A car is not just a car


A car is not just a car.

A car is what you are, even if you don’t have one.

Albania is of course a modern country where both male and female drive cars.

Nevertheless, the car is considered a male feature. Every man carries a car in in his heart.

It is common knowledge that Albanian men talk a lot about cars. They believe that when girls do so it’s more about their man’s car. Somehow it’s not the same thing.

Claudio also has his opinion on the matter. He is a quiet young man, son of one of the brothers up north. They actually make the chairs for Po! Paris out of car body parts.

That’s where opinion on cars matters.

A car is not just a car.

You have a Fiat? It must be your aunt’s car. No sprint in a Fiat, whatever the model. Surely no one can actually choose to possess a Fiat. It’s an accident. Not a choice.

You can respect the Ford boy because he got it for free from a “friend” or repaired that Fiesta model “abandoned” in a field.

You have an Alfa Romeo? We can talk, but if you have a Mercedes Benz, just go and join the old men playing cards.

Gjon has a Mercedes Benz and thinks highly of it. You can drive for long journeys, he says, you can always repair it and it is fuel efficient.

Nothing wrong with that, it’s all true- argues Claudio- but it just speaks about you. Perhaps you are even married or if you aren’t it just means that’s all you expect from life.

Endri, our legendary chauffeur of the early days, is a proud member of the BMW crowd.

These people rule on the tarmac like chevaliers on the land of times long gone. They have ethics, values.

They can have different styles, fast drivers, slow smooth pilots, with or without the sound track, but what they have in common is that they drive. They are not moving from one place to another, they are driving there.

Not the same thing.

The Benz crowd needs to go somewhere, because they have been told to, and they take the car. There is this theory in certain circles in the Balkans, that they are oppressed people. If you seem them smiling in their car it’s because they are glad to be carrying a piece of home with them. They need reassurance. Custom made tapestry, something hanging from the mirror and a nice cover for the steering wheel. They try and make life better seeking comfort.

The BMW crowd believe. They are leading their own dream and the horizon is their only limit. Give them a track and they will lead you to the future.

No. we don’t use Benz for your chairs- says Arben, one of the workers in the brother’s warehouse – Your chairs deserve more.

As he speaks he adjusts the BMW symbol on the back of a Milingone chair. “Bukur” -Swell- he says.

His heart was throbbing with pain when he saw her lying there helpless in a scrap yard not far from Velipoje. This chair will be his tribute to her. It was a great piece of mechanics, a “bordeaux” 1994 Series 5 model E34.

Claudio doesn’t have a car, but one day he knows which one he will be driving. In the mean time he will ask the brothers to have this chair for his future home.


Po! Paris © 2012

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