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California bugs

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Oceanside is a small town in Southern California on the shore of the Pacific Ocean. Today it wasn’t as hot at it as it was yesterday and so I thought that maybe washing the car would be a good idea. We found a self car wash not too far away and I got to work. White wall tires are less practical than you might expect. When you are constantly on the road they need to be taken care of almost every other day else they just look dirty. The abraison

from the break pads is
almost glued to the white walls. At first it was very difficult to clean the tires in the car wash. The high pressure did not help any but then I was lucky to find a white wall cleaner in a car shop. You wouldn’t believe how many different products Americans need to keep their cars clean. There are at least twenty different cleaners for tires only but luckily one does the job for white walls perfectly. I was surprised that there was a such a specialty available at all, after all white wall tires are not exactly à la mode.

Finally I was finished and drove to a gas station. Several guys came up to us before I had even stooped at the diesel pump and wanted to know everything. Where do you come from, which model is the car, where can you buy those cars, why don’t they sell them over here, how much is it in Germany, how much would it be in the States, and you really drive through the States with your bikes on back, and you have a dog? Awesome. It’s really quite a scene. Ulla thinks it’s embarrassing the way people act, but hey, this is California, people just love cars and Volkswagen belongs to the family like ice cream to Apple pie.

We meet Freddie and Jeanette, two Latinos from town. He owns a 1964 Volkswagen and restored it with a friend. A beautiful red and white car, squeaky clean with a motor that seems almost new. Are parts a problem, I ask him. No, he says, a guy in town has all the parts you need. Expensive? Well, yes, to be honest, but it’s an old car, parts can’t come cheap.

He and his friends meet every Saturday evening with their cars on a parking between Walmart and the In-N-Out hamburger stand and shoot the shit about their bugs.

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