Living on the island has provided me with many opportunities to have new experiences. One recent visit to an iftar at Bushido had a display of Maserati (Maseratis? Maseratee?) outside the entrance, promoting the Ramadan purchase specials. (Think of it as a western before-Christmas sale) I rubbed up against one, hoping that would make it mine. Sadly, not so.
Couple days later, the local dealership phoned me to arrange the test drive, and I turned up on the appointed day and time. The Maserati sales manager for Euro Motors, Abdul Redha Mohammed, greeted me and asked for my drivers license which I provided.
Then, he listed my name and such on a paper, I signed it, and we were off!
Lovely red Ghibli model, I was a bit nervous that the selected one might have paddle shifters, which I am not familiar with….. but no – this one was an automatic. A tiny pang of “dang, an automatic Maserati?” was quickly dashed when I saw the beautiful interior…Just pleasantly plush. Not too fancy. But not too basic either. Easy to read gauges, and an interesting display screen of some sort.
Belted up and seat adjusted, I pressed the starter button. *sigh*… I just love that low-throaty hum, you know? Quick mirror adjustment and I moved out into the crazy Bahrain traffic.
Sidebar – I’ve mentioned that Bahrain traffic is insane, right? What appears to be three lanes will turn into 5-6 in the blink of an eye, and traffic control marks (road stripes, turn lane indicators, etc.) don’t seem to mean much. I was somewhat surprised that they didn’t want to hold my passport or a cash deposit to drive this baby….. It’s well over $100K!
It’s quick. Really quick. And unlike my current rental/lease car (little white Nissan something), when you press the accelerator, the car responds at the same time! Brakes were quite smooth too – rarely did I seat-belt-check poor Abdul. Steering felt tight and no lagging – it was great fun to play in the traffic with this. Almost made me realize why I see so many doing just that on a regular basis. Not that there’s anything right about doing that, it’s just fun. Kinda like bubble wrap.
During the drive back, I asked Abdul about how many drives a day were as a result of that kiosk at the Bushido that I saw…. He said 5-6. I asked how many drivers were women – he said a few. Not many. I asked what nationalities? He said “Bahraini”…. Which makes sense. Few expats here could/would afford such a luxury.
Probably 20+ minutes later, we were sadly making our way back to the dealership. I quickly backed in back into the slot where we left. Abdul said “You are a very good driver, very smooth” – I smiled and said, “Abdul, I am American. American women are driving since they are 15 years old.” He asked if we drive much – I told him “Yes, we really do. America is a very big country, and things are far apart. So there is much driving.”
As he walked back into the dealership with the key fob thing that makes that lovely little beast come to life, I felt a tiny bit sad, but happy that I’d had the opportunity. Thanks, Abdul!
Wonder what tomorrow will bring in terms of a new experience??