Definitely, traffic behaves differently on the week-end as compared to the working days. Suddenly everybody seems relaxed, sometimes even a little bit too much... Also you can determine a certain correlation between the constantly rising fuel prices and the behaviour on the highway, because, the average speed is dropping.
It is a pity that the intensive car washing at home in front of the garage in Germany is forbidden because of environmental reasons, otherwise it would still be nice to get a notion of the devotion of car washing. Today this experience is bound to washing streets.
If you look European-wide, there are most probably still large differences. The Italians who showed their devotion with their car by putting it through a complete check after 100,000 km are probably closer to the Germans than the French who examine their cars probably less often from the outside. At least, the spring suspension has become tauter, but if you compare the average engine power with the French income they are probably still more modest today as compared for example to the Germans.
If we remain in Germany where the fascination for cars seems almost endless, although the new vehicle registrations have decreased during the last years steadily. Anyhow there seems to be a link between car and how the driver is perceived. A shop assistant in a Lupo seems less successful than the same shop assistant in a premium class vehicle. A shop assistant who does not appreciate the value of a large vehicle, does not sell a good product seems to be the logic.
In addition to the skin and the clothes, the car is like another onion ring with which you present yourself in public. Actually, a dead object which comes to life, often according to the amount of money one is willing to invest in outer appearance. Competition is possible, without having to train a lot. Therefore, a lot of new cars are nowadays signposted not with its actual price, but instead with the amount you have to pay per month? You do not need a lot of money or ´sponsored by grandma´ to have your dream of superiority come true.
Being short on money or creditworthiness can be handled by increasing the age of the vehicle. Ageing super cars are often unexpectedly inexpensive, indeed, most often just for a short time. Then frustration hits hard. Nevertheless, the desire for power and sound remains unbroken. Shift up a gear or two, and the trip becomes much more relaxed, and it is possible to forget one's other-directed life.
There are countries, in which youngsters spend 50 percent and more of their awake spare time in the car. American youngsters like, for example, to conquer a motel of a far away town driving in formation around the city centre, or what they often perceive to be the city centre of a small American town, returning to their home town the next morning.
It is easier to understand people who take a drive in their car to switch off completely or to be able to catch a clear thought or even just to take a decision. The car is available as a closed space. You decide yourself whom you want to accept as passenger and whom not. As long as still enough attention is possible for safety and other road participants...
The above are indications of what the car means to us, but it does by far not explain the fascination for cars fully. Go to a car fair. Listen as the three quarters expert explains some detail to the half-expert. Watch the trial run of not so young men on fast motorcycles or in sleek cars. Speak to the car-lover about his or her favourite brand and have him or her explain their advantages. Consider meanwhile how deeply this affection (maybe already in second generation) has taken possession of his or her personality and how much effort it would take to persuade him or her of the advantages of another brand.
If you are unlucky, you bump into celebrities on such exhibitions. On top in the figure you see such a case. What you do not see, is the crowd of people that has to wait because a lane is kept for the celebrities by bodyguards. At least, the minister has stopped only for a short Photo-Shooting and not for a full interview.
Still not enough? Then you should visit the stage of the luxury cars. They are no longer completely barricaded. Potential buyers may stand in the centre with the cars and block the view for lots of other people waiting. You may suspect that with such sales prices the shop assistant would even make an appointment at someone's home with the potential object, of course. There, the conversion would be much more relaxed, but they prefer to stand exactly in the flashlight and contrast so nicely with the waiting crowd. 09/15