I moved to my current apartment in February and it’s been a bit of a culture-shock. I went from a quieter neighborhood around 10 minutes by train from the central business district to a much more raucous one that’s maybe 2 minutes from the CBD by train. It isn’t just the distance that separates my current and former homes. There are little things, too, like our complex’s resident abandoned car.
It’s a Spanish-built 2001-05 Holden Barina (nèe Opel Corsa C) and it’s been there since I moved in and probably long before. The licence plates have been removed and it’s absolutely caked in dust. Somebody’s scrawled something on the windshield but I can’t make it out. Something about it being Damo’s car? Damo, maaaaaaate, move your bloody car.
This is what it looks like when it isn’t encased in grime. For a few years, these were the best-selling B-segment cars (“superminis”) in the UK, where they were known as the Vauxhall Corsa. They were introduced to Australia to critical acclaim, winning Wheels Car of the Year. Their handsome sheetmetal has aged remarkably well, certainly better than that of the Daewoo Kalos (Chevrolet Aveo) which Holden replaced it with.
At first, I was annoyed that this dusty Barina was occupying a parking space in the basement while I had to park in a semi-covered, street-level spot that’s extremely awkward to manoeuvre into. Then I found out from a neighbor that it’s better to park upstairs because it’s near a security camera. The basement, conversely, didn’t have any cameras (I hope this has been fixed) and there had been break-ins (easy to do when the bloody gate was always broken). There was somebody in the complex who absconded when police showed up one day, leaving all his stuff behind. I wonder if he’s the Barina owner. I know it doesn’t belong to my allegedly drug-dealing former neighbors who were apparently using the security camera deadspot to ply their trade undetected. Sounds like a rough ‘hood, right? They never bothered me, though. Not as much as the lack of a recycling bin (in 2018!) or the constant screaming and carrying on coming from the alleyway/building next door.
Long after my lease ends (without my renewal, I should add), this Barina will probably still be here. Is there an abandoned car that’s become a fixture of your neighborhood? How long has it been there?