it. It took nearly 2 months to get the car (making them deliver the car to me on my birthday, it was a coincidence), because I insisted the car registration numbers needed to add up to seven, that how it became KAN 124C; the registration is etched in many’s people’s minds.

When I bought it , there were only five New Beetles, today I’m happy to say that I’ve seen many hence reducing the pressure on us early birds; I smile when I see other people in their cars and try to imagine if they enjoy smiling, waving, honking back, flashing lights to people they don’t know. Today I feel it’s such a strange feeling to be stared at, but in those days I took it in my stride, even when I wasn’t in the mood, the  car made me have a positive outlook to life because the world expected it of me.

One of the best things to happen was when I had a business and needed an office generator and the bank agreed to take the car log book as collateral for the loan. The car appreciated in value for me, I wasn’t just driving  ”a cute, beautiful Lemon Yellow Beetle” anymore, the car had value that I  translated to support my business!

So the chapter of smiling and waving to all and sundry in a car are over; I now smile at those I meet face to face in lifts, offices and other public places, even to strangers, the positive attitude is deeply ingrained.

If you are interested in buying the “Lemon Bug” call George Ngatiri on 0722337546, to view and get all the relevant specs. Don’t you just love my long sales ad for  the “Lemon Bug”?

While I’m selling the “Lemon Bug”, feast your eyes on the NEW VW BEETLE, that Oprah gave away at one of her shows last year. Its shape has been spruced up and it looks even funkier, I remember one of the unique selling points for the “Lemon Bug” was the shape wasn’t  going to change drastically like the VW Passat or VW Jetta and that was another key reason for buying, I wouldn’t have to keep up with the trend. Well that has now ended with the 2011/2012 version. A new generation gets to continue driving with a smile :-)


4 Responses to “Driving with a smile … VW Beetle up for sale.”

  1. Nima
    March 21, 2012 at 8:03 am #

    Hey…sad to see the lemon bug go…. Just last week I spoke of you to Martha &she said “Auntie Sh..a withe the yellow VW? Love you girl. Nimuxxxx

  2. Christine Amisi-Bwire
    March 21, 2012 at 8:03 am #

    I always loved that ‘Yellow Bug’ and wished i had it instead of you! Maybe I’ll just call up that guy and find out how much it is (unless it’s already taken???) So sad that you have to let it go, but that’s what life is all about, eh? Letting go and moving on ( with memories to enjoy).

  3. Belinda Chesire
    March 21, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    I will always remember when you were driving your Toyota – saying that your next car would be from the Show Room. Living hand to mouth in those days, I wondered how someone, could possibly buy a brand new VW Beetle from CMC. Any way you did and you taught me to raise my Faith level. I did.
    Next. I absolutely loved the lemon parked outside my gate at valley arcade. All my neighbors and their kids loved that car! it was so awe inspiring, something from outer space.
    Then, I loved the short rides and the long rides. Something about those happy flowers, just making someones brain ooze so many tales…we did Baringo, Eldy, Kitale – the whole circuit in that cute little car.
    The passing of an era. One that was colourful and bright and happy. May there be more happy days for you and happy selling too !!!

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